Yes, it’s going to be cold on Sunday, when the Vikings take on the Seahawks at TCF Bank Stadium.
The tough news for ticketholders is that the stadium’s rules are strict: Fans cannot enter with “beverages, beverage containers, or liquids (cans, bottles or boxes),” so that rules out a flask or Thermos filled with something designed to minimize the chill. But there’s always tailgating, right? At least for the brave.
For those watching the game in the comfort of heated indoor spaces, there’s nothing wrong with preparing – and enjoying -- a sympathy hot beverage. Here are a few recipes, some with alcohol, some without.
(Oh, and click here for our favorite classic hot chocolate formula. It's from Kopplin's Coffee in St. Paul. We keep it warm by enlisting our slow cooker. As for drinking spiked hot chocolate, Buzzfeed has all kinds of ideas -- 15, to be exact -- here.)
SPICED HOT CHOCOLATE
Note: From Epicurious.com. Star anise, a brown, star-shaped seedpod, is sold at Asian markets and some supermarkets.
6 c. whole milk
3/4 c. (packed) dark brown sugar
15 whole cardamom pods, crushed
12 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
2 whole star anise (see Note)
3/4 tsp. whole coriander seeds
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, brown sugar, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, coriander, nutmeg and red pepper and bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep 20 minutes. Return to medium heat, add cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Bring to simmer, whisking until blended. Strain hot chocolate through a fine-mesh strainer into 8-cup measuring cup; discard spices. Divide hot chocolate among 6 mugs and serve.
MULLED CRANBERRY MOCKTAIL
Note: From Marthastewart.com.
1 quart cranberry juice
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cranberry juice, cinnamon stick, and cloves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine cranberries, sugar, ground cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of water and cook, gently stirring, until the cranberries pop and are well coated with the sugar mixture. When cool enough to handle, thread 3 to 4 berries each on 4 decorative toothpicks or skewers. Pour the mulled cranberry juice among 4 mugs and garnish with the cranberry swizzle.
SALTY MAPLE BUTTERED CIDER
Note: From Seriouseats.com.
Half of 1 lemon
1 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean pod
4 oz. dark rum
8 oz. apple cider
Scatter Maldon salt on a small plate. Rub the rim of two heatproof glasses or mugs with the lemon half, then dip in salt.
In a small bowl, combine butter, maple syrup, and vanilla bean seeds in small bowl. Set aside. Combine rum and cider in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Pour cider into prepared glasses, then top each with half of the butter. Serve immediately.
Note: Adapted from Liquor.com and bartender/author Dale DeGroff. Find the website's Hot Toddy recipe (complete with video) here.
1 1/2 oz. Irish whiskey
1 oz. brown sugar syrup
Freshly brewed coffee
Freshly whipped (and unsweetened) cream
To prepare brown sugar syrup: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine brown sugar and water and and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook until sugar has dissolved, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Cool to room temperature.
To prepare cocktail: Add whiskey and syrup to a heatproof glass or mug and fill two-thirds full with coffee. Top with an inch of whipped cream and serve.
APPLE BRANDY HOT TODDIES
Note: From Food & Wine magazine and bartender Suzanne Bozarth of Paley's Place in Portland, Ore.
1 1/2 c. water
2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. honey
1/2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups apple brandy, preferably Calvados
8 3-inch cinnamon sticks
In small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey until dissolved. Stir in the lemon juice and apple brandy. Set a cinnamon stick in each of 8 mugs or heatproof glasses, pour in the hot liquid and serve.