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Featured Food: DC Foodie Local Gift Guide:  “You have friends and family who like to eat. Make them happy AND support small-batch food and beverage business owners this holiday season by purchasing goods from our local community” including picks from Pops by Haley, Thunderbeast, Baku, Confluence Coffee Co., ‘Chups, Element [Shrub], Embitterment, Wild Roots Apothecary, and Lindera Farms.  – Brightest Young Things 

CakeLove to close its last store as our fondness for cupcakes fades“’It comes with heartache, of course,’” says CakeLove founder Warren Brown. “’But the center of gravity is shifting. Cupcakes aren’t new or unusual anymore.’ The company will continue to take online orders, but will shift its focus to its “cake-in-a-jar product,” which it sells on the web and at specialty grocery stores.” – The Washington Post

Union Kitchen Guest Blogger – Roberts & June Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas with Aztec Eggnog: “Everyone loves it. We must have it. And for reasons of health, we only bring it out for our annual Christmas party. Eggnog+tequila+local spiced chocolate. Each of these things is fantastic in and of itself. Combine the three, and the whole is better than the parts.”

 

 

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There are a handful of food and drink recipes in our lives that are so good that we must have them, and so rich that we must limit how often we consume them. Turning them into a holiday tradition is a perfect way to maximize their enjoyment while minimizing their frequency. Take Italian Meat Pie: sausage and prosciutto, with three kinds of cheese and hard-boiled eggs–delicious and decadent. Just writing the recipe made my heart skip two beats, one out of delight and one out of imminent failure. Well, we made Italian Meat Pie into Italian Easter Pie, to be consumed on Easter and only on Easter.

Today’s cocktail is the winter, beverage version of Italian Easter Pie. It’s called Aztec Eggnog. Everyone loves it. We must have it. And for reasons of health, we only bring it out for our annual Christmas party. Eggnog+tequila+local spiced chocolate. Each of these things is fantastic in and of itself. Combine the three, and the whole is better than the parts.

This drink is a little higher maintenance than our usual pitcher drinks for parties. It takes frequent stirring, and close attention to keep it at the right temperature. But, believe us, it’s totally worth it. It’ll be a big hit at the party, so much so that you might want to make it a holiday tradition.

Aztec Eggnog

Ingredients

for a small carafe, serving 8-10

  • 4 cups eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • .5 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • .5 cup grated, chili-flavored chocolate–we used fellow Union Kitchen member Undone Chocolate’s Arouse, with cardamom, cinnamon, and chili. It was perfect for this, with the cardamom adding some nice complexity. If Undone isn’t available where you are, I’m sad for you; however, you can use what is often called ‘Mexican Chocolate,’ any chocolate with cayenne or the like mixed in.
  • 1 cup tequila–reposado is nice but not required.

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan, whisk together the eggnog, nutmeg, cloves, and cocoa powder;
  • Heat over medium-low heat until just simmering. Don’t let it boil, or it may curdle;
  • Add the chili-flavored chocolate, and whisk until it is melted evenly;
  • Add the tequila;
  • It’s best to serve it right away. If not keep it at a low simmer. Cooler, and it starts to solidify. Hotter, and it curdles;
  • Serve it in the smallest mugs you have, demitasse if possible, half-full of your smallest mugs if not. It’s so warm and delicious everyone will want to try it, and so rich that even people who love it might not drink very much. So, serve small. And, hey, if someone wants more, getting seconds is fun;
  • For an extra touch, add some whipped cream with nutmeg or cinnamon shaken on top.

Interested in more holiday drink ideas? Head over to Roberts & June for our 12 Drinks of Christmas winter beverage series.

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Roberts & June are Union Kitchen Members and cocktail enthusiasts. Their mission is to make high quality cocktails more accessible. Learn more about hiring them for your next eventread their blog, or follow them on Instagram to take your home bar mixology game to the next level.

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The Weekly Feed: Don’t Want No Shrubs Edition  Some of the District’s best non-alcoholic shrub “cocktails” can be found at Chaia, or buy creating a DIY version with Element [Shrub]. DCist

Blind Dog Cafe to close, will host Timber Pizza Co. pop-up Timber Pizza Co. will begin operating a pop-up Friday through Sunday in the Blind Dog Café space,  starting January 8th. – The Washington Post

15 New Coffee Shops for Those Needing a Caffeine Hit  Compass Coffee’s second location in Shaw is among 15 new recommended cafés.- Eater DC

Ice Cream Jubilee Has New Winter Flavors, Mike Friedman Shares Takoma Park Picks – Ice Cream Jubilee debuts winter flavors including Chocolate Matzo Crack, Cranberry Sorbet, Candy Cane Pretzel,  and Boozy Eggnog. – Eater DC

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