Blizzard Booze

Blizzard 2

What’s your favorite drink when it’s cold, snowing and you want to feel cozy?

I posed this question to friends on Facebook and via email all across the country. The answers ran the gamut from expected to exotic and everything in between including weather related, as in “Hey, I’m in the sunbelt, I don’t have that problem.”

Amidst the Sidecar, Hot Apple Pie, Hot Buttered Sorel (from my friend Jack at Sorel Liqueur), Manhattans, 25-year-old single malts, and a Cognac near a fireplace; I received some interesting comments –

My friend the blogger and foodie Mary Ellen Griffin, “I am just a simple, old fashioned girl who likes a very well aged (and properly decanted) vintage port in front of the fire.” Her blog is here. Hmm, Port gives me heartburn but I love the imagery.

From my daughter and former partner Michelle (the “M” in AM Shapiro), “Hot cocoa with a shot of Godiva liquor. I think u taught me that one!”  Atta girl, but ever since Diageo got its hands on Godiva, we no longer speak of it.

For you ex-Seagram folks, here’s a bunch from Mark Levine in Seattle, “Gosh, hard to decide: Igor the invisible or Pasha with a touch of Cherry Swiss…. no, no wrong. It must be Sabra…no, no…I know it this time…without question, my favorite, and I wish I could get it…. Lochan Ora warmed in a snifter.” That’s a trip down Memory Lane (maybe Nightmare Lane).

My friend, Jonathan Alexandratos, a playwright whose skills I hope to emulate one day, had this to say. “I used to have what I thought was an over-sensitivity to sulfates, because, whenever I’d drink wine, I’d get this killer headache, but, lately, I’ve discovered I’ve… outgrown it? But I’m not getting the headaches anymore, which is wonderful, because this wine stuff is pretty damn good, isn’t it? So I bought this Riesling the other night, because now I can chalk all my drinking up to scientific experiment, and I really liked it! So I guess the concise answer to your question is: Riesling. If that’s okay.” Jonathan, one of my favorite expressions, is “Alcohol – because no great story starts with a salad.”

Another spirits industry friend, Onute Miller wrote, “In the Lithuanian culture/household that I grew up in, a beloved cold weather drink is “Krupnikas” – classified as an after-dinner liqueur. However, in my family it was served and enjoyed at all hours, pre and post meals. Each uncle had their own very special rendition and private recipes with secret ingredients (not shared with other family members).” I looked it up and the recipe is amazing, especially the high-octane part. Here is a link to an online recipe and a company that produces a packaged product.

My favorite – drumroll please – from a very good friend, “Did someone say you could win a prize? Then my favorite “adult warm drink” would be a Butter Baby! What is that you say? My Canadian friends introduced this to me. Simple- hot chocolate, butterscotch schnapps, and whip cream! Yummy! BUTTER BABY!

Yes, you win. But, the prize is knowing that my readers and I will weather the storm with your drink, as well as some of the others.

Oh, and you Sunbelt folks… see what you’re missing?

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  1. There were several members of our Lithuanian family that made their own versions of Krupnikas, and my uncle taught me how to make it when I realized that the one bottle he would give me at Christmastime (one that I would finish before New Year’s) was not enough. Over the last 30+ years, I’ve tweaked that recipe to make it my own, similar but different to the recipe you’ve linked to. (BTW…even though it uses using grain alcohol, it winds up being about 80 proof.)
    As for other winter cocktails, I love something herbaceous but a little sweet. One of my favorites is: 1.5 oz Bols Genever, 1 oz Gran Classico, and .5 oz Punt y Mes. Combine ingredients with ice in a rocks glass. Add a splash of soda and garnish with a twist of orange peel. First time I had it I said: “Holy Sh–!” and the name stuck!
    Drink recipes and more at my blog:

  2. Easy. It’s the Llmumba. Used to mix it while serving hard time in the Swedish mandatory service. Take a 50 gallon milk tank and pour tons of cocoa powder in there. Stick the steam rod in there to a boil (when it’s minus 40 outside, the inside of the tent turns into a sauna, which is great if you’re Finish). Then, simply add Meyer’s Dark Rum plus Godiva (about a case of each), and watch the conscripts line up for breakfast. Yum yum. I think there was a reason we never won wars past the 18th century.

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