Nearly 10 years ago I was lucky enough to get a publishing contract with Chronicle Books out of San Francisco for a hot drinks cookbook. The result was “Some Like it Hot: 50 Drinks to Warm Your Spirits” which I co-wrote along with my dear friend, Holly Burrows. We had such fun developing those recipes from her kitchen in San Francisco and from mine in Chicago, with my then 1-year old banging pots and pans, and my husband, David, standing in for taste tester for the alcoholic drinks when I was pregnant with baby #2. Even 10 years later I find myself going back to that book when it’s cold and chilly outside, which could be most any day in London:)
My absolute favorite recipe in the book is for Pear Ginger Toddies. It’s smooth and sweet but with a bit of ginger kick. You could make it without alcohol for an anytime drink – it cooks up in less than 10 minutes. My kids love it for something warm after school. But it’s best served with the spiced rum….spiced yum! Make a batch of these to serve to your arriving guests on Thanksgiving or anytime you’re entertaining during the autumn and winter. A garnish of candied ginger fancies it up a bit. You can make the candied ginger yourself (instructions follow the drink recipe) or buy it at most grocery stores.
So sip something warm and raise your spirits during these cold, dark days of winter!
Pear Ginger Toddies (serves 4)
2 cups (475 ml) pear juice or pear nectar
4 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/3 cup (80 ml) spiced rum
Candied ginger on skewers for garnish (see “Candied ginger instructions” below)
Combine the pear juice, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and using a fork, remove the cloves. Add the spiced rum and stir to combine. Pour into 4 Irish coffee glasses (or similar tempered glasses, tea cups or coffee mugs). Garnish with the candied ginger skewers and serve.
Candied ginger instructions: Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until boiling, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add 1/2 cup peeled, thinly sliced ginger root, reduce heat to low, and simmer until translucent, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain, reserving the ginger. Using a fork, shake off any excess water, dredge the ginger in sugar, and gently shake off any excess sugar. Cool completely for using. Whatever you don’t use for the Pear Ginger Toddies makes a great holiday gift or can be used for baking (goes particularly well with ginger cookies, banana bread and homemade granola bars).
Adapted from Some Like it Hot by Holly Burrows and Katie Walter