Winter 2020 is going to be a tricky one. For many of us, the only place we can now meet is outdoors. However, there is no fun to be had from sipping cold drinks outside when it’s freezing, and hot drinks seem to be limited to mulled wine and hot chocolate. To help break free of this paradox, we’ve asked 10 experts for their best hot-drink recipes, alcoholic and not.
Gemma Simmonite, co-owner of Gastrono-me, Bury St Edmunds
My mulled beer recipe doesn’t have the cloying sweetness of mulled wine. It’s gorgeously warming, remarkably simple and, importantly, very alcoholic. This recipe makes eight glasses. Melt 2 tbsp of honey with a pinch of ground ginger in a saucepan, then add a litre of full-bodied beer and 300ml of brandy. Add a strip of lemon peel, two cloves, two star anise, three cinnamon sticks and a pinch of nutmeg, then gradually heat to just below simmering, and keep it there for 10 minutes before serving.
Rogue winter warmer
Jack Adair Bevan, ex-chef of the Ethicurean, Bristol
First you’ll need to make a mulled syrup. Place 1 ½ tsp cloves, ½ tsp cinnamon, a star anise, a pinch of nutmeg and a quarter of an orange and lemon peel in a pan with 300ml Regal Rogue Lively White vermouth. Heat on a low temperature for 20 minutes, then remove and leave to infuse with the lid off for three hours. Then add 45ml honey and 250g sugar, stir to dissolve and pour into a sealable container. Now you’ll be able to make the cocktail. Add 15ml of the syrup to a pan with 100ml vermouth and heat, before ladling into a glass or mug with a slice of pear, cinnamon quill and lemon peel as garnish.
Hot ginger toddy
Jo Jacobius, author of The Black Book of Gin Cocktails
Gently heat a glassful of ginger beer in a pan. Separately, mix 50ml of Brockmans gin and six dashes of Orange Angostura bitters. Pour into a heatproof glass with the ginger beer and garnish with an orange wedge.
Holy smokey Irish coffee
Antonio Orria, head of coffee at Gentleman Baristas, London
This twist on a classic coffee cocktail owes its name to the use of Frangelico liquor and mescal. In an 8oz glass, pour in 140ml hot filter coffee, 50ml Jameson Irish Whiskey Stout edition, 25 ml of mescal and 15ml simple syrup. Pour 150ml double cream and 15ml Frangelico in a separate container (a glass jar works perfectly), close and shake vigorously 20 times. Place a spoon on the surface of the coffee mix and pour the infused cream on it until it overflows on to the drink. Fill the glass to the top.
Apple tree man’s gold
Alasdair Clifford, co-owner of the Barrington Boar, Somerset
This is loosely based on the Wassailing folktale of the Apple Tree Man – AKA the spirit of the oldest apple tree in an orchard – where the fertility of the whole orchard is said to reside. Mix 20ml of Somerset Cider Brandy Company’s Ice Cider with 25ml of gold spiced rum. Add to 100ml of warmed apple juice and garnish with local apples and star anise, then serve.
Re-energising elixir with manuka honey
Shelina Permalloo, former MasterChef winner
This comforting drink is a staple in my house throughout the year, but is definitely a great one to sip on a dark, cold day. The peppery turmeric mixed with sweet Manuka honey and zingy ginger will keep you warm to ward off the winter blues. Place 2 tbsp ground turmeric, 6 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest, 250g Rowse Manuka honey, ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper and 1 tbsp of skin-on fresh ginger to a sterilised jam jar. Shake together until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Then, when you’re ready to drink, take a tablespoon of the mixture and add it to hot water with a slice of ginger and lemon. The mix will stay fresh for up to five days in the fridge.
Warm Earl Grey cocktail
Harvey Lockwood, head chef at Murrays, Towcester
First you need to make Earl Grey infused gin, by adding 2 tbsp loose Earl Grey to 200ml of gin and leaving for one hour and 45 minutes. Then mix 40ml of the gin with 15ml Cointreau, 10ml Martini Rosso, 10ml Disaronno Amaretto and 5ml lime juice. Pour into a teapot with 10ml of hot Earl Grey tea and serve with orange peel.
Chai infused hot chocolate
Ollie Dabbous, chef patron of Hide, London
In a pan, bring 1650g whole milk, 125g whipping cream, 50g honey and 9g black cardamom to a boil. Add 15g chai tea and 1g espelette pepper and infuse for four minutes. Add in 375g Nyangbo 68% chocolate, 100g Bahibé 46% chocolate, 2g fine salt and 5g soy lecithin powder, then hand-blend for two minutes, pass through a sieve and serve.
Hot-buttered coconut rum
Sam Trevethyen, head of beverage training and development at Grind, London
Add 50ml Aluna coconut rum, 20ml honey, 8g butter, 80ml water and a pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg to a saucepan and heat on low. As the butter starts to melt, whisk it all hard to bring it together. Once it’s at 65C, pour into a coupe glass. The coconut in the rum works perfectly with the warming depth of the cinnamon and nutmeg in this drink. It’s also really easy to make in bulk.
Oli Martin, head chef at Hipping Hall, Lancashire
Put two whole butternut squash on a tray and roast at 180C for two hours. Cut in half lengthways, then scoop out the pulp, put into a cheesecloth and squeeze out all the juice. This should yield about 400g of juice. Add 5g sage, 2g lemon thyme, 10g kombu seaweed, then warm to 80C. Infuse for 15 minutes, pass through a sieve and season with salt before serving.
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