Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, Irish cream, and bourbon make for a cozy hot cocktail that'll warm up the coldest of winter nights.
4cupsmilkI use 2%, but whole would also be good
1/4cuppure maple syrup
15-inch cinnamon stick
1/2teaspoonfreshly ground nutmeg
2/3cupIrish cream liqueurlike Baileys
1/3cupbourbonlike Maker's Mark
2teaspoonspure vanilla extract
For the rims:
1tablespoonpure maple syrup
To a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add the milk, maple syrup, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, and star anise. If using a vanilla bean, split it open and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and remainder of vanilla bean to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is hot and steaming. Reduce to low and heat for 5 minutes, being careful not to ever let it come to a full boil. Remove from heat. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large heat-proof bowl and carefully pour the liquid over the sieve. Discard the solids. Add the liquid back to the saucepan. Stir in the Irish cream, bourbon, and vanilla extract.
To garnish the mug rims, pour the 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup into a small saucer. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon, then pour it onto another small saucer. Dip the rims of the glasses into the maple syrup, then dip into the cinnamon and sugar mix, pressing to coat evenly. Flip over and fill glasses with the hot cocktail. Serve.