Rumtopf

The ingredients:
1. fresh fruit (approximately 1 pound)
2. sugar (approximately 1/2 pound)
3. Good quality (unflavored) dark rum to cover the fruit by 1 inch

It’s traditional to begin with the first fresh fruit of the new growing season. However, since many fresh fruits are now available all year round in supermarkets, you may begin the process at any time.

Start with your favorite fresh fruit. Choose fruit which is ripe (not over-ripe) and full of flavor.

Ideal fruits are:
Pineapple (remove rind & core and cut in large cubes)
Cherries (any variety, stemmed and pitted)
Apricots (halves, pitted)
Nectarines (halves, pitted)
Peaches (remove pits and cut in halves, quarters, or slices)
Pears (cored, peeled & sliced)
Plums (remove seed and half or quarter)
Grapes (sweet seedless red or green grapes are ideal)
Strawberries (don’t wash, just remove stem & leaves). Strawberries will soften and lose their bright red color as the soak up the rum.
Raspberries (don’t wash). Raspberries will lose some of their bright red color.
Red currants (removed from stem)
Gooseberries (remove stems)

The following fruits are not recommended but may be added if you insist:
Blackberries or Blueberries (they can be bitter and can discolor the other fruits)
Watermelon and Cantaloupe chunks (can make the mixture watery)
Rhubarb (can make mixture sour)
Bananas (too mushy)
Citrus (too acidic)
Apples (take on an odd texture)

Wash and dry the inside of the Rumtopf.

Wash and dry the first chosen fruit.

Remove any stems, seed and pits.

Place the one pound of fruit and a half pound of sugar into the Rumtopf.

Pour in enough rum to cover the fruit by at least one inch.

Cover the opening of the Rumtopf with tightly with plastic (to avoid evaporation) and place the lid firmly on top.

Store in a cool place away from heat and direct sunlight.

You may even store the Rumtopf in the refrigerator.

Every month add an additional layer of fruit:
For each additional layer of fruit follow the instructions above.

Throughout the summer, repeat the process for each new fruit layer until your Rumtopf is full.

If all the fruit you want to use is available on the same day, you may fill up the Rumtopf with layers of fruit and sugar and rum.

Then allow the entire mixture to sit for another 4 to 6 weeks. By all means feel free to “test” the fruit along the way for “Yumminess”.

Check periodically to make sure their is no extra fermentation taking place. If you see bubbles beginning to develop, you have fermentation. If this happens, add rum that is 151 proof to suppress the fermentation.

How to serve:
Serve the Rumtopf fruits with its syrup (hot or cold) over ice-cream, cake, flan, puddings, or cheese cake. Serve in an elegant dish topped with whipped cream or crème frâiche.

Serve as a side dish with any game meat.

Serve the strained liquid as a liquor or after-dinner cordial.

Add two tablespoons of the strained liquid to Champagne for a unique and elegant cocktail.
Lay some of the warmed fruit onto a thin crepe-like pancake and roll up. Add whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Vin d’Orange

3 tangerines or oranges
2 lemons or grapefruit, or one of each
1 1/2 cups sugar
Half a vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Cinnamon stick
2 liters rose
1 cup vodka
1/4 cup dark rum

Slice citrus in thick wheels and place them in a clean container (glass or hard plastic) with a wide mouth and a tight-fitting lid. Add sugar, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, rosé, and vodka.

Stir this well with a spoon (not wooden, as it may harbor bacteria that could inhibit fermentation) and fasten the lid. Keep the jar in the refrigerator, shaking occasionally to dissolve the sugar. After about 6 weeks, mix in 1/4 cup dark rum and strain everything through a fine strainer or several layers of cheesecloth. Store in bottles at a cool room temperature or in the refrigerator; it will last indefinitely. Lovely plain or mixed with sparkling wine or water.

Masala Chai

2 cups water
1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp. demerara sugar, to taste
2 tbsp. loose black tea, preferably a malty Assam

In a small saucepan, bring water, ginger, pepper, cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon to a boil. Add the milk and sugar to the pan and bring to a boil once again.

Remove pan from heat and add the loose black tea. Cover and let steep for at least 3 minutes (or longer, if you prefer a stronger brew). Strain the mixture into a warmed teapot or directly into teacups—or stainless steel tumblers, as the tea is traditionally served.

Rose Sangria

1 750-ml bottle chilled dry Spanish rosé
1/2 cup orange liqueur
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 orange, unpeeled, cut into thin rounds
4 apricots, pitted and cut into eighths
1 pint raspberries

Combine the rosé, liqueur and orange and lime juices in a large pitcher. Stir well, then add about 20 ice cubes. Add fruit, stir a bit and serve.

Grand Canyon Hot Cocoa Mix

2 cups Organic Valley dried milk (from Whole Foods)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup Valrhona chocolate powder (try Dean and Deluca or Sur la Table)
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey vanilla powder (another Sur la Table item)
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients. To get them especially well combined, sift ingredients and/or use a food processor.

Use 2-3 tablespoons per mug of hot chocolate. Dried milk sometimes tends to get claggy in boiling water, so it is best to either stop the water short or a full boil or let it cool slightly.

Cardamom Lassi

1 quart plain low-fat yogurt
6 to 8 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 large ice cubes
1 teaspoon ground cardamom

Spoon the plain yogurt into a blender. Add 6 tablespoons of the sugar to the yogurt. Add the ice and cardamom and blend until the yogurt mixture is smooth and frothy. Add up to 2 more tablespoons of sugar if you want a sweeter drink. Pour into tall glasses and serve cold.

