San Francisco: Two weeks ago, sunshine, and blue skies and then, Instant Antarctica! What happened? SF is supposed to be chilly, foggy and rainy, but not bitterly cold! This is East Coast level cold: hat, mittens, snow pants, and shovel the driveway. Lucky for us, we have our resident Brit, Fleur who can keep us healthy and happy with her Hot Toddy.
The Healthy: This drink has medicinal properties if you are sick.
The Happy: This drink has booze properties if you are sick and bored and want to have fun while watching zombie movies. If you aren’t sick, you can feel morally superior about ingesting antioxidants while you are tying one on… stay warm!
Baby it’s cold outside, and it’s Friday so I fancy myself a nice stiff drink that’s going to warm away those winter blues. While I’m grateful it’s not nearly as cold here in San Francisco as it is in my homeland of the UK where they are suffering another severely brutal winter (even talking to my family back home makes me shiver), we have been experiencing some unusually cold weather here recently, and a Friday night ice-cold martini is just not going to the trick. So I’m turning to my infamous Hot Toddy.
Alongside the general feeling of warmth and relaxation that comes with a good Hot Toddy, the medicinal benefits are so great they also deserve a little recognition, especially with all those nasty cold viruses lurking at this time of year.
A good Hot Toddy is made with whiskey, lemon, hot water, and honey or sugar if desired. But I’m going a bit further with mine and adding some fresh ginger, to give it a little spice and gain some a little extra boost to my health.
Whiskey gives a calming, relaxing effect; lemon is packed with Vitamin C to boost the immune system and sweet, soothing honey has excellent antibacterial properties. Honey is also known to help transmit the goodness of the final valuable ingredient, ginger. Ginger is known for its expectorant, antiseptic, analgesic, anti inflammatory and stimulating properties.
…Putting all of these ingredients together and drinking them hot is exceptionally good for you as the steam helps to clear the airwaves.
It’s not a work of art: a glass full of floating pieces of lemon and ginger, but having a snotty nose and hacking cough ain’t exactly glamorous either is it?
Fleur’s Hot Toddy
A good sized pour of Irish or Scotch Whiskey
Juice of half a lemon
One tablespoon of honey
Five slices of fresh ginger root
Stir together with hot water in a mug.
And here’s to your health, cheers!