Chilli Hot Chocolate
When it comes to cocoa, the Aztecs had it right all along; chilli infused chocolate.
2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
1 cup pure maple syrup
2 cups dry red wine, such as Pinot Noir
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
Thin strips of zest from 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons pink peppercorns, crushed
Pinch of coarse salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups soda water *
Preheat oven to 176 degrees. Put cranberries into a large, high-sided skillet and set aside.
Bring syrup, wine, brown sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, lemon zest, peppercorns, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, whisking occasionally.
Pour over cranberries. Cover tightly with foil, and bake until cranberries are soft but have not burst, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a bowl; cover with 1 cup cooking liquid. Let cool completely.
Bring 1/2 cup cooking liquid and the granulated sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, whisking until sugar has dissolved.
Reduce heat to low; simmer until liquid has reduced and barely coats the back of a spoon, about 6 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve into a medium bowl; let cool completely.
Syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use, up to 3 days.
Reserve 40 cranberries. Puree remaining cranberries and liquid in a blender.
To serve, place 10 reserved cranberries on each of 4 decorative skewers.
Pour 1/4 cup puree and 1/4 cup syrup into each of four 12-ounce glasses; stir to combine. Add skewers, and fill glasses with ice.
Top with soda water and serve.
Makes 4 cocktails
* Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart. Follow the link for the free Santa swizzle stick template - http://www.marthastewart.com/269587/santa-swizzle-sticks