It’s been a long winter, lots of snow and cold… and one thing that has gotten me through these dark days has been the comfort and delight of warm winter drinks…
SPICED MULLED WINE
I have been experimenting with mulled wine and hot toddies! They are the perfect tonic for the winter blues and just a nice experience to make on your own, and it smells good too!
For the mulled wine, a very typical winter holiday drink in Europe, start with a nice dark full body red… it does not need to be fancy, just full-bodied. Get two cinnamon sticks, 10 cloves, an orange and Applejack brandy (or any brand of your choice). Again, it does not need to be fancy.
Heat up the wine (on low) with the cinnamon sticks, a couple of orange slices, the cloves and add the brandy (a cup or two, I don’t measure!) Let it simmer for at least a couple of hours. Add some star anise to add a bit more flavor and sweetness… it smells so yummy as it’s being made! Sip and enjoy on a cozy snow day. Santé!
CLASSIC HOT TODDY
The hot toddy is making a comeback, though not sure it ever left? It is known for being a comforting tonic when one is feeling unwell but it is just a great way to warm up after a cold day. I have been a big fan of “to-go” cocktails and have picked up mine on my way home from work a few nights, but then, I decided to make my own after a friend gifted me some fragrant star anise.
In a medium saucepan, heat about 2 or 3 cups of water, the juice from a lemon, honey, and add a few lemon slices with the rind to get the flavor of the oils (thanks again Pai).
If you like spice and want to add a bit more warmth, add some fresh ginger, the star anise is a nice touch too!
Don’t forget the bourbon or whiskey. My friend KatiPai from Dirty Precious not only dropped off me off some gingery deliciousness at my door but recommended Heaven Hill, or 12 Roses but any mid-grade whiskey will do!
Let it simmer for 30 mins or so, the longer the better :). Let it cool down for a few minutes and pour into your favorite mug or taller toddy glass.
Sip on your couch with a good book. Enjoy yourself and feel the heat in your chest and your belly as it warms from the inside out
TURMERIC TODDY TEA
If you would like a healing hot tonic sans the alcohol you can try a turmeric toddy I just made that up!
Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory spice commonly used in South Asian cuisine. It has gained a lot of popularity over the years. It has a mild flavor, (yet the look of it can be intimidating). It is great to add to rice dishes and soups. It is worth a try and it is healthy for you!
In a small pot, add water, fresh sliced ginger and lemon and bring to boil, add the turmeric and honey and let it simmer on low for about 10 mins. Add a bit more honey to taste and enjoy this healing winter tonic!
WELL TIP: I always make a little bit more to sip throughout the day.