Call me old fashioned, but I like to drink.
Especially when it’s cold outside, and even more so when it means I can have alcohol and chocolate at the same time. If you couldn’t tell, I made this treat over the weekend, and paired it with some dark chocolate cookies. They were perfect to dip into the cocoa, FYI.
This isn’t my first time at the spiked cocoa rodeo. No, no, I’ve been perfecting this recipe for years. You see, I’ve become somewhat lactose intolerant in my old age, which means that I get to find all sorts of creative ways to work around dairy.
And since this recipe is dairy-free, it tastes a lot less heavy than a lot of other cocoas. Which is great, because you can drink up and not feel like you have to lie down after. Here’s how you can make it for yourself:
What you’ll need (serves 2-3):
- 1/2 cup of Frangelico, which is a hazelnut liquor
- 1/2 cup Brandy
- 2-3 tablespoons of hot cocoa mix to taste (I used the Aztec cocoa mix from Trader Joe’s)
- 2 cups of Almond milk
- In a small saucepan, combine the almond milk and cocoa powder. Stir until it’s well mixed.
- Stir occasionally for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a warm temperature, but make sure it doesn’t boil.
- Add in the Frangelico and brandy, stir and let it heat for another 3-4 minutes.
- Pour the drink into two mugs, serve with cookies, and enjoy!
The first time I met a steamy glass of mulled wine was through my friend Allie, who runs the delicious blog Brunch or Bust. I was hosting a holiday party, and she brought a bottle of Swedish Glogg with her. At the time, I’d never even heard of Glogg, let alone tried it. But I have to say that it quickly became one of my favorite go-to holiday drinks to serve. It’s super easy to make, and a wine-based alternative to cider.
Right now it’s starting to get cold in Los Angeles, and by “cold” I mean it’s in the 60s. (Don’t judge me!) Regardless, that’s just chilly enough to give me an excuse to make this drink to warm myself up.
Here’s what you’ll need, and get ready for this to be ridiculously easy and yummy:
Crock-Pot Mulled Wine:
- 1 bottle of fruity red wine (I use a Cabernet)
- 1/4 cup of brandy (this is optional, but I think it adds a nice kick)
- 1 large orange
- 3 whole sticks of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (Trader Joe’s has a nice one!)
- 1/4 cup of honey
- 8 whole cloves
- 3 star anise
- 6 whole allspice berries
- 3 coriander berries
- Set the Crock-Pot to low heat, and combine the wine, brandy, allspice, coriander, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, honey, cloves, and star anise. Stir until well combined.
- Slice the orange in half, and squeeze the juice into the pot. Then add one half of the squeezed orange into the pot.
- Let the ingredients simmer over low heat for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Keep the Crock-Pot on low for your party, and serve the mulled wine with gingerbread or other holiday treats!