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3 hot cocktail tips for when you need to warm your soul or whatever

Whether or not you are also currently living in a place that is colder than a witches’ teet - there is nothing more soothing at the end of a hard day than a warm beverage.

Warm cocktails have been in the books since the 13th century, according to a very quick google search. The internet mostly mentions a drink called caudle (find the recipe here if you’re feeling adventurous). The intention was for good health - in fact it was most popularly given to women who had recently given birth. Although, you won’t find anything like them on my list; they don’t sound particularly appetizing (Wikipedia mentions, in a description of an initiation ceremony at Merton College in 1647, caudle is described as a "syrupy gruel with spices and wine or ale added" but really - to each their own).

Still - there are many lovely drinks that aren’t gruel like - and still have all of those soothing properties. Here are my three faves - plus a few fun tips to spruce things up.

1. The Hot Toddy

This cold night cocktail dates back to British controlled India in the 1610’s. Classically made with either whiskey or bourbon, lemon, honey, and hot water (cinnamon stick optional in most recipes, but never optional imho), it also can have many variations if you are feeling adventurous. Feel free to play around, but here's my fave. Replace the stick with a sprig of rosemary, and don’t skimp on the whole spices. Cinnamon is dandy - but star anise will add a whole new dimension of flavor. They are both packed with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-viral properties. Star anise has been shown to keep blood sugars in check, and rosemary has immune boosting properties. Add a slice of orange for an extra vitamin C boost, and you have the perfect drink to cuddle up with. But also - it turns your toddy into something truly beautiful. Who could argue with that?

2. Hot chocolate with a kick

My favorite thing in the world was finding out that chocolate is good for your heart. And when it comes to your heart (and chocolate, really) - quality over quantity is always the best approach. We were all raised with powdered stuff that never quite stirred in properly, but luckily for us - there is no shortage of delectable chocolates now. My fave - I gently heat my whole milk (or whatever you use!) and pour it over a shot of bourbon (I like Bulleit) and 3 squares of milk chocolate caramel from Ghirardelli. And do NOT skimp on the tiny marshmallows. If you’re looking to try something different - exchange the bourbon for a quality silver tequila (I like Herradura) - add a teaspoon of chili powder to your milk (for best results, use a frother. Find a cheap one here), and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Yum.

3. Literally anything with RumChata in it

I’ve had my fair share of liqueurs, and don’t get me wrong, there are many that I could list here, but only one is truly worth mentioning (imho). If you’ve never had it, I highly recommend picking up a small bottle when you can. It’s boozy - creamy - cinnamony - and so yummy. I use it instead of coffee liqueur in my signature tiramisu - I add it to my coffee and hot chocolate - I sip it straight. It may not have any healing properties to speak of, but it reminds me of home in a way I can’t quite describe. My recommendation to you: try an Apple Crisp. Mix RumChata, vodka, and apple cider - serve in a warm mug with a sprinkle of nutmeg and fresh cinnamon. Thank me later.

Whether the weather is keeping you cold or the holidays got you down - these tips will keep you warm through the night. And remember, food and drink is supposed to provide sustenance, yes, but it's also supposed to be fun. Feel free to experiment, and as always, if you need guidance, feel free to message me! Cheers!

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