First, we skied.
Then, we had drinks.
Meanwhile, we were freezing.
Pro Tip: Check the weather before you go and maybe, just maybe, plan to après indoors on frigid days in mid-February at 10,000 feet.
Still, despite requiring hours of heat and hot tubs to warm up après the après, the drinks (and company!) were excellent.
Add Port and Chocolate to Your Warm Wine
The addition of luscious, ruby red Fonseca BIN 27 Port and Mexican powdered hot chocolate to hot wine was revelatory.
This is a winner for three reasons:
1. Because we are always looking for excuses to add chocolate to our daily diet. Chocolate with every meal sounds fantastic, especially when we’re hungry during ski season.
2. Because we like sipping Port, although we rarely do it. Good port tastes good, especially with chocolate. Did I mention I love chocolate?
3. Because we enjoy hot wine, gluwhein, mulled wine, whatever you want to call it, although, again, we rarely drink it.
Although it hurt just a little to adulterate this smooth-sipping port with spices, red wine, citrus and chocolate, the results were oh-so-tasty.
Plus, as we all agreed, the bright taste of the port smoothed the tannic wine, resulting in a mellow drink with no sharp edges.
Spiked Chocolate and Orange Mulled Port
Recipe courtesy Drinking with Chickens, modified slightly by me
- 1 750ml bottle of Fonseca BIN 27 Port
- 1 750ml bottle of dry red wine
- 2 cups fresh orange juice, strained to remove pulp
- 1/2 cup Triple Sec
- 1/4 cup powdered Mexican hot chocolate mix (or another bittersweet dark hot chocolate mix)
- 2 small oranges, halved for mulling
- 2 small oranges, sliced for garnish
- 2 cinnamon sticks for mulling
- 6 cinnamon sticks for garnish
- 6 cardamom pods (don’t have pods, just sprinkle in some cardamom)
- 1 nutmeg seed (don’t have seeds, just sprinkle in a tiny bit of nutmeg)
- 4 cloves
In a large saucepan, combine port, wine, orange juice, orange liqueur, hot chocolate mix, the 2 halved oranges, 2 cinnamon sticks, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir thoroughly to combine and dissolve chocolate, then bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes. When you are ready to serve, spoon liquids into your mug/glass, and garnish with a fresh orange slice and cinnamon stick.
More Hot Drinks with Port
We haven’t tried these, but they do sound good. Fonseca recommends using Croft Reserve Tawny Port for these two recipes.
Introducing the TrailKeg
If the mulled port was a better choice on a cold wintery day, the TrailKeg is a year-round winner.
A pressurized beer growler, it’s a portable way to transport 5 beers without any recycling to carry home.
Fill the TrailKeg growler at your favorite brewery, pressurize it and then tap it when you’re ready to drink.
Handy videos show everything from how to set up the TrailKeg, pressurize it, tap it, clean it and more. And this is really good, because we found it a bit confusing the first time out.
Filling it was easy. But the pressurization process was a bit trail-and-error, with emphasis on trial and less on error. While the videos helped, there was no substitution for diving in and doing it.
Once we overcame our initial trepidation, the tap flowed and the fun followed.
A winter-warmer the TrailKeg is not, but for post-fun beers on any sunny day, whether you’re skiing, hiking, biking or camping, it’s a useful addition to your party arsenal.
And, if you plan ahead better than us and use reusable cups, you can cut your disposable waste significantly.
To facilitate this post I received a 375ml bottle of Fonseca BIN 27 Port and a TrailKeg. All opinions are my own and are exactly what I would tell my friends and family.
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