Monday, January 2, 2012

Hot Toddy

I seem to be ushering in the New Year with an awful head cold.  The last few nights of sleep of been more like fitful naps interspersed with an inability to breathe, a stiff neck and a scratchy throat.  While modern medicine has blessed us with a plethora of cough syrup, decongestants, expectorant and pain killers, nothing quite beats the hot toddy when it comes to easing the suffering. 

the recipe is my own, based on a preferance for whiskey and a favorite ginger honey cold concotion

yields about 4 servings

The Ingredients:
3 cups water
l lemon, washed and sliced
3-4  inch length of ginger root, peeled and minced
1/4 cup of honey, plus extra to taste
2 inch piece of cinnamon
10-12 whole cloves
8 oz whiskey

The Process:
In medium saucepan, combine the water, lemon, ginger, honey, cinnamon and cloves.  Bring water to a gentle boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes (or longer for a stronger flavor).

To serve pour 2 oz of whiskey in four mugs.  Add about 3/4 of a cup of the lemon-ginger tea.  Sweeten with additional honey to taste.  Serve piping hot with a lemon wedge.

The Review:
At the moment, my nose doesn't feel as raw, nor my throat as sore, so something must be true of the healing powers of ginger, lemon and honey. Ginger has a history of treating medical ailments, from settling stomachs, to easing sore throats.  It supposedly has anti-inflammatory and immune system boosting properties that make it especially helpful in warding off the common cold.  Honey's anti-septic qualities (among other benefits) help ward off bacteria while it soothes, in addition to sweetening you concation.  The lemon adds a boost of vitamin c along with its antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers.  And the whiskey?  Well, when you're stressed out and aching all over, a little bit of booze can go a long way to relaxing you...long as you don't over do it.

The steam helps clear the nose while sipping on the hot concoction.  The spices are always a joy to inhale when your sense of smell comes back around.

Use a favorite whiskey.  But even without the alcohol, this hot drink goes a long way to soothe mind and body.

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