18th Jan 19 | Lifestyle
Six wintry wonders to sup and beat the chill with, picked by Sam Wylie-Harris.
Ice and snow warnings in full effect, so if you’re keen to stay indoors and keep warm, you might as well do it with a hot drink.
The best powerful home remedy to lift the spirits is a warming cuppa – but we’re not talking hot chocolate, macchiatto or a teapot full of Darjeeling. Instead, to fire up the senses and warm the cockles, here are six alcoholic drinks to thaw you out.
And remember, just because something’s cold, it doesn’t mean it can’t bring a glow to the cheeks…
1. Hot Toddy
Having braved the great outdoors and enjoyed a bracing walk through the park, coming home to a Hot Toddy is considered the ideal remedy to banish those winter chills. Traditionally drunk before retiring to bed to help beat a cold or flu (whisky is a great decongestant), the balance of spice, lemon, honey and of course Scotch whisky can also make you feel refreshed – and your toes a little more toasty.
2. Hot Buttered Rum
A bottle of rum merits its place in your drinks cabinet all year round, especially in the darkest depths of winter when the wine rack is looking distinctly bare, but you can’t be bothered to schlep to the shops.
An easy-peasy teatime treat that’s a little sweeter than a Hot Toddy, as well as deliciously creamy and rummy, merely put the kettle on, place two measures of rum, a teaspoon of brown sugar, a dollop of softened unsalted butter into a mug and top with boiling water. Stir well, garnish with a cinnamon stick and you’ll be cosy in an instant.
3. Gin and ginger
Love a G&T but can’t bear the thought of feeling chilled to the bone after a couple of sips? Try switching this summery staple to a gin and ginger and you’ll feel instantly rejuvenated by the fiery ginger beer. It’s a natural bedfellow with gin, and warms the palate. Garnish with lime and a mint leaf – and toast the stormy forecast.
4. Bloody Mary
There’s more to this legendary morning after, hair of the dog, brunch speciality than first meets the eye. While a basic Bloody Mary requires two measures of vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper, a spicier version will bring a blush to the cheeks well before you’ve had time to knock up those eggs Benedict.
By infusing your vodka with hot peppers – simply remove the seeds and membranes to get more of a peppery kick – hey presto, after a couple of sips you may need to cool off in the shade rather than batten down the hatches.
5. Winter beers
Now’s the time to take full advantage of seasonal craft beers such as vintage ales, stouts and porters that are only available during winter months, and quite rightly so. Winter beers love a cold climate, darker in colour with depth and complexity of flavours such as dried fruits, roasted barley, rich coffee and chocolate, bitter hops and sometimes even a smokiness on the finish – they’re filling and offer a feel good yumminess on tap.
Cognac has a reputation as a cure all and fireside snifter for good reason. Brandy contains antibacterial components and its high proportion of alcohol can help get rid of a cold, nagging cough or sore throat in no time at all.
This after-dinner drink may be trying to change its stuffy image thanks to the cocktail renaissance and bartenders experimenting with cool new recipes, but there’s no getting away from the fact its soothing, relaxing properties will also make you sleep like a baby, and feel better in the morning.
© Press Association 2019