The one thing I appreciated most about living in Oklahoma was experiencing a variety of winters. Some years the weather stayed temperate, with very few sufferably cold days. Other years we endured intense ice storms, or even blizzards. I was once snowed in at my office for three whole days! You never knew what you were in for until winter was on your doorstep.
This is our first year in Alaska, and the seasoned residents are telling us that we’ve had an unseasonably warm October. This time last year they had 10+ inches of snow on the ground.
Over the last few days, frost has whitewashed the landscape, acting as a herald of what’s to come. The grass isn’t looking as green, and I’m starting to realize that I won’t be going out without a jacket for a long time. Gulp.
My favorite winter activities are many, but none really come close to enjoying a Hot Toddy and a Christmas movie when the weather just won’t allow much else. I missed out on that last year while I was pregnant with Margot. This year, I’ll gladly drink responsibly.
This Orange Citrus Spiced Hot Toddy is a spin on my traditional libation. Instead of honey, it’s sweetened with Orange Juice and when you use Tennessee Honey Whiskey you aren’t missing out on that fragrant honey undertone.
It’s also spiced with ground cloves, and cinnamon, then lightly flavored with Vanilla. It’s a wonderfully smooth drink that stimulates the senses. If you have the option of staying home when you have a cold, and you are not in charge of children, try this drink to sooth a sore throat and get a bonus dose of Vitamin C. It was my go-to remedy in college, now that I’m a mom I mostly have to stick with Sucrets and water.
Orange Citrus Spiced Hot Toddy Recipe:
- 1 Earl Grey Tea Bag
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup No-pulp Orange Juice – Room Temperature
- 2 ounces of Tennessee Honey Whiskey
- Orange slices to garnish (optional)
- Heat 1 cup of water in tea kettle, when water reaches a boil, pour over tea bag in a coffee mug. Fill to just below the brim like you’re making a normal cup of tea. Add in both cinnamon sticks to steep with the tea bag. After a couple of minutes, remove the tea bag and discard. Do not remove the cinnamon sticks.
- If your orange juice isn’t warmed to room temperature, simply heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds to one minute.
- Divide the tea evenly into two mugs, each with its own cinnamon stick. Add half of the ground cloves into one mug, then the remaining into the other. Repeat with the Vanilla extract.
- Pour one ounce of Whiskey into each mug. Then pour in one half cup of orange juice in each mug.
- Stir with cinnamon stick, garnish with an orange slice if desired.
- The measurements for the ground cloves and vanilla are approximate, feel free to wing that portion of the recipe. A sprinkle of cloves and a splash of vanilla in each mug is adequate.
- I’ve tried this recipe with loose leaf tea, whole cloves, and vanilla beans. I highly discourage this method, it’s much messier and more difficult. It’s also a much more overwhelming flavor.
- No-pulp Orange Juice is highly recommended, because the drink already is slightly cloudy when it settles. If you have pulp, it would divide the fibrous juice from the whiskey and tea more noticeably. Plus, I’m just a pulp-free OJ consumer.
- When you are finished with your drink, simmer your used cinnamon sticks in water on medium heat for a couple of hours. It will make your home smell amazing, and if you really wanted to you could drink the resulting tea. Canela, as I know it, has great anti-inflammatory properties. Just be sure to check on it regularly as it simmers, the water level will gradually lower.
- Find inexpensive cinnamon sticks on the Hispanic aisle of your grocery store, they’re just a fraction of the price you’d pay for cinnamon sticks on the spice aisle.