Warm drinks for cold nights… 

Recipe_hot-chocNothing is more satisfying after a day playing outdoors than a winter-warm-up drink. A few years back, for the millennial (1999-2000) issue of Winter Enchantment, we contacted regional ski area owners and managers for their favorite winter treats. We think you’ll enjoy the results.

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The late Ernie Blake (1913-1989), who founded Taos Ski Valley with his wife Rhoda (who died Nov. 3, 2015) was known to plant ‘Martini Trees’ on his mountain to aid floundering skiers lucky enough to stumble upon them. When he shared this drink with us in 1985, he called it “my drink I drink in the afternoon… a very healthy drink. It kills all bacteria, and sometimes the party who drinks it as well!”

Ernie’s drink

Pour a shot of William’s Pear Brandy into a cup of strong black coffee. Stir. Cheers!

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The late Drew Judycki (1947-2008), owner of Red River Ski & Summer Area, shared these ideas with us in 1999.

Cafe Louvois

For each serving:

  • 2 jiggers (1/4 cup plus 2
  • tablespoons) hot black coffee
  • 2 jiggers hot chocolate
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) cognac
  • Whipped cream, sweetened slightly

Mix coffee and hot chocolate in an 8-ounce mug. Stir in cognac and top with whipped cream.

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Cafe a la Russe

  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 3/4 cup hot coffee
  • 1 /2  cup scalded whipping cream
  • 1 /2  cup scalded milk
  • 2 ounces cognac
  • 2 ounces cream de cacao

Combine water, chocolate and sugar in top of double boiler. Place over hot, not boiling, water and simmer, stirring until chocolate is melted and sugar dissolved, 2 – 3 minutes. Stir in coffee, cream, milk, cognac and creme de cacao. Pour into 4 large preheated mugs and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. Serves 4.

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After Judy and John  Miller spend an invigorating day at Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area, which they founded in 1985, you’ll find them warming up with this soothing drink.  Judy found this recipe for Mulled Cider with Spice Butter in the “Cold Weather Cookbook.” It quickly became a favorite!

Miller’s Mulled Cider & Spiced Butter

  • 2 quarts fresh apple cider (or bottled cider)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Zest of orange peeled in spiral
  • Optional — 1 ounce per serving
  • of rum or brandy
  • Spiced butter

Combine cider and all ingredients (except liquor and spiced butter) and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain out spices from mixture. Return cider to pan and keep warm. If spiking, pour 1 ounce of liquor in each mug and fill with cider. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the spiced butter (recipe follows) into cup of cider.

Spiced Butter

  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Cream the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add spices and beat 1 minute more. Keep refrigerated in plastic container to use in hot drinks, including hot buttered rums.

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John’s hot wine on a cold night

  • 1 fifth dry red wine
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 cloves

Pour wine in a large pot. Stir in cider, water, lemon juice, sugar and spices. Simmer, but don’t boil. Serve hot!

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Mountain Mocha

In a saucepan combine:

  • 4 cups espresso
  • 2 1/2 ups cream
  • 8 ounces sweet chocolate
  • 8 teaspoons brown sugar

Beat mixture over heat with a whisk until hot and frothy. Transfer to mugs and top with whipped cream and cinnamon. Serves 8.

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Chocolate lovers winter warmer

  • 1 ounce coffee liqueur
  • 1 ounce Irish cream liqueur
  • 1 splash creme de cacao
  • 1 splash orange liqueur
  • 1 ounce chocolate syrup
  • Fresh brewed hot coffee
  • Whipped cream
  • Shaved chocolate
  • Cherry

Pour liqueurs into a tall coffee mug and fill with coffee. Top with whipped cream and garnish with shaved chocolate and a cherry.