Hot booze in a pot.
January 2, 2008 2:01 PM   Subscribe

Your favorite hot booze in a pot recipe?

I've done spiked cider, glogg, chai, and hot buttered rum. What other alcoholic beverages can I make and have simmering on the stove for party guests this winter that you can personally recommend? Bonus points if it's relatively simple, not too expensive to make in a large quantity (to serve 18-25), and not too sweet but still taste-friendly to guests who don't necessarily love the taste of booze.
posted by availablelight to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Wassail would seem to fit the bill.
posted by jquinby at 2:06 PM on January 2, 2008

Best answer: Make wassail, not war. Accidental Hedonist has a fairly traditional wassail recipe, gather has another. Make sure to enforce the singing of the Somerset Wassail song before drinking.
posted by mr. remy at 2:07 PM on January 2, 2008

Response by poster: I saw the recipes for wassail in an initial search, but can anyone here personally vouch that it tastes better than it sounds? (i.e. "warm beer" as a base is a tough sell for me, since I'm not keen on most cold beer...)
posted by availablelight at 2:27 PM on January 2, 2008

Mulled wine, maybe? I've had it and enjoyed it, but I've never made it myself, so I can't vouch for the recipe.
posted by Evangeline at 2:37 PM on January 2, 2008

I'll vouch for wassaill. Some people who like beer, good brown beer, are sickened by the thought of something sweet and spiced made with hot beer.
Don't think of it as beer.
Think of it as warm goodness.

I like a pot of mexican hot chocolate with rum beside it to dose yourself. Low, low burner, though, as it is a milk product and burned milk is nasty.
posted by Seamus at 2:39 PM on January 2, 2008

You might try Smoking Bishop, which is warm and delicious and not too booze-y. I haven't tried any of the others, but they all sound tasty, warm, and wonderfully old-fashioned.
posted by dizziest at 2:45 PM on January 2, 2008

My brother makes wassail every year at Christmas. His doesn't feature beer at all, nor does that sound very appealing. His is red wine based with fruit juices, various spices and orange slices floating on top. Clove is predominant. Never drink the last sip or you're liable to choke on one, like I did. You might like it. It's worth trying once, at least.

Looking around at recipes, you could also call it a mulled wine.
posted by wsg at 2:50 PM on January 2, 2008

I second a spiked hot chocolate-type drink. You could always do rum and kahlua or even Bailey's (although I can't vouch for how well it takes heat, maybe to add to the cup itself after serving?).
I personally can't drink any type of hot, spiced booze without feeling sick, so that's why I lean towards something chocolatey.
posted by fructose at 2:53 PM on January 2, 2008

Seconding mulled wine.

Wine + Ginger root + Orange with cloves poked in + Pear + Cinnamon stick. Obviously the fruit is not set in stone, but I had some made like this, and it was very, very good.

It is delicious with white or red wine.
posted by piratebowling at 2:56 PM on January 2, 2008

Oh! and if you go for spiked hot chocolate, consider spiking it with peppermint schnapps! It's like drinking an alcoholic Andes mint.
posted by piratebowling at 2:59 PM on January 2, 2008

Glad you liked it, piratebowling! You'd want to add sugar to taste, star anise, vanilla extract, and a kick of brandy in order to get the blend just right. Can't be repeated often enough: "if it's boiled, it's spoiled". Boiling cooks away the all the alcohol.
posted by hermitosis at 3:06 PM on January 2, 2008

Best answer: We host a hot-chocolate-and-games party every winter; we usually have three big pots of the stove - one with cider, and two with hot chocolate (one is usually Mexican chocolate). We encourage everyone to dose their chocolate as they see fit, from the bottles provided. I have found goodness in adding peppermint schnapps, Frangelico, Bailey's, Kahlua, or Amaretto to the hot chocolate. Sometimes people ask for tea, in which case they can add brandy or whisk(e)y. Once everyone's sufficiently toast(y)(ed), we break out the Apples to Apples and Flux and suchlike.
posted by rtha at 3:14 PM on January 2, 2008 [2 favorites]

Hot toddies are a great winter drink. I make a single serving thus:

shot of whiskey (I prefer Jameson, but any relatively smooth blended whiskey should be fine)
1 Tablespoon or so honey
Juice of 1/4 lemon or so
About 1" long segment of cinnamon stick
3 or 4 whole cloves
Boiling water

Allow to steep a few minutes.

Enjoy responsibly.

(Or irresponsibly-- but don't come crying to me...)

I see no reason why this couldn't be easily multiplied to a crockpot-sized version.
posted by dersins at 3:57 PM on January 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Our hot toddies were based on brandy instead of whiskey (my dad is of French Canadian ancestry), and were simple: Brandy, hot water, lemon, and honey. I have done something similar with hot water and drambuie when nursing a cold.

Brandy is also good in coffee with cream, making a drink a lot like Irish coffee -- this was a standard thermos drink for hunting parties, according to my dad.

