Chef Patrick with some holiday cheer and ham biscuits on Coast Live

HAMPTON ROADS, Va - Chef Patrick Evans-Hylton (www.VirginiaEatsAndDrinks.com) shows us how to make a Wassail-tini - a fun take on classic wassail, plus we get a taste of some Ham Biscuits with Apples & Spice Mustard and thoughts on gifts for foodies.

IT’S A MOST WASSAIL-FUL TIME OF THE YEAR
Winter is a magical time of merriment and mirth. It’s when folks gather around the fire - either indoors by crackling embers in a living room hearth, or outdoors by a roaring bonfire lighting up the dark night sky - and enjoy the warm company of family and friends.

One sure way to have a cool Yule is with wassail, a heady mix of seasonal spices and spirits. Traditionally served hot, we do ours with a twist, cooling the mulled wine and mixing with some local vodka and liqueur to craft a Wassail-tini.

Here’s how to make the wassail:
In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 2 bottles of red wine (we like the house red from TASTE), 1 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 2-3 cinnamon sticks, 1 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ground cloves and ground ginger and the juice of one lemon and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 2 hours. Remove from the heat; you can serve hot at this point. For the Wassail-tini, set the mulled wine aside and allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled.

Here’s how to make the Wassail-tini:
In a cocktail shaker, add 5 ounces of chilled mulled wine, 2 ounces of vodka (we like ours from Chesapeake Bay Distillery) and 1/2 ounce of liqueur. We prefer Nektar, but you could you an orange liqueur, such as triple sec, or you could use Grand Marnier. Add ice and shake well; strain into a martini glass. Garnish with orange peel.

More information on TASTE at: www.TASTE.online

More information on Chesapeake Bay Distillery at: www.ChesapeakeBayDistillery.com

More information on Nektar Liqueur at: www.NektarLiqueur.com

RECIPE | VIRGINIA HAM BISCUITS WITH APPLES + SPICE MUSTARD
Ham biscuits are a staple on the Virginia table, whether during the holidays or throughout the year. We love to serve them up with a dollop of our Apples + Spice Mustard, which accents the flavor of the ham on both the savory and sweet side. Here’s how we make our Virginia Ham Biscuits with Apples + Spice Mustard:

In a medium bowl add 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar;, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, a dash of black pepper whisk until sugar dissolves. Add 3/4 cups grainy mustard and whisk to incorporate. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours before serving to allow flavors to meld.

Cut biscuits (or rolls) in half horizontally and add a folded slice of premium Virginia ham on the bottom; we prefer Edwards. Add a dollop of mustard and biscuit top and serve. Keep unused mustard refrigerated; will keep several weeks.

Make extra mustard and place in sealed containers for holiday gifts; keep refrigerated until giving.

More information on Edwards Country Ham at: www.EdwardsVaHam.com

VIRGINIA EATS + DRINKS HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
We love giving gifts from artisans across the state. Here in Coastal Virginia, and indeed from the Bay to the Blue Ridge and beyond, there are folks making incredible eats and drinks great for gift-giving, or using on your holiday table when entertaining family and friends.

In today’s segment we showcased some of my favorite made-in-Virginia items, available from one of the TASTE locations across the region and Richmond, or directly from the maker themselves. There are more items on the TASTE website, and the state’s Virginia’s Finest website is a great resource too.

Here are the in the TASTE of Virginia gift basket:

TASTE Signature Virginia Peanuts
TASTE Bakehouse Virginia Cookie
TASTE Famous House Dressing
www.TASTE.online

Route 11 Lightly Salted Potato Chips
www.Rt11.com

Cowboy Syd’s D-lish Sauce
www.facebook.com/CowboySyd

Gearhart’s Pistachio Toffee
www.GearhartsChocolates.com

Speedy’s Hot Sauce
www.SpeedysHotSauce.com

Barboursville Cabernet Sauvignon
www.BBVwine.com

Other items highlighted in the segment:

Edwards Country Ham
www.EdwardsVaHam.com

Red Rocker Candy
www.RedRockerCandy.com

Jody’s Popcorn
www.JodysPopcorn.com

Fresh Batch Jams
www.FreshBatchJams.com