Irving Nachumsohn (inventor of the Crockpot) deserves a round of applause for making wintertime drinking easier.

By Sara Bruskin

 

Slow cookers are the quiet heroes of the kitchen. They’re not flashy or gimmicky; they just sit there and take care of business, leaving home chefs free to focus on the more high-maintenance elements of that night’s menu (looking at you, risotto). Frequently favored for set-it-and-forget-it dinners, slow cookers are also champions when it comes to hot cocktails. For parties, set one up on a sideboard with mugs and a ladle so guests can help themselves to a cup of hot cheer.

 

Pear Ginger Cider

INGREDIENTS

32 oz. pear juice

24 oz. apple cider

1 orange peel, sliced

1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced thin

10 dried cloves

5 dried allspice berries

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

3 sticks cinnamon

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

15 oz. spiced whiskey (we like local Longtucky Fire Whiskey, flavored with cinnamon
and ginger)

10 oz. ginger liqueur

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Add all ingredients through maple syrup to the slow cooker. (Optional: Use a spice bag for the solid ingredients to easily remove them after cooking.)

2. Cover and cook on high for 2–3 hours, or until hot.

3. Either leave solid ingredients in as garnish or use a small strainer to fish them out.

4. Mix in spiced whiskey and ginger liqueur or set the bottles out for guests to add to the hot mixture as desired.

5. Leave slow cooker on warm setting for serving.

 

Amaretto Eggnog Latte

INGREDIENTS

80 oz. coffee (16 cups by coffee maker units,
or 10 cups measured out)

1 quart eggnog

Cinnamon, to taste

Nutmeg, to taste

3 cups amaretto

Optional Garnishes:

Whipped cream

Shaved chocolate curls

Cocoa powder

INSTRUCTIONS

Brew coffee and pour it into the slow cooker. Add eggnog—some varieties contain more spice than others, so add cinnamon and nutmeg as needed. Cover and cook on high for 1-2 hours, or until hot. Mix in amaretto or set the bottle out for guests to add as desired. Optional: Use an immersion blender to froth up the mixture and give it that latte-like foam on top. Leave slow cooker on warm setting for serving.

 

Mulled Wine

INGREDIENTS

1 orange

2 bottles red wine

1 cup brandy

¼ cup maple syrup

6 cloves

3 cardamom pods

2 star anise pods

2 cinnamon sticks

Optional Garnishes:

Cranberries

Orange slices

INSTRUCTIONS

Cut large pieces of zest off the orange using a knife or a peeler—try to avoid the pith as much as possible. Juice the orange. Add orange zest and juice to the slow cooker, along with all other ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Leave slow cooker on warm setting for serving.

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