Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Healthy Sip For Holiday Cheer!

It's Thursday night and would I love to be in town for a little night time cheer at that local pub. This time of year is such a great time to meet friends out for cocktails with all the holiday spirit in the air! My local sailing club has their annual party this weekend and Grrr I'll be missing it. Which got me thinking about, at-home cocktails that take the edge of a day of shopping madness, warm the body from a day of frost-biting, or just because.

So...I've been having a very productive search with a little bit of "taste testing" for the recipes whose ingredients I have on hand.

My fav "sip" for this Thursday evening is from Eating Well Magazine (no surprise as it is one I subscribe too!)

Hot Cider with Apple Brandy and Spices (I had to improvise on the brand of brandy, but here's their version):

A natural, cloudy apple cider is delicious for this exotically spicy and aromatic winter warmer, but if you desire a sparkling-clear drink, apple juice can be substituted. Calvados, which is a French apple brandy, adds richness. If you wish to omit it, just add more cider or juice.

Makes 8 servings (I cut the whole thing in half)

ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 25 minutes
  • 8 cups apple cider or apple juice
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 whole allspice berries
  • 4 whole cardamom seeds
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup Calvados or brandy
Combine cider or juice, cloves, allspice, cardamom and cinnamon sticks in a large saucepan. Simmer for 20 minutes; strain out spices and stir in Calvados (or brandy). Serve very hot in heavy mugs. (Just holding the cup close and enjoying the aroma...lovely!)

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 184 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrate; 0 g protein; 0 g fiber; 0 mg sodium; 1 mg potassium.

2 Carbohydrate Servings (Not too bad, it has this "warm filling" affect and sipping one in a nice ceramic mug goes a long way for sitting by the fire with friends after a long day!)

Wouldn't the solo Vendee folks, who are playing in the 40s love a sip of this warm cider!

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