Throwing a New Year’s bash on a budget? A punch is a great option to keep your alcohol costs down. Below are some festive holiday punches to help ring in the new year!
CREDITS & PHOTOS: Emily Fleischaker @ BuzzFeed
Emily Fleischaker @ BuzzFeed Tips & How-To Guide:
You could definitely swap out the vodka for bourbon, use coconut milk instead of evaporated milk, and regular hot chocolate mix if you can’t find caramel hot chocolate.
ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 4 hours, 30 minutes
Makes 40 Jello Shots
Fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
5 apples (Granny Smith work best)
1/2 cup water
1 envelope caramel hot chocolate mix (Nestle or Land o Lakes; regular hot chocolate is ok too; each envelope is about 1 oz.)
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup caramel sauce
1 envelope unflavored knox gelatin
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup vodka
Cut the apples in half lengthwise. Using a melon baller, scoop out the inside of the apples, taking care to create a shell of even thickness. Set apple halves into cups of a muffin pan and squeeze or brush lemon juice onto cut apples to reduce browning. Place in fridge until filling is ready.
Make filling: In a medium saucepan, combine water with hot chocolate mix and whisk until the cocoa dissolves. Add evaporated milk and caramel sauce and whisk again to combine. Sprinkle gelatin onto mixture evenly and allow to sit about 2 minutes. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally, until it just reaches a gentle simmer — this is to ensure gelatin is fully dissolved.
Add sugar and simmer gently for about a minute. Turn off the heat and let mixture cool to warm. Add vodka. Transfer to a container with a spout.
Fill each apple cup with caramel jello mixture. Refrigerate a few hours or overnight.
To serve, place apples flesh-down (Jello down) on cutting board. Cut lengthwise in half, then in half again. Trim off any brown parts with a paring knife. Serve immediately. (The lemon juice can only prevent the browning for so long).
CREDIT: Adapted from That’s So Michelle
6. We used a pastry brush because we were being fancy / shooting a video. But it’s a good way to make sure they’re really coated.
Be generous with the lemon juice – it’s a nice flavor and you want to coat the apple as much as possible .
7. In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup water with an envelope of hot chocolate mix, and whisk until the cocoa dissolves.
11. After it has soaked a few minutes, heat the mixture over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally, until it just reaches a gentle simmer — this is to ensure gelatin is fully dissolved.
14. Transfer to a container with a spout. Make sure the apple cups are level before you beging to pour.
It’s starting to cool down outside so how about warming up with a hot n’spicy cocktail? From Jamaican Jerk Bitters to Valentina Hot Sauce, three Chicago restaurants have added a kick to their new fall cocktail menus that might make you leave those mittens behind…
“Simulacrum” available at Sable Kitchen & Bar (111 N. State Street) courtesy of Bartender Fred Sarkis
- 2 oz Blanco Tequila
- ¾ oz Caffe Moka
- Barspoon Sambuca
- 2 Dashes Bitter End Jamaican Jerk bitters
- Stir and serve up
“Evil Ways” available at South Water Kitchen (225 N. Wabash Avenue) courtesy of Bartender Sarah McComber
- 3 oz Metropolitan Krankshaft Kolsch Ale
- 3 oz Red Pepper Puree
- ½ oz Agave Tequila
- 1 oz Valentina Hot Sauce
- ¾ oz Worcestershire Sauce
- ¾ oz Lemon Juice
- Dash of Salt
- Dash of Pepper
“Hott & Dirty” available at Encore Liquid Lounge (171 W. Randolph Street) courtesy of Bartender Jason Davis
- 1 oz Olive Juice
- ½ oz Tabasco Sauce
- 3.5 oz Vodka
- Shake and serve in martini glass
And if you prefer a little whiskey to keep you warm, 312 Chicago recently added a new Barrel-Aged Cocktail Program that debuts a different bourbon beauty every month. For the month of November, the Italian restaurant will feature a “Barrel-Aged Boulevardier” :
- 1.5 parts Bourbon/Rye Blend from High West
- ½ part Carpano Antica (or other sweet Vermouth)
- 1.5 parts Campari
Happy National Rum Day, Poor Girls!
National Rum Day is August 18th and to ring in this holiday, the following Chicago hot spots are serving up some delicious cocktails!
“Rum Emanuel” at Encore Liquid Lounge: Appleton Estates VX Rum, Cointreau, ginger liquor, pineapple and orange juice on the rocks with a pineapple wedge
“Point Taken” at Sable Kitchen & Bar: Banks rum, fresh pineapple, falernum, lime, crushed ice, Punt e Mes and mint
“Civil Disobedience” at South Water Kitchen: Plantation rum, Flor de Cana 4yr, pineapple gomme, chase elderflower, lemon juice, black tea and peychaud’s bitters
“Transfinite Induction” at Sable Kitchen & Bar: Plantation Barbados Rum, Apry, lemon, Allspice Dram and Angostura bitters
“Chicago Fizz” at Atwood Café : Banks 5 Island rum, port, lemon, simple syrup, bitters and soda
Now stop reading and start celebrating!
Celebrate the Kentucky Derby with this recipe for the staple Derby drink– The Mint Julep!
- 4 cups bourbon
- 2 bunches fresh spearmint
- 1 cup distilled water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Powdered sugar
To prepare mint extract, remove about 40 small mint leaves. Wash and place in a small bowl. Cover with 3 ounces bourbon. Allow the leaves to soak for 15 minutes. Then gather the leaves in paper toweling. Thoroughly wring the mint over the bowl of whisky. Dip the bundle again and repeat the process several times.
To prepare simple syrup, mix 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of distilled water in a small saucepan. Heat to dissolve sugar. Stir constantly so the sugar does not burn. Set aside to cool.
To prepare mint julep mixture, pour 3 1/2 cups of bourbon into a large glass bowl or glass pitcher. Add 1 cup of the simple syrup to the bourbon.
Now begin adding the mint extract 1 tablespoon at a time to the julep mixture. Each batch of mint extract is different, so you must taste and smell after each tablespoon is added. You are looking for a soft mint aroma and taste-generally about 3 tablespoons. When you think it’s right, pour the whole mixture back into the empty liter bottle and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours to “marry” the flavors.
To serve the julep, fill each glass (preferably a silver mint julep cup) 1/2 full with shaved ice. Insert a spring of mint and then pack in more ice to about 1-inch over the top of the cup. Then, insert a straw that has been cut to 1-inch above the top of the cup so the nose is forced close to the mint when sipping the julep.
When frost forms on the cup, pour the refrigerated julep mixture over the ice and add a sprinkle of powdered sugar to the top of the ice. Serve immediately.