Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tipple Tuesday: It's Cold Out There, but It's Warm in Here

Man, it's cold out there! We had a beautiful snowy day yesterday, and as I type this, it's nine degrees outside. Maybe that's Mother Nature's way of preparing us for the move to Ann Arbor...'Cause the world and its weather totally revolves around me.

We spent a chunk of the afternoon yesterday playing Snow Plow: The Kid brought his snowplow, dump truck, and front loader outside and proceeded to plow our building's turnabout. Such is the life of a city kid, and he had a blast! Even though it was super-fun, I can't help but wait until we have a green space of our own to build snowmen, make angels, and throw snowballs.

We have a couple of parks within walking distance, but a few of the sidewalks are nearly impossible after a snowstorm, especially with a stroller. I don't know whose job it is to shovel, but whomever it is, they're not pulling their weight; after the last snow, I remarked that it was National Stay at Home if You Use a Stroller or Wheelchair Day. Urban living definitely has its upsides (I can see Gymboree from our window, and we have a choice of walking to restaurants of varying ethnicities and quality every night) but I want a garden--in which The Kid wants to plant broccoli, carrots, and mashed potatoes--and Jake wants nothing more than to grill.

But that's warm weather stuff, and I digress.

After The Kid's bedtime, it was time for a warming grownup drink! I'd been toying around with heated drinks for a while, and this one really hit the spot. I hope you enjoy it.

Recipe for The Apple Cheek after the jump!

The Apple Cheek

(makes one mug-full)
1 cup apple cider
1.5 oz bourbon
1 tbsp ginger syrup*
1 cinnamon stick
1 lemon twist
nutmeg (freshly grated is best, but you can absolutely make do with jarred)

Heat cider in a small-medium saucepot over medium-low heat until the edges just start to bubble, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine bourbon and ginger syrup in a mug. Add the cinnamon stick. When the cider is hot, pour into the mug, over the bourbon, syrup, and cinnamon stick. Stir well with a spoon. Add the lemon twist. Grate fresh nutmeg (or sprinkle jarred nutmeg) over the top. Warm yourself.

* To make ginger syrup:
In a medium saucepot, combine 2 cups water, 1 6-inch piece fresh ginger (sliced into thin strips), and 3/4 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Whisk in 1 tablespoon ground ginger. Bring the heat down to medium and simmer until the syrup is reduced to half its original volume, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Remove the ginger pieces with a slotted spoon. Let the syrup cool, jar it (or otherwise contain it), and store in the refrigerator. This recipe makes about a cup of syrup, and it's good for all sorts of things. Adding 3 tablespoons to 8 ounces of fizzy water makes a good ginger ale. You can also make all manner of mixed drinks...like this one! Syrups last a good long time tightly covered in the fridge, but keep an eye out for any mold forming.

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