I'm not sure whether it's the beginning of tax season or the gray Pacific Northwest days we've been having lately, but many people I know have been a bit down. In line at the grocery store, I hear families dreaming up sunny vacations and faraway weekend plans. But for the rest of the week, for the slog that February can feel like, I have a small solution: The Winter Warmer Cocktail.
When I lived in California, we'd turn to Meyer lemons and other bright citrus for cocktails this time of year. In Seattle, citrus can be a little tougher to track down, but I recently discovered a new liquor that fills that void: Licor 43. This Spanish Licor has warm, citrus and vanilla notes, and is rumored to have been produced using 43 different fruits and herbs from the Mediterranean. Sipping it makes me think that sunny days aren't that far from sight. On its own, I find it a bit thick and syrupy, but paired with a clean, forward liquor like tequila (or gin would be nice, too) and a little citrus juice for brightness, a pretty special Midwinter Cocktail is born.
My boyfriend and I have more of a home bar than many, I realize, but it's something that makes us mutually happy so we often sock away a little extra money each month to buy a few new bottles. However, if that's not where your interest lies or if you have trouble tracking down Licor 43, you could substitue it for St. Elizabeth's Allspice Dram, Tuaca or a dark rum. And don't forget the big, blocky cocktail ice!
More About the Liquor: Licor 43
Find the Cocktail Ice Cubes! Crate and Barrel
The Midwinter Warmer Cocktail
2 ounces Licor 43
3 ounces tequila
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously. Place 1 cocktail ice cube in each old-fashioned glass and pour cocktail mixture into each. Enjoy.
(Images: Megan Gordon)
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