Warm up this winter with coffee and tea cocktails

Warm up this winter with coffee and tea cocktails

Hot cocktails mixed with sugar and spices provide comfort during long cold winters. Enhance this experience by stirring in a hot beverage, such as tea or coffee.

“Hot toddy is done and dusty,” says Manoj Jangid, director, food and beverage, JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar. About a year ago, he introduced a Filter Coffee Martini inspired by the modern classic Espresso Martini. He says the guests have thrown it up.

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Coffee can be a versatile cocktail ingredient used to make both hot and cold drinks. Filter Coffee Martini, which contains 30 ml of decoction, 45 ml of full cream, 60 ml of vodka and 20 ml of sugar syrup, can be stirred and heated on a stove – never in a microwave, because alcohol is flammable. Heat it for a few seconds so that the alcohol does not evaporate. For a cold drink, shake it with ice. “To serve it with flair, opt for a martini glass for the cold version and brandy sniffer for the hot beverage,” advises Jangid, adding, “Play with this cocktail by swapping vodka for a peat whiskey or old monk.”

Even a classic like Irish Coffee, with hot coffee, Irish whiskey and cream, can be swapped out. Jangid shares a tip: Add a shot of hazelnut liqueur, or slap some mint leaves between your palms and stir them in for a refreshing twist.

To make quick coffee-based cocktails, you need to have a coffee syrup on hand. Although it is easily available online, consider making one at home. Dushyant Tanwar, mixologist and brand manager at the alcohol company Monika Enterprises, shares a recipe: Mix in a container 50 g sugar, 60 ml water and 2 tablespoons coffee, put it on a stove, let it simmer and the syrup will be ready when the coffee and the sugar is completely dissolved. Add a teaspoon of syrup to 30 ml of stored rum, stir in 90 ml of warm water and garnish with a dab of cream. “It’s a dessert-like coffee drink after dinner,” he says.

The formula for winterizing a tea or coffee cocktail is to think of it in three parts – choose a drink, a spirit to complement it, and take it to the next level with a garnish. A cinnamon stick is an easy matter, and Tanwar says its flavor can be unlocked by heating it gently – avoiding burning it – and placing it on the edge of your glass. His advice is no to let it fall into the drink – let the aromas entice your senses before you take a sip.

Those who find mulled wine itchy sweet can turn to hot tea cocktails. Pushpanjali Banerji, brand director at the alcohol company Kyndal group, suggests pairing tea with blended scotch. She says a masala chai decoction can be mixed with a mixed scotch and sweetened with sugar for a new winter cocktail. A nice spicy rum is tailored for chai premixes. “The molasses in rum has a natural sweetness that complements the taste of masala tea,” explains Banerji. Even bourbon, like a Jim Beam, will go well with black tea. It is, after all, the basic spirit of hot toddy. Add a cinnamon stick as a garnish.

“Today, hot teas are served with a shot of gin in cocktail bars,” Jangid notes, adding, “Tea like oolong and Christmas tea infusions with berries complete the botanical ingredients for a warm beautiful taste.” So warm up this winter.

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