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Cover: Shaken and stirred

Recipes with cinnamon

10Jul 12

Peruvian Algarrobina

Peruvian Algarrobina
Unlike the Pisco Sour, which is claimed by both the Peruvians and the Chileans, I think it’s safe to say that the Algarrobina cocktail (made with the spirit Pisco) is uniquely Peruvian. When I was in Peru, it was offered to me as a pre-dinner drink, but I prefer to reserve this creamy and sweet, eggnog style cocktail for after dinner, as the mixture of algarrobina or carob syrup, condensed milk and egg yolk makes it a dessert in itself!

Algarrobina is a syrup produced from the pods of the Black Carob tree, a leguminous tree that grows in South America. The carob syrup that you can get in Europe is most likely to be from the Carob tree, which is native to the Mediterranean region, but is similar to the one used for Algarrobina. Carob syrup is often used to make an alternative for chocolate, as it contains neither caffeine nor an alkaloid that is found in chocolate and that can be toxic to some people and pets.

If you have a really sweet tooth, you could pair it with this basic sponge cake recipe. Eat them separately, or pour over the cocktail on the soft sponge for a moist treat.

Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • 6cl Peruvian Pisco
  • 1.5cl carob syrup
  • 3cl condensed milk
  • 1 small egg yolk
  • 3 ice cubes
  • ground cinnamon for garnish
  1. Mix all the ingredients except the cinnamon in a blender, until the ice has liquified.
  2. Serve in a chilled glass and sprinkle with cinnamon.


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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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