Friday, 8 January 2010

Some like it hot.....................

One of the best ways to stay warm is to get something hot inside you; as well as food, hot drinks are an excellent way of keeping up the warmth. There's tea and coffee, ofcourse, and hot chocolate, but sometimes you just want something a bit different. Here are my suggestions, mostly homemade.
A good idea is to fill a flask with boiling water so it's to hand; I keep the kettle on the hot end of the stove all the time when it's cold, so that does the same job.

HONEY AND LEMON; good for a boost, and helping with cold and sore throat symptoms - 1 tsp honey and juice of half a lemon, topped up with boiling water.
ELDER ROB; I make this in the summer, and it's an ideal drink for weather like this - plenty of vitamin C in there for colds, etc, and teh healing, soothing properties of the fruit itself. Dilute with boiling water and sweeten with a little honey if you like.
ELDERFLOWER AND HONEY; again, amde in the summer, it stores well in the freezer, and makes a nice lighter hot drink, adding honey and/or lemon juice if liked
BLACKCURRANT; well known for its vitamin content, this makes a good winter drink on its own. I make cordial every year, which is processed in a hot water bath and keeps well in the larder. Otherwise,a spoonful of jam in a mug of boiling water gives much the same effect, straining out the fruit if you like. Again, honey can be added.
ORANGE; simple fresh orange juice, topped up with boiling water.
MILK; 2/3 of a mug of milk, heated up, then add 1/3 boiling water and 1/2 tsp sugar - a very comforting drink, ideal just before bedtime.
HERB TEAS; buy teabags, or use any that are in the garden, or that you have dried and stored for future use.
BOVRIL, etc; a spoonful of Bovril, Marmite, bouillon powder or stock powder in a cup with boiling water makes a good hot, nourishing drink, something with a little more "bite" to it. Spice it up with a dash of vodka or sherry, Tabasco sauce, black pepper etc.
PLAIN WATER; sometimes all you want is the warmth, not necessarily the flavour, so a mug of hot water hits the spot well; add lemon juice if liked.
HOT TODDY; no discussion of winter drinks would be complete without this one! A measure of whisky in a mug, 1/2 tsp sugar, top up with boiling water.

I do buy the occasional bottle of cordial etc, and the ones by Bottle Green are my favourites at this time of the year.

These are two of the best hot - winter berries (fruity and clove-y) and ginger and lemon grass. They also do an elderflower one.Not the cheapest on the market, but as usual, you get what you pay for, and a little goes a long way.
Having said all that, sometimes all you want and need is a nice cup of tea - just make sure you're well stocked up with teabags. Imagine the horror of running out of tea - unthinkable!!!!!


MoominMamma said...

Ahh what a great post!
I've been thinking about making my own cordials, the Monster likes to drink juice (she does enjoy plain water and milk also) and of course I'm concious of how much sugar goes into the ones you can buy. Your post has given me some things to think about! Thanks :)

Ruth@VS said...

I have also made my own cordials from my fruit and at the minute have the same ginger cordial as you in my kitchen! Great minds...

marigold said...

Mmm, that reminds me - I have a bottle of blackcurrant and raspberry cordial tucked away somewhere... Other good additions to a mug of hot water are a splash or two of cider vinegar, a big teaspoonful of molasses or a few slices of fresh root ginger. Half water and half grapefruit juice is good heated up too. And then there's cocoa - Green and Black's made with hot water, a little milk, a dash of brandy and a smidge of Demerara sugar for me. Time to put the kettle on again...

karenjane said...

I have a huge lime tree in the garden which is one of a dozen that predate the houses here, they march across the Victorian boundaries, scribing their own line. I love it when they are in flower, visited by insects, birds, bats. The flowers start to bloom on the sunniest side and over the course of a week or two the section in blossoms spread. Flowers must be gathered on a dry day then dried some more inside. Stored in glass jars it is a challenge to get enough to last the year. I can only reach the lower branches and the window of opportunity is small, about 5 days. Four or five blossoms in a tea-pot, steeped for several minutes makes a pale greenish yellow tea. Drink it for its soporific qualities before bed.