A couple of years ago, my boyfriend came home with me for Christmas. It was his first time meeting most of my family, and he was a bit nervous. But mostly, he was nervous about the cold. The very bitter cold.
I’m from Toronto. Yes, the home of crack smoking mayor Rob Ford. It’s also the home of some pretty cold winters (although not compared to a lot of Canada, I’ll admit). So to get through the cold, and maybe the odd awkward conversation, he bought himself a big bottle of brandy and had a glass nearly every time he came in from the cold. Not a big glass, but a glass nonetheless.
Did my family think he was a bit of a lush? Probably. This year he’s coming back again, but instead of buying a crazy expensive bottle of the good stuff, he’s cheating and making a cheaper version himself.
This tastes like a cocktail already mixed; it’s rich with the flavor of apples and hinted with vanilla. If you warm it up a bit, it is truly fantastic. But hot or cold, it will warm the soul from the bitter cold of a Toronto winter.
- 1 750mL Bottle of Brandy (the cheap stuff will do)
- 2 Apples
- ½ Vanilla Bean
Bring a medium pot filled halfway with water to a boil. Meanwhile, wash the apples well and cut them into ½ inch thick slices and put them in a 1 liter mason jar with a tight fitting lid.
Put the vanilla bean in, too, and cover with the brandy. Put the lid on and put the whole thing into the pot of water.
Turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Then turn the heat off and let the brandy cool in the pot – basically just let it sit out overnight.
In the morning, you’ll have delicious brandy! Just strain it into another jar and keep it in the fridge.