As the weather turns cold, we start dreaming of warm drinks that go beyond regular coffee and tea. Maybe it’s the desire to warm-up after shovelling our driveway (again), the nesting that happens with a good book and a crocheted afghan, or it’s a gathering of friends and family during the holidays that puts us in a jolly mood for warm drinks with a wee bit of alcohol (sometimes!).
Whatever your reasons you’ll want to pull out your stoneware. Our quick tests with our candy thermometer tell us that it keeps liquid five to 10°F warmer than traditional ceramic, glass or porcelain. When the temperature plummets and friends are gathering try some of our favourite alcoholic and non-alcoholic hot drinks. All are perfect in our Island Stoneware drinkware.
If your local supermarket is short on spices for any of these hot drinks we’ve found the Silk Road Spice Merchant in Calgary is always reliable and offers fresh and obscure spices for sale online.
Spiced Apple Cider
This apple cider recipe calls for fresh cider. If you can’t find any at your local farmer’s market then look for it at the grocery store with the refrigerated juices. It should be fresh, and it should be cloudy. Don’t use a hard cider or apple juice, it doesn’t have the same flavour. This is a perfect non-alcoholic recipe as it’s the addition of the bourbon that makes it alcoholic. To make it family friendly skip the the bourbon or serve it on the side for guests who want to imbibe. Preheating your stoneware by pouring boiling water into it as you get your ingredients ready will guarantee your cider stays warm. We would recommend serving this cider in our Island Original Summerside Mugs; the tapered top will hold in heat and help to keep the cider hot.
4 cups fresh apple cider
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp whole allspice berries
6 whole cloves
1 star anise pod
1 piece of fresh ginger (about 1 1/2" long)
1/2 tsp of black peppercorns
1 piece of orange peel (about 2" x 4")
4 oz bourbon
Add the cider, spices and orange peel into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for one hour. Remove from heat and add the bourbon (if using). Stir to combine. Using a sieve so that you strain out all the spices, pour cider into mugs and garnish with an orange slice and a cinnamon stick.
Hot Maple Toddy
There are many different recipes for the Hot Toddy; some use Scotch, Bourbon or Spiced Rum. Our Toddy is made with Canadian Rye Whisky and maple syrup that gives it an PEI flair. Served in our Maple Leaf Cup it’s the perfect warm drink on a cold winter day. The secret to a Hot Toddy is heat, you don’t want to be serving up a lukewarm drink. Preheating your stoneware by pouring boiling water into it as you get your ingredients ready will guarantee your Toddy is served hot and stays that way.
2 oz Canadian Rye Whisky
3/4 oz maple syrup
1 3-inch piece of lemon zest (for garnish)
Cinnamon stick or star anise (for garnish)
4 to 6 oz boiling water (the amount will depend on how “boozy” you want your Toddy to taste)
Fill cup with boiling water and set aside while you gather and prepare the ingredients. Zest the lemon. Pour out the water then add the Rye and maple syrup to the heated stoneware. Top with boiling water and stir until the maple syrup is dissolved. Garnish with the orange peel and cinnamon stick or star anise.
PEI Blueberry Tea
Combining two non-berry liqueurs and winding up with the essence of blueberry is alchemy in action. This classic warm cocktail is perfect for a late afternoon snuggle with a good book. You’ll want to use a bigger mug for this drink and don’t be surprised if you’re looking for a refill. Our Celtic KnotSummerside Mug with its tapered opening will keep your tea warm while you’re curled up under a blanket watching the snow fall.
1 oz Amaretto
1 oz Grand Marnier (or other orange flavour liqueur such as Cointreau)
6 oz steeped Earl Grey tea
1/4 tsp brown sugar
Fill mug with boiling water and set aside while you gather and prepare the ingredients. Steep tea in a pot. Pour water out of the mug and muddle the orange slice and sugar in the mug. Add Amaretto and Grand Marnier and top with tea.
Mulled Wine (in a slow cooker)
This recipe is perfect for larger gatherings where you want to prep in advance and allow guests to help themselves. The advantage to using a slow cooker is the mulled wine won’t boil and the flavours will stay fresh for hours. Place the slow cooker on a bed of pine or spruce bows and surround it with our Island Original Red Sand and Pea Shoot cups. You’ll have a festive centre piece that guests will sure gather around.
6 cups red wine (approximately two 750 ml bottles). Merlot, Zinfandel or Grenache wine work best
1/2 cup of Cointreau or other orange flavoured liqueur
3 large oranges
1 Tbsp lemon zest
3/4 cup of white sugar
3 star anise pods
2 cinnamon sticks
Turn slow cooker to high and add red wine, Cointreau, lemon zest, sugar and spices. Cover with lid.
As the wine mixture heats zest two of the oranges using a vegetable peeler or by carefully cutting the zest with a small knife. Create long wide strings of zest (approximately 6" x 1/2") so that they both flavour and decorate the wine. Once you’ve zested the oranges, juice them and add the juice and zest to the slow cooker. Slice up the third orange to use as garnish.
Carefully mix all ingredients together, cover with lid and reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally. Wine should warm for 1-2 hours. When guests arrive remove lid, reduce temperature to “keep warm” and place bowl with orange slices beside the wine. Ladle wine into cups and garnish with an orange slice.
Slow Chai Tea
It may be counterintuitive to provide a recipe for homemade Chai Tea when there are many prepackaged mixtures available at the supermarket and at your local coffee drive-through. But we believe the process of brewing it yourself and allowing the aroma of spice to fill your house makes this well worth the effort. This slow chai is especially sublime on cold winter mornings or when you’re feeling under the weather, the combination of spice blend and black tea with added milk is restorative. This spicy tea deserves a fiery presentation in our Island Tide Red Sand Teapot with matching Summerside Mugs. If you’re looking for a more substantial serving our 14 oz Dockside and Veranda Mugs would be great choices.
3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin rounds
3 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
12 whole cloves
10 cardamom pods
5 cups cold water
6 bags of black tea (you’ll want to use a strong black tea like Darjeeling. Avoid tea with a strong floral note like Earl Grey)
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup golden brown sugar
Combine spices in a medium saucepan set on medium low. Allow the mixture to warm until you can start to smell the spices. Use a pestle or back of a large spoon to lightly crush and bruise the spices. Add five cups water; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover pan, and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add tea bags and steep 5-10 minutes (depending on how strong you like your tea). Discard the tea bags and add milk and sugar. Bring tea just to simmer over high heat, whisking until sugar dissolves. Strain chai into teapot or directly into mugs.
This recipe makes 3-6 servings (depending on your mug size) and can be made decaffeinated by using decaffeinated tea. Leftovers will keep well for a few days in a jar in your fridge. Just be sure to remove all of the spices and do a slow reheat in a pot.