Spice-Infused Milk

Milk
aromatics: Ginger, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Star Anise, Cardamom, Cloves, Nutmeg, Chiles

Heat milk with the spices and aromatics in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring once or twice, just until steaming. Cover pan, and let spices steep in milk for 1 hour. Strain, and reheat if necessary. Or refrigerate, covered, up to 3 days; reheat gently before using.

Ideas for using Spiced-Infused Milk:

Oatmeal: Infuse 2 cups whole milk with 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1 cinnamon stick, or the pod and seeds of half a vanilla bean. Add to oatmeal.

Swedish coffee: Steep 18 lightly crushed green cardamom pods in 2 cups whole milk. Add to coffee.

Hot chocolate: For spicy Mexican-inspired cocoa, infuse 2 cups whole milk with 1 or 2 dried chiles along with 1 cinnamon stick and the pod and seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean. Mix with cocoa.

Chai tea: Steep thinly sliced peeled fresh ginger (from a 1-inch piece), 6 whole cloves, 3 star anise, 18 lightly crushed green cardamom pods, and 2 cinnamon sticks in 2 cups whole milk. Mix with black tea.

Orange Rum Punch

2 cups fresh orange juice
1/2 cup orange liqueur
1/2 cup dark rum
2 (750-milliliter) bottles sparkling wine, chilled
Preparation

Stir together orange juice, orange liqueur, and rum in a medium bowl; cover and chill 1 hour. Pour mixture into a large pitcher or punch bowl, and top with chilled sparkling wine. Serve immediately.

Note from Southern Living: We tested with Cointreau orange liqueur and Asti Spumante sparkling wine.

Champagne and Eggnog Cocktail

1 ounce premium mixing rum, such as Ten Cane
1 ounce orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
1 ounce store-bought eggnog
Ice
2 ounces champagne
1 cinnamon stick, for garnish
Directions:

Combine the rum, orange-flavored liqueur and eggnog in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a champagne flute and add the champagne. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Sugar Plum Toddy

1/2 cup no-sugar-added cranberry juice, such as Ocean Spray 100% Juice (not pure cranberry juice)
1 ounce citrus-flavored vodka, such as Absolut Mandarin
1/2 ounce peppermint schnapps, such as Rumplemintz
1/2 ounce raspberry-flavored liqueur, such as framboise
1 thin candy cane, for garnish
1 orange peel twist, for garnish
1 gumdrop, for garnish

Heat the cranberry juice until it is steaming.

Combine the vodka, peppermint schnapps and raspberry-flavored liqueur in a brandy snifter or ceramic mug. Add the hot cranberry juice. Garnish with a candy cane, twist of orange peel or gumdrop.

Serve n a martini glass whose rim has been moistened with a wedge of orange and then dipped in a mixture of sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Hot Buttered Rum

For the butter:
1 pound light brown sugar
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1 to 2 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For each drink
1 1/2 ounces rum, preferably Mount Gay Eclipse
Boiling water, as needed

For the butter: Beat together the brown sugar, butter, spices and vanilla extract until well combined. Refrigerate in an airtight resealable container until ready to use.

For each drink: Combine 2 heaping tablespoons of the batter and the rum in a warmed coffee mug. Add boiling water to fill to the top, and mix well. Serve with a spoon.

Hot Gingered Rum

1/2 cup (4 ounces) hot water, just boiled, plus additional water to warm the mug
1 1/2 ounces dark rum, such as Gosling’s Black Seal
1/2 ounce ginger liqueur, preferably Domaine de Canton
Twist of lemon peel
Directions:

Warm a cup or mug with a little of the just-boiled water; swirl and discard.

Add the rum and ginger liqueur. Stir in the 1/2 cup of just-boiled water. Twist the lemon peel over the cup to release its oils, then drop it in.

Serve immediately.

Papaya Lassi

1 heaping cup fresh papaya, cut into rough chunks
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup whole milk
1 heaping tablespoon sugar, honey or agave (I used agave syrup)
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

Place all ingredients into a blender and pulse until combined. Pour into chilled glasses and refrigerate for a about 10 minutes before serving. Keeps well covered for about a day.

Note: This recipe is easily adaptable to most any fruit. You can use banana or mango with great results.

Mango Rose Water Lassi

2 cups diced ripe mango
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon rose water, more to taste
Pinch kosher salt

Combine the mango, yogurt, milk, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon rose water and salt in a blender. Purée until smooth. Taste and add more rose water if you like. Pour into 4 glasses.

Source: NY Times

Milk Punch

1 quart whole milk
1 cup half-and-half
1 1/2 cups bourbon, other whiskey or brandy
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish.


In a pitcher, combine milk, half-and-half, bourbon, sugar and vanilla and stir. Place in freezer until slushy, at least 3 to 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Stir well and serve in chilled glasses, sprinkled with nutmeg.

Wassail

6 cups apple cider
1 cup orange juice
4 cinnamon sticks, plus additional for garnish
6-8 whole star anise, plus additional for garnish
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of allspice
Juice of one lemon
Bourbon or whiskey (optional, but highly recommended)


In a large dutch oven, bring all of the ingredients to a low boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for a few hours. Serve hot; spike with bourbon/whiskey, if desired. Garnish with whole cinnamon sticks and star anise.