The VVC Cocktail Lounge: Hot & Spiked

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Yes, that’s an alcoholic beverage in my ultra-cheesy chipped mug. So it’s not very classy, but my name’s spelled right, and who doesn’t love rainbows? My chipped mug has stood by me for the past 30 years, and I always turn to it in times of need.

Alas, I am ill. Not horribly so, but I don’t want to do anything but watch marathons of hour-long dramas, curl up with a kitten, and drink hot stuff out of mugs. And while we all know old-timey cures are not the way to go today—see ya later, bloodletting, laudanum, and tapeworms—one I’m willing to give a shot is the warm cocktail.

Not having the energy or even desire to mull wine for an hour, I turned to my fall favorite, fresh apple cider. I sliced up a mandarin orange and added a few cloves and a couple of cinnamon sticks (sunken treasure!), warming the cider for maybe 10 minutes on very low heat. At the end I poured in one shot of brandy per 5-ounce serving of cider.

This could easily be made in a big batch for a group, maybe board-game night or an evening around a campfire…you know, something fun that normal, healthy people do.