Winter warmers

Inspired by the ethos that "fresh is best", Fiona McLaren has come up with a few drinks to warm the cockles of your heart.

After standing on the sidelines of a sportsfield for an afternoon or coming in after a brisk dusk walk, a warming tipple can take take the edge off the chill.

Otago Polytechnic hospitality lecturer Fiona McLaren says that using seasonal ingredients makes for an interesting drink and is cheaper than sticking to a summer recipe.

"I chose some fresh pineapple, tamarillos and Winter Nellie pears and grabbed some ginger and turmeric for good measure."

Spices are also a palate warmer and, when combined with seasonal fruit, they make for an excellent start to a winter's dinner party or gathering.

A quick word of warning though: always remove the fruit's labels before starting.


Spiced whisky tea


1 small orange
whole cloves
black tea (I prefer Earl Grey)
dash honey/or sugar
45ml whisky
1 cinnamon quill

Quarter the orange and stud the peel with cloves.

Steep your favourite black tea for a strong brew, add a generous teaspoon of sugar or a dash of honey to taste.

Add the orange and a cinnamon quill while still hot and leave for one minute.

Add 45ml whisky and stir with the cinnamon quill.

Note: I like to serve this drink in a wine glass or other glass as it is warm to the touch and visually appealing.
Tips: Studding the orange with the clove means you still get the flavour without the risk of chewing on a clove.

When pouring hot liquid into a glass, make sure you place a metal spoon in first to conduct the heat and not stress the glass.

Tamarillo tingle mocktail


1 cup ice
2 pears, peeled and cored
1 cup pink apple juice
3 tamarillos
lemonade to top up glass

Blend ice, pears and pink apple juice.

Pour juice blend over ice.

Remove the flesh of three tamarillo and lightly dice to smooth the consistency.

Spoon over the tamarillo (especially towards the edge of the glass) for visual appeal.

Top with lemonade.



Cardamon bourbon



Cardamon syrup
1 cup water
1/3 cup white sugar
12 cardamon pods
1 star anise
45ml your favourite bourbon
lime wedge

Bring all ingredients to the boil in a small saucepan. Cool and strain into a small jug or bottle.

Add ice to a glass, then add bourbon and 30mls of cardamon syrup.

Squeeze a generous lime wedge over the top to finish.


Winter G&T

This drink is a curious combination of refreshing and warm.


120ml vodka
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1 Tbsp fresh tumeric, finely grated
½ fresh pineapple, peeled and cored
250ml coconut water

kitchen blender
fine grater
glassware to suit

Add the ginger and tumeric to 120ml vodka and leave to infuse (the more you use, the spicier the infusion). Steep infusion for 2-3 hours and strain (I use a tea strainer).

Put pineapple and coconut water into blender and blitz, then pour evenly over ice into your desired glass. Stop 3cm from the top.

Add 30ml of the infused vodka to each glass (adding the vodka last gives a lovely marbled effect to the drink's appearance).

The result is a drink that is a curious combination of refreshing and warm.


Apple sour crumble


45ml Sourz Apple Schnapps
15ml amaretto
60ml lemonade

To serve
fresh lime
almond meal

Rim glass with lime and almond meal.

Add ice to glass. Pour over schnapps, amaretto and lemonade.

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