Countdown with Cocktails- Day 5: Spiked Chai Latte

Mrs. Pea loves chai tea, so when I discovered that there were chai tea concentrates, I knew I had to figure out a way to incorporate it into a warm cocktail that she would enjoy. For the liquor portion of this recipe, I knew that amaretto’s sweet almond flavor would pair perfectly with the spiciness of the chai, but I also wanted to give it some more depth without going too sweet or give any alcohol burn, so I chose Korbel’s XS which is their VS brandy infused with orange and vanilla. If you like Chai Tea, you’ll love this drink.

Spiked Chai Latte

  • 2 oz Korbel XS Brandy or other brandy
  • 1/2 oz Amaretto
  • 2 oz Chai tea latte concentrate
  • 2 oz Whole or 2% milk
  • Whipped cream and cinnamon to garnish

Combine Chai Concetrate and Milk in a mug, then warm in microwave

Stir in Brandy and Amaretto

Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with grated cinnamon

Chai tea

Countdown with Cocktails- Day 6: Orange Marmalade Gingersnap

Mrs. Pea’s family in Florida sent us a beautiful citrus gift basket that contained orange marmalade which reminded me that I had seen it used as a sweetener in cocktails, and thought it would make a great addition to a twist on one of our favorite cocktails made with whiskey and ginger liqueur. The flavors of this cocktail are somewhat of a sampling of different winter and holiday smells and tastes, but work so well together that when combined, they form a sweet and spicy cocktail that is sure to remind you of a delicious holiday dessert.

Orange Marmalade Gingersnap


Orange Marmalade Gingersnap

  • 1 tsp. orange Marmalade
  • 1/4 oz. Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz. Cointreau
  • 1 1/2 oz. Whiskey
  • 2 dashes Cranberry bitters
  • 1 orange slice
  • 1 tbs superfine (baker’s) sugar
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon

Combine the cinnamon and sugar on a plate

Moisten the rim of a cocktail or martini glass with the orange slice and then place the rim of the glass in the sugar and cinnamon mixture

Put the orange marmalade in the bottom of a shaker, add bitters, Cointreau, Domaine de Canton and whiskey.

Fill shaker with ice and shake for 15 seconds.

Strain into rimmed cocktail glass

Countdown with Cocktails- 7: Hot Toddy

The Hot Toddy, also spelled toddie or totty, is a drink made with either whiskey, bourbon or sometimes brandy, a sweet element like sugar or honey and boiling water, a bit like a hot old-fashioned without the bitters. Other tradtional accompaniments include tea, lemon, cloves, and cinnamon.

This drink was believed to releive cold and flu symptoms, Vitamin C for health, honey to soothe and alcohol to numb, however it serves better as a delicious warming and effervescent libation that you can customize to fit your tastes. I've had some with warmed ginger ale, apple cider or cranberry juice in place of the water and Rum as the base.

Hot Toddy

The Hot Toddy

  • 1 1/2 oz Whiskey, Bourbon, Brandy or Dark Rum
  • 1/4 oz sugar, honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 2 – 4 oz heated water, tea, cider, cranberry juice or ginger ale

Add alcohol, sweetener and lemon juice to a mug

Pour heated liquid over top and garnish with a cinnamon stick and or lemon wheel

25 Days of Christmas Cookies- Day 25

Day 25, Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope you enjoyed the 25 Days of Christmas cookies  as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you all. I thought I would share with you my new favorite cookie of the season, now I know I have had some favorites along the way (how could I not), but this one is a new cookie to me and the lemon and chocolate flavor in this cookie is delicious. That citrus and chocolate combo gets me everytime.  Well I will keep this short and sweet, since Mr. Pea and I have some celebrating to do. I wish everyone Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Next up in Mr. Pea's Countdown with Cocktails, to celebrate the New Year! Enjoy!



Lemon Trees

Makes about 80

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon peel
1 TBsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Cups All-Purpose flour

Beat butter, sugar, egg, lemon peel, lemon juice and salt together on high speed until pale and fluffy.On low speed, beat flour until just blended.

