Happy New Year everyone, and I hope you have a great 2016!
As we say goodbye to 2015, the chaos is almost over and the decorations are finally coming down. I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted! It’s a great time to reflect on what a great year it was.
So, as we move forward into 2016, the weather is getting colder and it’s time to start working on all those New Year’s resolutions. I love the beginning of a new year. I call it cleaning up the old and bringing in the new. Here at the Nino’s wine department, it’s time to clean up and organize the cellar and get ready for another amazing year. We know what January and February in Michigan can be like. To ring the year in right, there is nothing like a delicious winter cocktail. Here are a couple of ideas for cocktails that will knock your socks off:
2 parts Kringle Cream Liqueur
1 part brown Crème De Cacao or any other chocolate liqueur
Shake in an ice shaker and strain over the rocks.
Bacon Bourbon Cocktail
4 thick-cut slices of bacon
½ teaspoon cornstarch
½ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
3 cups whole milk
4 oz. milk chocolate chips
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
4 oz. Bourbon
Whipped cream and chopped, toasted hazelnuts for garnish
1: Cook bacon in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Pour fat into a small bowl and stir in cornstarch with a fork.
2: In a medium saucepan, stir in cocoa with sugar and salt, reserved bacon fat/cornstarch mixture, milk, milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is hot. Gently whisk to completely homogenize the mixture.
3: Add bourbon, and pour into individual serving cups. Top with whipped cream; chopped, toasted hazelnuts; and a strip of bacon. Serve immediately.
The Hot & Cold
25 fresh mint leaves
¾ cup boiling water
2 oz. Gin
½ oz. lemon juice from 1 lemon
1 oz. homemade cranberry syrup
Lemon slice for garnish
1: In a mug or heatproof bowl, pour the boiling water over the mint leaves and let steep for 5 minutes.
2: While the mint is steeping, combine the gin, cranberry syrup and lemon juice in a mug. Strain mint tea into a mug and stir to combine. Discard mint leaves. Garnish the drink with sliced lemon and serve.
The Hot & Cold recipe works wonders when you have a case of the sniffles.