Weekend Kitchen: Favorite fall drinks


By Julia Westhoff

The crisp air on your cheeks, the crunch of leaves underfoot and a fall beverage warming your insides – doesn’t that sound divine? Enjoying a warm drink on a cold day is one of my favorite simple pleasures. It can be hard to get the girls out of the house in chilly weather, but the promise of hot cocoa or wassail in the thermos usually does the trick. And more adult versions of hot cocoa, such as hot buttered rum, can really hit the spot when tailgating or hiking. This weekend I encourage you to pull out your hat and rain boots and fill your trusty Stanley Thermos with something celebratory and autumnal.

Hot Buttered Rum (serves 4)
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch salt
3/4 cup spiced rum
2 cups boiling water

Using an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl until blended and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl or large measuring cup. Add the rum and then 2 cups of boiling water. Stir until mixture dissolves.

Wassail (serves 4)
2 quarts apple cider
1-1/2 cups orange juice
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
Dash ground cinnamon

In a large saucepan, combine all of the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Discard cinnamon sticks.