Divide dough into quarters (dough is very sticky). Wrap individually and chill for 2 hours or until firm.

To make the trees you will need a 3 inch tree-with-trunk cookie cutter, but you can make any shape you wuld like.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

On a lightly floured sheet of wax paper with a floured rolling pin, roll out 1 portion of dough to a 1/4 inch thick at a time (keeep the rest in the fridge until ready to use).

Slide wax paper baking sheets onto baking sheet and place into freezer for about 10 minutes or until firm.

Chill scrapes before rerolling and cutting.
Bake 10-12 minutes until edges are golden. Cool on baking sheet on wire rack for 3 minutes before removing to rack to cool completely.

To Decorate:

Dip tree trunks in chocolae to coat, letting excess drip off. Place on wax paper-lined baking sheets.

Spoon melted green candy into a smallziptop food bag, snip off a corner of the bag and drizzle lines on trees (as shown above).

Sprinkle with nonpareils. Let Stand before storing.


Countdown with Cocktails- 8: Apertifs and Digestifs

Appertifs and Digestifs are drinks that are classicly served before dinner (appertif) and after dinner (digestif) and I know that on a day like today with alot of eating, drinks like these will come in handy.

An appertif, which in Latin literally means to open, is a spirit or a cocktail meant to stimulate the appetite, either instead of or combined with a small snack.

Some charesteristics of this cocktail would be that it is dry, rather than sweet, low in alcohol content, utlizing clear spirits and will usually include some kind of botanical like a fortified wine such as sherry or vermouth.

Some classic examples of this would be Lillet, Vermouth and Campari.

The cocktail I will feature four my appertif is called The Negroni, a very classic example of this type of drink and includes both Campari and Sweet vermouth, however this drink is not even close to sweet.

Campari is a red Italian liqueur in the bitters family. It is an infusion of herbs and fruit (including chinotto and cascarilla). In Italy, it is often served with citrus juice and soda water.

This drink can be a bit on the intense side in terms of the bitterness of the Campari, you can top it with some lemon lime soda to sweetne in more than the sweet vermouth can do on its own.

NegroniThe Negroni

1 oz London Dry Gin

1 oz Campari

1 oz Sweet Vermouth

Combine all in a mixing glass with ice and stir for 20 seconds

Strain in a rocks glass with ice or serve neat in a chilled cocktail glass

Garnish with orange twist








A digestif on the other hand is a completely different animal. Meant to aid in digestion and well as serving as the finish to a meal, these drinks tend to contain one or more components on the sweeter side which means a darker spirit like brandy or cognac and are often grape based and inlcude sweeter, fortified wines and dessert liqueurs.

The drink I am featuring as my favroite digestif is called the French Connection, it is a sweet cocktail but more rich than sugary and contains just the right hints of vanilla and almond to taste alot like a buttery, nut pie.

The French ConnectionThe French Connection

1 1/2 oz Cognac

3/4 oz Good Amaretto such as Disaronno or Luxardo

Build in a rocks glass over ice or combine in a warmed snifter

25 Days of Christmas Cookies- Day 24

 Merry Christmas Eve everyone! Christmas just wouldn't be the same without this next cookie, Brandy Snaps. I actually can't take credit for these little lovelies. These creations come from the Queen Bee herself, Ms. Sandra Dee. I believe this cookie would win for  "the most tedious cookie of them all" award, but they sure are delicious.  They and very thin almost toffee like cookie that have a crunch, but then just melt in your mouth. I will attempt to make these one day, but for now these are like my little Christmas gift I receive from Sandy every year. Hope you have all enjoyed my 25 Days of Christmas Cookies so far, there is only one more to go! Enjoy!




English Brandy Snaps

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup dark corn syrup

1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoons brandy

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flour, salt and ginger. Set aside. Combine butter, sugar and syrup in small saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients. Stir until smooth.

Drop teaspoons of batter on jelly roll pan. Bake 4 to 5 minutes. Let cool about 45 seconds, then using handle of wooden spoon, roll up from underneath. Cool on wire racks.

TIP: Only make 3 per pan. Batter spreads during baking.