Winter Is Coming I

The nights are getting longer, the days are getting colder and the sun only comes out whenever she likes. Just the right time to think about cocktails that warm you up in an instant. So make yourself comfortable, lean back and learn how to make the ultimate boozy treat for winter.

Hot alcoholic beverages have been around for ages and they never fail to lift people's spirits as the temperatures get lower each day. Since I woke up the past mornings just to see wonderful fog everywhere, I thought it might be time to prepare a nice hot drink and share it with everyone.

An added benefit of developing a hot cocktail is that it fits perfectly with my desire to use my Orange and Ginger Syrup. I wanted to bring you more recipes using the home-made syrups I shared earlier this year and now is the perfect time to do just that. Delicious orange with spicy ginger and sweet vanilla is a great way to combat cold days. And booze makes it more fun.

Better Than Tea

When I thought about a hot beverage suited for winter, I thought about something based on rum or wine. And indeed my first instinct was to use rum in combination with a flavorful syrup to prepare something nice, strong and warming. But then I saw something on my shelf and immediately wanted to use that instead of rum.

What was it? A bottle of Tatratea! A while ago, when I saw the colorful line-up of Tatratea bottles they offered in my local liquor store, I was a bit sceptical. Usually lots of glitter means there is less substance. But when I tried the herbal tea digestif I was pleasantly surprised. This is good stuff. So I ordered a bottle of the original to see what I could make with it. And now is the time for my first cocktail based on the original Tatratea.

Along with some alcoholic tea and the great warm flavors of orange, ginger and vanilla, I needed something healthy and acidic to take out a bit of sweetness and provide some vitamin C. Lime juice does just that and as it is a bit more gentle than lemon juice, keeps this cocktail more mellow. I can see this cocktail working with lemon juice, so feel free to try it yourself.

And then all that you need to do is add hot water and you get something really tasty.

![Tender Tatra Tea](/content/images/2015/11/tendertatratea.jpg)

Tender Tatra Tea

Pour the Tatratea, syrup and lime juice into a heat proof glass and top with hot water. Stir everything thoroughly, garnish with a lime wedge and serve immediately. You can strain the lime juice to get rid of the pulp, but I prefer it a bit more rustic and a bit of pulp suits this cocktail pretty well.

As the name might suggest it is a very gentle cocktail, pleasant to drink. The original Tatratea with 52% ABV can deliver quite a punch, but here I decided to tame it. Orange and ginger are used to create a comfortable beverage, like a slightly sweetened tea. Right after you notice the orange and Tatratea, you get subtle notes of ginger and of course lime, which rounds out the experience. And don't forget the warm feeling in your belly after taking a sip. Quite relaxing.

No doubt this will warm you up from the inside. If you like it a bit stronger I suggest adding more Tatratea. Using less water will make this drink a bit too sweet. Be careful not to drink too many Tender Tatra Teas. They go down easy, but so will you if you don't restrain yourself from having one too many.

Brace Yourself, Winter Keeps Coming

Unfortunately I only have time this week to bring you one new cocktail. But don't despair: There will be more tasty hot drinks in the future! Maybe I will combine the next part of this planned series with my idea for this month's Mixology Monday, that way I could continue right next week.

But since I have so many crazy ideas floating around, I need a bit more time (there are still boxes to be unpacked – ahhh!) to bring them to you. So maybe next week will be something cold and refreshing again. No matter what I decide to bring you next week, I shall make it tasty. Until then stay tuned via Twitter or subscribe via mail.

Title image via pixabay.

Pete Barmeister

Pete is a German hobby mixologist always trying to find new ways to mess around with alcohol. When not researching articles he's always on the lookout for new things to drink.