If you ask us, then the Edible Brooklyn Cookbook is something you can whip off your shelf during any time of year. With recipes like cornmeal buckwheat pound cake and pickled herring and potato salad with crème fraîche and dill, it’s the type of book that rolls with the changing seasons.
That’s great and all, especially now since holiday cooking is in full swing. Our annual drinks issue just hit the streets and is chock full of local syrups, coffees, bitters and more to inspire you during these colder months. Our cookbook is out and about, too, with place-based recipes that represent some of the best of our borough’s food culture.
Let us attest that the following recipes, along with many others in the Edible Brooklyn Cookbook, are the remedy for any cold winter evening, or any stifling summer day, for that matter.
Christmas in a Cup — From Alie Shaper, owner/winemaker at Brooklyn Oenology
12 whole allspice berries
12 whole cloves
1 whole nutmeg seed
15 large cinnamon sticks
¼ cup dried lemon and/or orange zest, roughly chopped
2 bottles red wine, preferably cabernet franc or cabernet sauvignon
¼-⅓ cup dark brown sugar
Inexpensive brandy or rum (optional)
1. Crush the allspice, cloves, nutmeg and 5 of the cinnamon sticks into smallish pieces in a mortar and pestle or with a rolling pin and mix with the dried citrus peel. Bundle the mixture up in a small piece of cheesecloth and tie it at the top, making a sachet.
2. Pour the wine into a medium pot over medium-low heat. Heat slowly until the wine begins to steam, but do not let the wine come to a boil. Turn off the heat and add brown sugar to taste. Stir to dissolve the sugar completely, and add the bag of spices. Let rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
3. Remove the spices when the mixture is flavored to your taste. Warm the mixture and serve as is, garnished with a cinnamon stick, or pour an ounce of brandy or rum into the bottom of a cup or mug, and then ladle in the spiced wine to fill the glass.
Fox’s U-Bet Egg Cream — From Kelly Fox, executive vice president of H. Fox & Co., Inc., makers of U-bet chocolate syrup
Makes 1 egg cream
U-bet chocolate syrup
1. Spoon 1 inch of U-bet chocolate syrup into a tall, straight-sided 8-once glass. Add 1 inch of whole milk.
2. Pour in seltzer to just below the top of the glass. Stir gently, drink, and enjoy.