By Chris Benjamin. Benjamin, director of food and beverage at the Essex Resort and Spa.

It’s hunting season– that time of year when men set forth in pursuit of game, beer, and a return to nature, and the women gather to celebrate a break from the guys.

Though fairly new to hunting (I finished the safety course decades ago but only recently started hunting fervently), I have fallen in love with this time of year– the time when I can catch up with the guys, eat a little venison, consolidate my thoughts in the freezing cold while waiting for the elusive buck, and catch up on a little exercise. (Let’s face it– all these drinks do not come without consequence.)

I have learned that hunters have limited food groups at camp: beer, venison (if you’re lucky), beer, canned food, straight liquor, coffee, and did I mention beer? So, it may be difficult to put together a nice cocktail at camp. But then a light bulb went off. Everyone drinks coffee, but no one is adding flavoring agents.

So, this week, I’m adding a little twist to your regular cup of joe (but please don’t drink before the hunt. We certainly don’t need hammered people out in the woods with high-powered weapons.) One or two of these after the hunt can make the warmth last a little longer in your toes — especially if your boots, like mine, aren’t weather-proof.

This drink is also great for the “hunting widows”, because it’s not only low in alcohol but also very flavorful.

Best of luck to us all during this most wonderful time of the year!

The B&B Hot Chocolate/Coffee

6 ounces black coffee or 1 packet of hot chocolate mix and hot water
1.5 ounces Butterschnapps
1.5 ounces Baileys Irish Cream
Whipped cream to garnish (if you’re around a fridge)

Combine and serve. Garnish with the whip cream if you have it.