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Rosy Cheek


This alcoholic beverage (which can easily be non-alcoholic), is a combination of white hot chocolate and the Latin American Rompope drink; an eggnog-style beverage made from almonds. This recipe is only slightly adapted from the book "Winter Cocktails" by Maria Del Mar Sacasa.

My S.O. and I lived in Hawaii for 4 years and therefore we are just so unused to the bitter winter (even though it's been fairly mild and in the 40s-50s). Last winter I basically hibernated because I was pregnant and actually scared that the cold was going to hurt my baby R in some way. I literally curled up under a blanket for the winter. This year, however, we wanted to be extra wintery festive for baby! No, she did not partake in this cocktail. Once you start getting into the spirit, anything that screams winter you'll do! But being festive gets my least favorite season out of the way! Huzzah!

This drink incorporates white chocolate, macadamia nuts, pink peppercorns, and some rum (yes I understand the picture has tequila in it, I put the wrong bottle haha but I'm sure you could use some of that too!). I mean what!? It's wintery yet island-ey which I love and truth be told I've been missing some macadamia nuts in my life since moving back to the east coast. This recipe also called for A LOT of rum. Seeing as how I am a baby when it comes to alcohol, I'm halving what the original calls for and I highly suggest adding it in afterwards instead of mixing it into the whole bunch. This way you can adjust accordingly. I think by 9 p.m. S.O. was just about passed out on the floor after 3 small glasses and the rest of mine.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup roasted and salted macadamia nuts

3 tblsp granulated sugar

4 cups whole milk

1 tblsp whole pink peppercorns, crushed

6 oz white chocolate, finely chopped

Pinch of salt

2 tblsp fresh lemon juice

3 oz white rum, optional (can always increase later)

Instructions:

1. Pulse nuts and sugar in a food processor until finely ground.

2. Bring milk and peppercorns to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes.

3. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard solids. Return milk to a saucepan and stir in nut mixture. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to medium-low.

4. Stir in white chocolate and salt and cook, stirring, until chocolate is completely melted.

5. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. If you find the mixture is too chunky for taste (this will depend on how well you pulsed the nuts in the food processor), you can strain the entire mixture again.

6. Add in rum to taste and serve warm. Enjoy!

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