For alcohol, I’m usually a wine-and-beer girl. This time of year, though, I want even my alcohol to be warm. And if there’s no mulled wine available*, my need for warmth usually means moving into hard alcohol territory. Life is hard.

Luckily, warm apple cider is wondrously amenable to spiking. I’ve recently been enjoying it in these two ways: (1) with a serious punch of bourbon (members of my book club asked if I was trying to kill them); and (2) with the gentler and subtler addition to Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, which is replacing St. Germain elderflower liqueur as my cocktail obsession. Either one is an excellent solution for a cold winter’s night.

*I’ve had mulled beer, too, and do not recommend it.

Hot buttered bourbon and cider
From Epicurious

2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
3/4 cup bourbon
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Ground nutmeg

Bring first 5 ingredients to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat; cover and let steep 15 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons chilled butter to saucepan; bring to simmer. Remove from heat. Stir in bourbon and lemon juice. Strain into large measuring cup. Divide hot cider among 4 mugs. Cut 1 tablespoon butter into 4 pieces. Add 1 piece to each mug. Sprinkle nutmeg over.

Serves 4.

Cider cocktail with ginger liqueur
From The Kitchn

2 ounces Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
a shot of dark rum or whiskey (optional, if gentle isn’t your thing)
2 ounces fresh apple cider
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
cinnamon stick for optional garnish

Simmer cider in a small saucepan on the stove (add a cinnamon stick if desired). Add fresh lemon juice and Domaine de Canton and continue to heat briefly. Pour into a small cup or mug.

Serves 1.

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