Our editors and staff writers put their heads together to find the jolliest of drinks for this holiday season
Amy Asin // Illustrator
Malt of the Month
Megan Amato // Opinions Editor
Winter means many things to me: chili hot chocolate, cozy nights with my candle collection and steaming cups of tea and whisky. My favourite peated scotch brings me the much-needed illusion of comfort on a cold night. However, there are those evenings when I’m feeling I need to combine my love of tea and whisky into a hot toddy. The honey, citrus, whisky and tea combination is loved by many but to amplify the sweet citrusy flavour, I like to use Korean yuzu tea. Trust me on this, just follow this recipe for hot tea and whisky bliss.
1 generous finger of your whisky of choice (Nothing fancy, I prefer Ballantines in a hot toddy, but anything will do)
1 heaped teaspoon of blueberry honey
1 to 2 teaspoons of yuzu tea
1 teaspoon of tea (I prefer a rich malty Assam)
1 ½ cups of water
A wee bit of cinnamon, nutmeg and star anise to taste
Add the spice to the water in a pot and take it off the hob just before it boils. Add your tea and steep for three minutes. Strain the tea and spice (or use spice bags) and add your honey, whisky, yuzu and voila!
Claire Brnjac // Arts and Culture Editor
I didn’t become a coffee person until I started working at a kitchen store and realised how relaxing and almost ritualistic making coffee can be. Bombón, a Spanish coffee with espresso and condensed milk, is warm, sweet, and gives you the kick you need—perfect for holiday mornings.
A shot of espresso (could be more or less depending on drinker’s preference.)
Equal parts of condensed milk
To make a beautiful layered effect, pour in your condensed milk first. Make your espresso shots in your preferred manner, and pour on top of the milk to create two beautiful layers. For another punch of sweetness, add some whipped cream on top. Stir and enjoy!
Sarah Rose // Features Editor
Christmas was invented for two reasons: to sell capital, and to drink enough liquor that the family racist’s “jokes” start sounding closer to a waterlogged Fisher price toy or a top 40 trap song (those are the same thing). I first encountered coquito in Florida while hopping around various Orange County Christmas soirées with my ex-boyfriend, where his Puerto Rican friend gifted me the Caribbean holiday nog inside a bottle of 151. Coquito means “little coconut” and tastes like Horchata but is almost entirely booze. There’s nothing little about it when you’re ending the night shirt-cocking in shades like an average patron of The Roxy or pokerstars.net.
There’s no steadfast, traditional way to make coquito—but Coco Lopez hits hard and loose. It’s DNFW, like giving eggnog truck nuts. So, dump that gentrified overpriced custard sold as eggnog from Safeway straight down the sink and buckle up because tradition is just peer pressure from dead people. In the words of Andy Mineo, “pour me a glass of coquito, lost in the sauce, she went M.I.A.”
1 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
Use the empty can of evaporated milk, and use that same amount of coconut milk and coconut cream
750ml bottle of Bacardi Añejo (4 year) is my vetted substitute for the long dead 151. Don’t be fooled that regular white rum or spiced rum works.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
In the words of Lopez himself, “Throw all of this into a blender and go apeshit.” This recipe will fill the bottle of Bacardi with leftovers.
Hot Chocolate and the Folly of Man
Joss Arnott // Staff Writer
Hubris can be a funny thing. Often, you don’t even realize you’re flaunting God until it’s much too late to turn back. Take Icarus, the boy who sought to ride the wind on wings of wax. His intentions weren’t to ignore his father’s instructions, just to be free. It’s human nature to seek perfection, but sometimes we all fly too close to the proverbial sun.
My thoughts lingered on the story of Icarus as my friend and I sat slumped upon my kitchen floor, dizzy from sugar. We were each reeling from our fifth straight mug of experimental chocolaty goodness. We too had flown too close to the sun. My intentions were pure—or so I thought. I wanted to craft the ultimate hot chocolate. Alas, in the relentless pursuit of seeing if I could create the cocoa Übermensch, I never stopped to ask: Should I? We found an answer, we felt the sun, and so too did we fall.
In my mind, the perfect hot chocolate should conjure a feeling—a cold winter’s day beaten back by a warm fire. A blanket wrapped around your shoulders as you gaze out a window. A feeling of youth fleetingly remembered. I wanted to express the perfect hot chocolate, one that contained all of these feelings. The effort drove my friend and me into an insane sugar rush that nearly killed our stomachs—and us.
In our search for greatness, I realized that it’s not the recipe that makes a good hot chocolate, it’s the people with whom you drink it. I had so much fun experimenting with my friend to come up with this recipe. We laughed, we cried, we swore off chocolate and then had some more. It certainly isn’t a perfect recipe, but it’s crazy tasty. So try this out, or try to find your own perfect hot chocolate this holiday.
Whatever you do, dear reader, I wish you luck. Just beware of the sun.
Ingredients for the perfect hot chocolate, for a two-cup portion:
1 3/4 cup of 2% milk
1/4 cup of heavy cream
50 grams of chocolate (we used a Lindt milk chocolate bar)
1 tbsp of brown sugar
2 tbsp of hot chocolate mix (we used the Tim Hortons brand)
Begin by warming the milk and the heavy cream in a pot on medium heat. When bubbles begin to appear at the edges of the pot, froth for a half-minute. Add the chocolate, hot chocolate mix and brown sugar, stir until homogenous (around a minute). Froth for another minute, then pour into an appropriate mug. Add marshmallows or spray whip cream if desired, sprinkle with a dash of the hot chocolate mix. Serve warm*.
*A note of caution: Do not, under any circumstances, drink more than one serving.