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Recipes: Hot Hooch

1194923_57256030I religiously consult the ‘Going up – Going down’ section of the Sunday Times style magazine to keep abreast of what’s hip and what’s not. Naturally I don’t follow any of their advice but reading their checklist of what to wear, eat, listen to, buy and avoid is titillating stuff.

If I did follow their recommendations for this week, I would be wearing my boyfriends blazer, applying foil nail varnish, embracing cloud hair, listening to 6 music and drinking hot cocktails.

Well my husband would not be caught dead in a blazer, sadly my barnet is already frizzy without having to adopt the ‘cloud’ look, my nails are too short for foil to be added and I can’t pick up station 6. I can however drink hot cocktails.

Cocktails are not just confined to the sun-lounger but are also the ideal tipple for this pleasant but nippy March weather. There are a number of hot cocktail options and not just the usual hot whiskey and Irish coffee. This Hot Cranberry Toddy plays good cop/bad cop with your liver with the cranberry balancing out any damage done by the rum and this grown-up Vanilla Hot Chocolate is sure to make you all warm and fuzzy inside. Cheers.

Hot Cranberry Toddies

Servings: Four cocktails.


  • 4 tangerines
  • ½ cup whole cloves
  • 2½ litres pure cranberry juice
  • 2 cups sugar, or to taste
  • 3 cups amber rum


  1. Cut tangerines crosswise into quarter-inch-thick rounds and remove seeds.
  2. Stud rind of each tangerine round with 4 or 5 cloves.
  3. In a large saucepan simmer cranberry juice, tangerine rounds, and sugar, covered, 5 minutes and stir in rum.
  4. Serve toddies with clove-studded tangerine rounds in heatproof glasses.

Adult-only Vanilla Hot Chocolate

Servings: Four cocktails.


  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup vanilla syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 160g white chocolate, chopped
  • 60ml white chocolate liqueur
  • 60ml Triple Sec
  • Marshmallows for garnish


  1. Pour milk, vanilla syrup and salt into a medium-size saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture is hot. Do not boil.
  2. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds to the saucepan.
  3. Add the white chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Don’t rush this step by turning up the heat, or the white chocolate may seize. Stir in the liqueurs and blend.
  4. Pour the hot chocolate into four mugs and serve immediately, topped with marshmallows.

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