I once met a couple in a country inn in upstate New York who introduced me to the joys of hot chocolate with a shot of Bailey's. They stated that they'd become so enamored of the drink that they had to quit bringing Bailey's home, because everything became an excuse for a cup: "It's snowing." "It's cold." "It's Thursday."

One more idea, this one from a former student of Italian extraction: espresso with Sambuca. Brew espresso, pour in Sambuca to taste. In Italian restaurants in upstate NY, they do this on the honor system -- bring you the bottle of Sambuca with your espresso.
posted by lleachie at 4:42 PM on January 2, 2008

Best answer: Okay, this is going to sound crazy, but trust me on this: Hot Dr. Pepper and port wine, with a few sticks of cinnamon. I invented it two years ago, and here is what I wrote then:

We’re going to mull the port wine with cloves and cinnamon, and, believe it or not, this makes Dr. Pepper an ideal mixer. While it’s popularly believed that Dr. Pepper is meant to taste like prunes, in fact it was designed by a Victorian druggist to taste like Victorian drug store smell. And far from the antiseptic odor of modern pharmacies, the soda fountains of ancient apothecaries were stocked with an intoxicating variety of herbs and syrups. So Dr Pepper is essentially a spiced soft drink, and blends quite well with spiced wine. Additionally, for years Dr. Pepper tried to market itself as a soft drink that can be served hot. It’s terrific that way, but the idea of hot sodas proved too alien for the general American population. But blend it with hot mulled port and you have a recipe for deliciousness.

Three parts Dr. Pepper to one part fruity port wine. Add two whole cloves and one stick cinnamon. Heat and serve.

It''s called the Albion. Made it for a Christmas party last year, and people were floored by it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:59 PM on January 2, 2008 [12 favorites]

Unibroue's "quelque chose" is great when heated. May be a bit expensive, depending on your budget, but it's delicious.
posted by "Tex" Connor and the Wily Roundup Boys at 5:10 PM on January 2, 2008

This year we made a Schlitz Gusto Bowl, a recipe that we found in a magazine from the late 1960s. It is basically a 6-pack of Schlitz heated to near boiling, with cloves and cinnamon sticks.
posted by tiburon at 5:22 PM on January 2, 2008

Response by poster: [No offense, tiburon, but if there was a "mark as worst answer" feature.....]

Astro Zombie, I'm intrigued. Single servings, or from a pot?
posted by availablelight at 5:29 PM on January 2, 2008

Rum and hot tea is really nice. Use a combination of plain, strong black tea (like Irish Breakfast) and an herbal tea with an orange/citrusy taste. Heat equal parts dark rum and hot water to a simmer, then steep tea in it for 5-8 minutes. Maybe a little honey to finish, but that depends on the tea you use.

Also delicious, but considerably more alcohol-y, is a Hot Henry. It's kind of chai-like, but with vodka instead of tea. Heat 1/2 c water and 5-6 T honey in a pot. Toss in (in a tea ball or bag to make it easier) 6-8 crushed cloves, the same number of crushed black peppercorns, and a chunk of nutmeg. Simmer for 15 minutes or so, then add 1 cup vodka, a teaspoon or so of vanilla, and some grated lemon peel. Heat through, strain if you didn't use a tea ball, and serve in tiny cups, like espresso. Mmmmmmmm, warm.
posted by donnagirl at 5:49 PM on January 2, 2008

First thought: Saki. Then, realized folks might not like the taste of straight-up booze. Then, I thought Irish coffee.

Also, technically, a Hot Toddy is any drink that is served hot.
posted by General Malaise at 9:34 PM on January 2, 2008

Whoa, tiburon, I am absolutely curious how that went! That sounds both terribly disgusting and mildly intriguing!
posted by General Malaise at 9:35 PM on January 2, 2008

Single serving.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:14 PM on January 2, 2008

Wait, no -- cook it n a pot.

I'm drunk!
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:24 AM on January 3, 2008

Best answer: My preferred mulled wine spice mix: ginger root, cinnamon stick/s, cloves, allspice. Also, slices of orange. Sweeten with honey or orange juice if desired.

Once, the night before I moved out of a flat, I made Mulled Wine With All The Leftover Booze In The Cupboard. That's red wine, whole spices and orange slices with (if memory serves) bottle-ends of normal brandy, apricot brandy, Slivovitz, Becherovka, Eiswein, port, Amaretto, Cointreau, Somerset cider brandy, Pimm's and probably a few other things.

posted by Pallas Athena at 4:40 AM on January 3, 2008

Astro zombie: Hot Dr. Pepper has been around for years (at least since the 1960's) - see this section of the DP Faq:
Also see some silly advertisements for it here:

posted by Lizc at 11:51 AM on January 3, 2008

If you make hot chocolate, try adding some cayenne pepper to it. One of my favorite drinks is hot chocolate with whiskey and cayenne.
posted by vorfeed at 12:14 PM on January 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

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