Winter drinks

The weather is decidedly colder around Minnesota this week, and we’ve even seen a few snowflakes in the air. With the turn to winter also comes the change in what we tend to eat and drink. In particular, my drinks of choice in the winter take on a much different feel than the rest of the year.

Obviously, I don’t abandon beer in the winter months, but I do change up the styles I go for. It’s pretty typical for winter beers to be darker and heavier, and that’s true for my preferences as well. However, I also try to find beers that go beyond just dark and even more dark. In the winter I like to find beers that are more malt heavy, even if they’re not a blacked out stout or IPA. Some of the Scottish ales, and British milds fit the bill nicely for me in the winter time. I want some body and heft in my beer as the temp drops.

Winter also finds me seeking out more red wine to imbibe. I’m not a huge fan of white wine, and so I rarely drink much wine in the summer. Once the temps start dropping, I always need to keep a few bottles around the house. I’m not nearly the wine snob that I am a beer snob, and my favorite red wines tend to be inexpensive red blends. A good friend introduced me to Red Truck wine many years ago, and I try to pick that up whenever I can find it. I’ve recently found some other good blends such as Kenwood, Apothic and a very unique one called Black Ink. I do have to be careful however, as too much wine tends to give me a headache the next morning (maybe the sulfides?) in a way that beer doesn’t.

Finally, in the winter I turn to a couple of old friends, Mr. Kahlúa and Mr. Baileys. I love spiking my hot chocolate with these two, making a warm drink just a bit warmer. I have a very nice glass mug that I received as a gift from a local brewery on the occasion of our wedding, and it’s a perfect sized container for this smooth concoction. I can also choose how much alcohol I want to add to the drink, so if I just want a little extra warmth I can cut back on how many shots I put in. For those wondering, I try to equal out the Kahlúa and Baileys portion, but if you like one over the other it’s all about taste preference.

That’s what I’ll be drinking in the coming months. Winter has arrived, and my tastebuds are ready for the new season!

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