When I woke up this morning it was 16 degrees at my home only five miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico.
“Sweet 16.” That’s what I was thinking…
Nope. I lied. IT’S WAAAAY TOO COLD for this Deep Southern boy! That being said, this cold weather does bring to mind a few flavors and culinary opportunities that
I don’t usually get to enjoy. One of those is soups, and the other is cocktails. Warm cocktails in particular.
A warm cocktail on a cold night are a match made in heaven. And this particular recipe was created on the fly over an invitation to come visit our neighbor’s fire pit. I call the cocktail “Fire Pit” because it’s designed to warm you up, from the inside out. And it does.
I’ve made this cocktail now with both 100 proof Heaven Hill Bottled in Bond bourbon as well as Weller Special Reserve. To my tastes, you’ll want to use a stronger proofed bourbon for this recipe or change the ratio a bit to your taste. I think it gets too sweet otherwise.
Also, as with any cocktail, the preparation method is as important as the ingredients. In this case, we aren’t doing any fancy bar maneuvers, and there is no special bar equipment required. This is good ole boy cocktail making at its most extreme, and somehow I’m guessing you’re going to be excited to skip the complication and just enjoy a good drink.
So here’s permission: grab your favorite coffee mug and make this happen. Because, after all, you’re about to go hang out at the neighbor’s fire pit.
Let’s get started:
Start with the apple juice and Hot Southern Honey stirred in your mug. AR’s Hot Southern Honey is a delightful ingredient that was shared with us a few months ago, and we’re realizing all sorts of uses for it. This really well balanced light honey features the perfect infusion of heat to warm the back of your mouth. Stir the honey into the juice in your mug and microwave the mixture for about a minute until it’s piping hot.
Mix again with a cinnamon stick. And two twists of black pepper from your pepper grinder.
Stir in the bourbon and Bittermilk grapefruit bitters, all using your cinnamon stick. And that’s it. Cheers to the Fire Pit Cocktail!
I’ve also served it with a dash of ground cinnamon on top in lieu of the cinnamon stick, and that was equally well received. The resulting cocktail is one where the sweet of the juice and honey melds with the peppers, bitters and warmth of the bourbon to make a comforting, approachable, easy drinking fireside sipper.
Finally, I’ll mention that it’s easy to make a small batch of this for four cocktails and keep it hot in a well-insulated thermos or a 32 oz Yeti Tumbler. Your friends will thank you.
Now get out there and enjoy the Fire Pit – even if you’re inside.
Fire Pit Cocktail
When the weather turns frightful, grab a mug and cozy up with a soothing winter cocktail. Our The Fire Pit recipe combines bourbon with warm honey, apple cider, and spices.
- 6 oz Apple juice or cider
- 2 oz bourbon
- 1 oz Bittermilk grapefruit bitters
- 1 Tablespoon AR's Hot Southern Honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Freshly ground black pepper
Stir together juice and honey.
Warm to piping hot.
Add two twists of ground black pepper and stir in bourbon and bitters with cinnamon stick.