#4 Brandy Alexander/Hot Chocolate

Ok campers, time for a little cold weather edition of Cocktail/Mocktail. For the adults, I want to bring back a classic recipe that has been unaccountably swept to the wayside by the pounding waves of cocktail evolution. The Brandy Alexander is a delicious, decadent treat that checks the box for sophistication while delivering that inner glow that is the hallmark of a great winter warmer. 

Brandy Alexander

Brandy Alexander

2 oz brandy

1 oz heavy cream

1 oz creme de cacao*

Combine all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, strain into a martini glass or coupe and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. 

*Note: The only creme de cacao worth your hard-earned dollars is made by Tempus Fugit Spirits. If you can't find it, buy a little sampler of whatever is on hand at your liquor store so you can understand what the cocktail is all about; if you like, hunt for that real bottle. 

For the kids we have the perennial favorite, hot chocolate. Now this hardly warrants its own post, except for the fact that Hot Chocolate is so much better when you make it from scratch. Sadly, my own son does not agree with me, so obviously I have some convincing to do. Here he is voting  me off the island in favor of Ovaltine (another holiday classic).

I can't believe he picked Ovaltine!

I can't believe he picked Ovaltine!

No matter what your personal favorite version of this treat is, we an all agree that it is always better with marshmallows. Here's how to do it right:

Hot Chocolate (serves 2)

12 ounces milk

2 tsp cocoa powder

1.5 tbsp sugar

1 dash vanilla extract

1 dash salt

Heat about 3 ounces of the milk in a small saucepan, add all other ingredients. Stir vigorously off heat until a thick, pasty liquid forms. Doing this will allow you to mix in the rest of the milk without forming lumps of unmixed cocoa. Now add the remaining milk and whisk occasionally as you bring to desired temperature. Serve in small mugs with marshmallows. 

Hot Chocolate and marshmallows