Two Winter Cocktails

Happy almost New Year! Are you celebrating tonight? We've decided to keep it low-key and close to home. A couple of friends are coming over and we'll be enjoying our customary New Year's Eve feast: all-you-can-eat crab legs and knäckebröd with cheese.

A few weeks ago I asked my friend Christen if she'd help me conjure up toast-worthy cocktails for New Year's Eve. I frequently bake with spirits, but I'm inexperienced when it comes to stirring up mixed drinks. We put our heads together and came up with two winners - Golden Spiced Pear Cocktail and Spiked Chile Hot Chocolate. Both are easy to make, and we even made a fun how-to video.

I can't decide which of the two I love more. I'm partial to steaming cups of hot chocolate, and you can count on this chile version to warm you up when days are cold. On the other hand, the Golden Pear cocktail is just the bubbly thing to toast the New Year. (I'll take one of each!)

Have a safe and Happy New Year! I'll see you soon with more sweet things!

Golden Spiced Pear Cocktail
Serves 4

4 Anjou pears (or 6 to 8 sweet little seckel pears), cored and sliced
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 drop yellow food color, optional
1 bottle champagne or prosecco
Pear wedges, for garnish

Place the pears in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and water. Bring to a boil; add the spices. Lower the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. The pear flesh will break down while cooking. Remove the pan from the heat source and stir in the lemon juice. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Let the spiced pear puree cool completely. Stir in the drop of yellow food color, if desired.

Divide the puree between four champagne glasses. Top with champagne or prosecco. Stir briefly. Garnish glasses with pear wedges, if desired.

Non-alcoholic version: Replace champagne or prosecco with sparkling white grape juice.

Spiked Chile Hot Chocolate
Serves 4

1 1/2 cups (about 9 ounces) chopped semisweet chocolate
(or drinking chocolate, we used Lake Champlain)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
4 ounces chocolate chile liqueur (we used Patron XO Café)
1 1/2 cups whipped cream
Ground cayenne pepper, for garnish

Place the chocolate, heavy cream and whole milk in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and whisk until the chocolate melts and completely incorporates into the milk and cream. The mixture should be steaming but not boiling.
Place 1 ounce of the chocolate chile liqueur into each of four mugs. Fill each mug 3/4 full of hot chocolate. Top each mug with plenty of whipped cream and a pinch (or more!) of cayenne pepper.
Serve immediately!

Non-alcoholic version: omit chocolate chile liqueur.

link Two Winter Cocktails By Published: Two Winter Cocktails: Golden Spiced Pear Champagne and Spiked Chile Hot Chocolate


  1. Agreed, excellent choices. One bubbly to warm the tummy, the other warm and warm to warm the tummy?, (Lotta,"warm"going on). No so little about boozes anymore, but that chili liqueur sounds interesting.Seems the older I get the taste buds get more dull! The kid whines incessantly(is 18),that my food is soo spicy! I say,toughen up! So, will have to get me some! Thanks,sure the research was stressful and difficult!! 😂 Happy New Year!!


  2. Awesome! Happy New year!! :)

  3. Now I GOT to try your drinks too! love your video too, you never needed me after all. Sly girl.

  4. Shailu Niche:

    Interesting post! Now we all can enjoy this drink. Thanks for sharing this lovely video.


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