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Cover: Shaken and stirred

16Apr 12

Xanté hot apple

Xanté Hot AppleLast year, I spent a couple of weeks hiking in the mountains of Patagonia, in the south of Argentina. The plan was to reach a mountain hut called “Refugio Laguna Negra”, a 5 hour hike from the nearest town. Once there, I wanted to do some ice skating on the frozen lake. I managed to lose the main trail, and by the time I finally reached the hut, it was almost dark and at subzero temperatures. I was met by a Swiss chap by the name of Carl, who was in charge of Laguna Negra. He immediately gave me a blanket and then did something extremely odd: he poured apple juice in a pan and put it on the stove. When I inquired, he simply replied: “Xanté hot apple for the cold”. This is how I was introduced to a relatively new and very fashionable drink.

Xanté hot apple is a potent warmer that mixes fresh apple juice with Xanté, a Swedish pear-cognac liqueur. According to Carl, it has displaced spiced hot wine as the favourite after-ski drink on the exclusive ski slopes of Verbier in Switzerland. (For a summer apple drink, try this rhubarb ginger apple cocktail.)

Xanté liqueur is a balanced blend of sweet Belgium pears and cognac from French distilleries. It is made with cognac matured for four years in oak barrels, which draws out the rich amber colour and fragrant notes of spicy vanilla and pears. The original recipe dates back to 1875, although it was a relatively unknown brand until the Swedish Tilander family acquired the formula in the late 1990s and reinvigorated it. Today, it is the second best-selling Scandinavian liqueur.

Although Xanté is 76 per cent alcohol, it does not feel that strong when mixed with apple juice. Its flavour is juicy and light, despite being an amber spirit. The pears are distinct and blend perfectly with the vanilla spices.

The original recipe for the Xanté hot apple comes from the Hotel Farinet’s Lounge Bar in Verbier. According to Carl, who worked on the ski slopes for 10 years, it is the best after-ski drink in the world. After the first one, my body and spirit started feeling a whole lot better. Carl just recommended one thing: drink Xanté hot apple when you have finished doing any activity, for it is a lot stronger than its flavour suggests.


  • 17cl fresh apple juice
  • 6cl Xanté liqueur at room temperature
  • 2 or 3 cinnamon sticks

How to make it:

1. Heat fresh apple juice on the stovetop until steaming.
2. Pour hot apple juice into a large mug, and then add the Xanté liqueur.
3. Add cinnamon sticks to garnish.
4. Stir with the sticks and serve immediately.

Time: 5 minutes

Makes: 1 cocktail

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  1. I have a sore throat, so I am going to try this out to see if it helps.

  2. […] well with your cup of morning tea or coffee. For an afternoon or evening dessert, pair it with a xanté hot apple cocktail. The combined flavours will be […]


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