Fall is the perfect time to gather around the fire put with friends and family. The cooler nights mean you can finally start serving warm drinks instead of ice-cold, heat-beating beverages.
Especially when sitting around a gas fire pit. With no wood to tend, flying sparks to avoid, or smoke to rub out of your eyes, there’s nothing but time to enjoy the night and the company.
With school in full swing, the odds of your party being adults only drops dramatically, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan some delicious fun for all age groups.
We’ve put together a collection of fire-pit-worthy drinks you can make to ensure every guest has a warm mug keeping the chill out of their hands.
This first one is pure luxury on your lips, but takes enough effort to make it worthy of adults and not to be wasted on the kiddos.
Melted Hot Chocolate With Sea Salt Whipped Cream
Makes 2 servings
Sea Salt Chocolate Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
Melted Hot Cocoa
8 Squares (4 ounces) Dark 100% Cocoa Baker’s Chocolate
2 Squares (1 ounce) Semi-Sweet Baker’s Chocolate
2-4 teaspoons honey, depending on how sweet or bitter you like your chocolate
3/4 Cup Whole Milk, at room temperature
Begin by preparing the sea salt whipped cream. Beat the cream and sugar in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment at medium high speed until the cream holds a very soft peak. Gently whisk in the sea salt and cocoa powder until incorporated. Cover and set aside.
To make the hot cocoa, melt down the chocolate pieces in the top of a double boiler, stirring constantly. Add the honey and milk and continue stirring until it’s one fluid mixture and becomes very warm. Evenly distribute the cocoa between two serving glasses and top with the whipped cream and a pinch of sea salt for garnish. Serve immediately.
Winter isn’t all hot chocolate and marshmallows, it’s also ciders time to shine.
Spiced Pumpkin Cider (Adults-Only Optional)
Makes 2 servings
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 1/2 cups apple cider
1/3 cup spiced rum *
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
In a large pot, mix together the pumpkin puree, apple cider, pumpkin pie spice and the cinnamon stick. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 20 minutes. If mixture is too thick, add additional cider or water to thin it out.
Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer to remove clumps and cinnamon stick. Add rum and mix. Serve warm.
*You can reduce the amount of rum if this is too strong or omit it completely and swap in more apple cider.
For the younger crowd, you’ll want something quick and easy so you aren’t stuck in the kitchen preparing drinks for the children all night.
Nutella Hot Chocolate (All Ages)
Makes 1 serving
2 Tbsp. Nutella
1 cup milk (any kind)
optional toppings: whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate syrup, chocolate shavings
Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming (not boiling), stirring occasionally.
Add in the Nutella, and whisk until dissolved.
Serve immediately, either plain or with your desired toppings.
Adults need their adult time, and this blend of summer-highlights with a wintry chocolate base is the perfect way to bring them together around the fire pit.
Hot Chocolate Pina Colada (Adults Only)
Makes 8 servings
1 can (13.5oz) coconut milk
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder
1 pinch of kosher salt
3/4 cup pineapple juice
3/4 cup Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
4 cups of water
Spiked Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream (cold)
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
3 Tbsp Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup toasted coconut
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Pour bag of sweetened coconut flakes onto large baking sheet. Bake for 60-90 minutes, turning every 15 minutes until brown and toasted! Store in ziploc bag with all the air pressed out.
Spiked Whipped Cream:
In a cold mixing bowl, whip heavy cream on medium-high until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar and rum until fully incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
In a large pot over medium heat, whisk together the coconut milk, condensed milk, cocoa powder, salt and pineapple juice. Do not boil. Reduce heat to simmer and add rum and water.
Continue heating until desired temperature.
Place honey in small saucer. Put toasted coconut in a small bowl. Dip rims of glass into honey, letting the excess drip off. Immediately press rim into toasted coconut, coating rim completely. Pour hot chocolate into glass, about 1 inch from rim, depending on style of glassware. Pipe whipped cream onto each glass and sprinkle with excess toasted coconut. Serve hot! ENJOY!