I have a sad secret to share, my friends. For a long, long time, I hated the taste of whisky. This was due to several bad experiences with it in my younger years, and afterwards just the smell made me feel all squeamish and sad. It stunk because Jeremy is a huge whisky fan, and I saw how much he enjoyed the flavor and the long, slow sips of it, and I wanted to enjoy it like that, I really did, but I just couldn’t bring myself to appreciate the flavor of it. Then one day, something Scottish happened. My friend Sarah had just returned from a trip to Scotland and was telling us all about her adventures, one of which was all about the terrible jet lag she’d had. She got horribly sick about 3 days into her trip, and the kind Scottish folks she was staying with provided her with a steaming hot mug of what appeared to be milk. Wanting to appease them after they insisted she drink it, she gave it a go and was pleasantly surprised to find herself with a mouthful of cinnamon, whisky, and cream. Not only did it quell her upset stomach, but it carried her blissfully off to sleep.

 

Something about that combination really intrigued me, and I silently wondered if it might be my gateway into the world of whisky. So, I rolled up my sleeves and decided to try and recreate it. I used whole milk to ensure the liquor wouldn’t curdle the liquid, and simmered the milk with a cinnamon stick for a good while to infuse the flavor into the liquid. Then I added some Frangelico for a buttery, warm, nutty flavor, and to enhance the cinnamon. Then to tie it all together, I mixed in some good old Scottish whisky and topped it with a scoop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. The result was one of the most delicious, comforting, and cozy beverages I have ever had the luxury to imbibe. It was thick, creamy, smooth, and the cinnamon added a wonderful softly spiced dimension to it, and the Frangelico did an excellent job of lending its rich buttery flavors to the beverage as well. Drinking it made me feel like I was reclining fireside in a woodsy cabin, even though I was just huddling up in a blanket on my sofa in the city for warmth.

So if you’re looking for something warm and cozy to share with your family and friends (or just enjoy on your own), I couldn’t recommend this any more strongly. It really is one of those drinks that seems to transport you to another place and time when you drink it. Somewhere deep in the highlands of Scotland, where large fires roar in the hearths of old castles and giant hunting dogs curl up at your feet. Where large, broad-shouldered Scotsmen bring you piping hot mugs of milk and whisky and Frangelico, and all is right with the world.

 

 

Hot Buttered Hazelnut Whisky

Ingredients:
4 parts milk
1 cinnamon stick
2 parts whisky
1 part Frangelico
1 tablespoon whipped cream per individual serving
pinch of cinnamon (for garnish)

 

Bring the milk and cinnamon stick to a simmer in a thick-bottomed pot over low heat. Allow to gently simmer for 15 minutes, stirring constantly (if you don’t stir constantly, the milk on the bottom of the pan will start to cook onto it, and the next time you stir the pot little cooked milk bits will mix into the liquid. Not so fun.) Remove from heat, remove the cinnamon stick, and pour the milk into the serving glass. Add the whiskey and the Frangelico and stir to combine. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Serve immediately.

 

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