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The Perfect Drinks to Pair With Your Fall Cookout

by Jessica Klein on Oct 9, 2015 in Culture

Just because the summer has ended doesn’t mean it’s time to take your grill out of commission. As long as there isn’t snow on it, the grill must be used.

Still, it’s time to change your BBQ tune from hot dogs, hamburgers, and cold summer ales to something more chilly weather appropriate.

Start by readying some steak, the last of the fresh summer corn, and adorn some skewers with shrimp. A hearty meal will keep you warm inside after spending time grilling outside. Don’t be shy when it comes to garlic and pepper.

Before those go on the grill, you’ll need to prepare some hot, alcoholic beverages to warm your hands with while you stand around, waiting for the grill to work its magic. We’ve got a couple, classic options…and some less traditional ones to try out.

Mulled Wine
When you’re making mulled wine, the number one rule is: Don’t boil the wine! To avoid such a mistake, first bring a concoction of about two cups water, 1/2 a cup of sugar, a whole sliced orange, two teaspoons of cinnamon, and another of cloves and other spices of your choice to a boil--slowly. Let it simmer for several minutes, pour in your bottle of red wine, and heat it up again. Once the mix has almost reached a boil, you can serve it up to your guests.

Bermuda Blacks
For a cooler option that still brings the spice, amp up your Dark ‘n Stormy game by letting a dark, cold-weather beer provide the carbonation. A Bermuda Black calls for ginger juice instead of ginger beer, or ginger simple syrup if you really want to impress your guests. To make ginger simple syrup, get a couple of large ginger roots to chop up, and mix those with two cups of sugar and two cups of water.

Now, it’s time to add the alcohol. Here, you can let loose. Add a couple of different kinds of rum, the darker, the better, and then pour in the beer. A Brooklyn black chocolate stout will do the trick.

Spiked Hot Apple Cider
If you’re feeling less elaborate and just want to stick with the basics, apple cider and whiskey is really all you’ll need. Boil the former in a tea kettle or a pot, and add the whiskey after the cider’s gotten a chance to warm for a bit. You should, at the very least, add some cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg.

If you want to get a little fancier, add actual sticks of cinnamon (about 1/2 to one per cup) and opt for the maple-flavored whiskey. Feel free to experiment with a few splashes of apple brandy and orange juice. When it comes to orange juice, put in about a tenth of the amount of the apple cider you’re adding it to.

Alcoholic Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Get over yourself, Starbucks. Pumpkin spiced beverages can be made in one’s own home…mainly thanks to pumpkin spice flavored Kahlua.

Yup, that’s a thing, and a tasty thing, at that. A recipe for this that works particularly well involves equal amounts of pumpkin spice Kahlua, regular Kahlua, pumpkin puree, and half and half. Add some vanilla (you can be fairly liberal, here, but I rarely follow exact measurements) and top it off with whipped cream and cinnamon.

If you want to make this hot, opt for actual hot coffee, then add the pumpkin spice Kahlua (to taste). Stir in your dairy (whole milk, preferably) and top with whipped cream as desired.

Okay, so shrimp and pumpkin spice lattes may seem a little bit at odds, here, but we’re in a transition season, people! Have some fun with it. But really, now that your steak is done, you can go back inside to eat it.

Mulled wine photo via Flickr user rpavich; Apple cider photo via Flickr user Brown Eyed Baker


Tags: Beer, Cocktails, Food, Wine
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