…from the Happy Hour Bar
How you doin’? If you like the spicy red candies known as Red Hots® or Imperials, then this recipe is for you. It is sinfully hot cinnamon. A powerful cinnamon kaboom in an itty-bitty bite. Originally called cinnamon imperials, these hot candies hit you from your nose to your toes. Small, hot and oh-so-good. If your eyes water, it just means you love them. Whether you eat them by the handful, put them on birthday cakes or use them as a decorative touch to your gingerbread house, there are a million fiery ways to spice up your life with Red Hots!
In the grammar school we used to go to Marty’s Bike Shop and buy a couple of boxes of Red Hots and compete to see who could get the most on their tongue at one time. What did the winner get? A very red tongue! I don’t hang around the candy aisle much these days but was inspired to write up this hot toddy when I saw them on Amazon. This cocktail recipe takes a few minutes to make but is well worth the effort and brings back lots of memories of Marty’s Red Hots and Hard Candy Cinnamon Apples found at the Los Angeles County Fair.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 8 cocktails
3/4 cup Red Hots candies
1 cup light brown sugar
1 bottle (64 ounces) apple cider
16 ounces Good Old American Whiskey, divided
Freshly Squeezed lime juice
1. Combine the Red Hots, sugar and cider in a large pot and simmer until the candy is completely dissolved.
2. In a 10-ounce mug, combine 2 oz of the whiskey with the apple cider mixture. Add a squeeze of lime and serve hot.
3. You can also make these fun drinks for by leaving out the whisky and adding a bit more cider or make it cold with some sparkling seltzer.
4. Any way you make it, it’s a hot blast from the past.
ChefSecret: I use brown sugar a lot. Light brown sugar (made from sugar cane) is a non-GMO pure cane sugar known for its rich aroma, soft and fluffy crystals, light molasses flavor and a hint of moisture. It is ideal for recipes that showcase its warm and nutty flavor profile such as spice cakes or crumbles. It is the secret ingredient in southern family-favorite recipes handed down from one generation to the next. Memories are made when you bake with love and tradition. Always store brown sugars in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Quip of the Day: “Individuals who think their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies and learning from the input of others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe that their talents are derived as innate gifts from God).”
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