Drinks, food

Warm up this winter with hot chocolate cocktails

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Why venture outdoors this winter when you can curl up and indulge in a hot drinking chocolate and fine brandy cocktail? To ensure that you survive the worst of winter in style, Distell commissioned renowned cocktail specialist Owen O’ Reilly to create three hot chocolate cocktails or, as he likes to call them, hot choctails. Fine potstill brandy and quality dark chocolate always make a great pairing. Using the award-winning Van Ryn’s Vintage 10 Year Old and Distillers Reserve 12 Year Old brandies with Nomu’s latest range of premium hot drinking chocolate, these recipes promise the most decadent accompaniment to a chilly winter evening. After recently getting to sample a few delicious hot choctails ourselves, we've chosen our two favourites for you to make at home.

1. Van Ryn’s coco-choco wine

hot choctails Ingredients 25ml spiced wine syrup* 50ml Van Ryn’s Distillers Reserve 12 Year Old Brandy 50ml filter coffee 50ml fresh milk 50ml coconut milk 1t Nomu Decadent Hot Chocolate 1t Nomu Skinny Hot Chocolate *Wine syrup Add 1 cup red wine (Pinotage) and half a cup sugar to a saucepan. Add 1T Nomu Decadent Hot Chocolate and 2T cracked green cardamom pods. Stir while heating until all sugar dissolves. Add the skin of one orange, bring to a light simmer and reduce for about 10 minutes. Bottle and store in fridge for up to a week. (Makes 200ml.) Method Add all ingredients to a saucepan on the stovetop and heat while stirring constantly. Do not bring to the boil. Whisk or aerate the mixture before serving. Pour into a heat-proof wine glass and garnish with a toasted coconut marshmallow cluster.

2. Van Ryn’s pumpkin chocolate pie

hot choctails Ingredients 50ml Van Ryn’s Vintage 10 Year Old Brandy 35ml pumpkin purée* 2 heaped teaspoons Nomu Skinny Hot Chocolate Boiling water Whipped cream, for topping Nomu Vanilla Essence, to taste *Pumpkin purée Use any dessert pumpkin (butternut works well). Quarter pumpkin, remove seeds and place on a baking tray. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice (a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and dried ginger) and bake at 200ºC for an hour or until pumpkin is soft to the touch. While baking, make a spiced syrup. Place 300ml water, 200g sugar and 2 heaped teaspoons pumpkin pie spice in a saucepan on the stovetop, bring to the boil while stirring and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chunks of baked pumpkin (skin removed) to a blender or food processor and add the spiced syrup. Blend until smooth and strain through a fine strainer. Add a little water if the purée is too thick. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to three days. Method Pour brandy and pumpkin purée into a parfait glass. Add Nomu Skinny Hot Chocolate and stir to a paste. Add boiling water, leaving space for cream, and stir briskly. Top with whipped cream flavoured with vanilla essence, and garnish with pumpkin purée. Serve with a dessert spoon. Save