I originally wanted to post this yesterday, but then got distracted by being away from home, all cosy with an open fire in our little hideaway in North Yorkshire. My brain somehow doesn't seem to be able to process the fact it's entirely possible to write and post something whilst I'm outside of London. Somehow, when I'm up here, I seem to take a complete break from reality and slow right down to a near standstill. All my thinking revolves around meals, getting the fire going and how warm I need to wrap up for a walk. Right back to basics. That's not a bad thing though, especially at this time of the year, right?
So, about the food, or drink in this case. I'm usually a big mulled wine drinker. For me, mulled wine sums up everything I love about this time of the year and it reminds me of chilly evenings, wrapped up warm at Christmas markets with friends, the smell of sweet roasted almonds in the air and Christmas music being played on every corner. Sometimes these memories make me happy, sometimes they make me sad because I miss it...
Last week I decided I wanted to come up with my own seasonal drink. Something that would combine my favourite flavours into a sweet and slightly over-the-top festive hot drink for adults. I know that a 'après ski' drink in some alpine regions consists of hot Advocaat and whipped cream, but I wanted to give it a bit of a twist. The spices are the ones typically used for a Masala Chai, but are of course also commonly known in Christmas baking and cooking. So, this is a bit of a "Indian/Christmas" take on an alpine classic. I hope you like it.
You will need the following ingredients for 6-8 people:
- 1 bottle of Advocaat
- 500ml semi skimmed milk
- 1tbsp sugar cane syrup
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 whole cardamom pods, crushed
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 star anis
- whipping cream
And here's how it's done:
- pour the milk along with all the spices and the sugar syrup into a pan
- stir the spices in and bring to a simmer
- simmer for ten minutes to infuse the milk with all the flavours
- pour the hot milk through a sieve into a second pan
- add the Advocaat and stir until well combined
- bring to a very light simmer and take off the heat
- serve into cups and top with a generous dollop of whipped cream
- grate a little fresh nutmeg on top and add a cinnamon stick to serve