This is somewhat uncharacteristic, all this holiday spirit. I happily roll my eyes when it comes to other highly corporate, monetized holidays (Valentine's Day? I would never.), but Christmas seems to get me every time. Especially the part with the tree. I love Christmas trees. I would keep one in the house year-round if I could.
I'm going to blame my parents for this one (why not?). They always had a somewhat lackluster attitude towards Christmas trees. They were game for the rest of the Christmas thing, there were always stockings, and lights outside the house, and even Christmas cookies ... but their performance around Christmas trees has been a bit spotty.
One year, Dec. 23rd rolled around, and all the Christmas trees were sold out at the local lot. My father strung a rope across the living room and had us all decorate that instead. Other years, unsuspecting potted plants would get the treatment. So here I am, a decade later and the first guy at the tree lot.
Besides Christmas trees, the best thing about the Christmas has got to be the hot, boozy drinks. I have long been a fan of mulled cider with rum and hot toddies, and I am happy to add this recipe for hot buttered rum to the list. It is deliciously rich, spicy and warming. I may never go to bed sober again.
Even better, you can make up this recipe in advance and keep it in the fridge, adding a spoonful to some hot water and rum whenever the urge takes you (which may be often). I think I'm going to give this jar to my brother, along with a bottle of rum.
3 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp orange zest (optional)
1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and mix until the sugar has dissolved into the butter.
2. Pour the mixture into a jar.
3. Add one tbsp mix to a mug of hot water with 1 ounce of rum. If you're feeling fancy, add a cinnamon stick.