The Poisoned Martini whips up a new creation for this week’s Friday Cocktail. Perfect for cold winter nights and apropos for January 6th, it’s the Twelfth Night cocktail.
In Shakespeare’s time, the Tweflth Night marked the last bout of merrymaking before the long, cold winter settled in. One of Shakespeare’s most famous and popular comedies, Tweflth Night, is named after such celebrations.
In pagan times, winter celebrations, such as Saturnalia celebrated by the Romans, often began with the winter solstice on December 21st. With the advent of Chrisitianity, the yuletide celebrations would begin on December 25th and extend for twelve days until the 6th of January (Epiphany). The eve of Epiphany (January 5th) is generally considered the Tweflth Night.
This original recipe was inspired by Tweflth Night celebrations. Mulled wine and wassail bowls, apples and ale, were just some of the commonly served items that help decide some of the ingredients for this holiday cocktail.
What you’ll need: Gin, Cointreau, Apple Cider, and Red Wine with spices.
Choose your favorite red wine to spice. In a saucepan, pour one cup of wine. Add two teaspoons of cinnamon. Add a teaspoon or two of sugar if you’ve used a particular dry wine. Optionally, add a teaspoon of nutmeg and/or cloves to suit your taste. Add 1 cup of apple cider and a slice or two of orange (with the peel). Bring to a bowl.
In either a wine or cocktail glass—or a mug—pour in 1 ounce of gin and 1/2 ounce of cointreau (or triple sec) per glass. Then fill with your wine and cider mixture. (The proportions above yield 2 servings.) Optionally, garnish with a slice of orange or a twist of orange peel. Serve warm.
How I like it: I prefer to use sweeter red wines, but a cabernet or a blend serve nicely. The most important spice to add is cinnamon. That’s a must. The others really depend on taste. Sugar really isn’t necessary, in general, but nutmeg and even ginger can vary the flavor. The choice of spices is where you can make the drink your own.
I really hope you enjoy this original creation—a first for The Poisoned Martini; there may be others in the near future. Let me know what you think!
Merry Twelfth Night! And, as always, drink responsibly!