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February 26, 2008

Cold Weather Drinks
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 04:34 AM *

Hot Lemonade:

In a coffee mug of normal size, place about 1/8 cup lemon juice (bottled ReaLemon works fine). Stir in 1 large dollop crystalized honey (you want pure honey for this; we use the stuff from Champlain Valley Apiaries), where “dollop” is defined as “as much crystalized honey as can be reasonably supported by the bowl of an ordinary spoon.” Fill the cup with boiling water. Stir.


  • 8-10 oz. apple cider
  • 5 whole cloves
  • Cinnamon stick
  • 1 shot pure maple syrup (dark amber preferred)
  • 1 shot dark rum

Heat the cider with the cloves and cinnamon in a saucepan until steaming but not boiling. Put the rum and syrup into a coffee mug. Fill the mug with hot cider; stir with the cinnamon stick.

Alcohol doesn’t really warm you; it makes you feel warmer while bleeding off core heat. So drink this one after you’ve come in from outside, with no intention of going back out.

[Recipe Index]

Comments on Cold Weather Drinks:
#1 ::: SeanH ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 05:00 AM:

Is the "apple cider" mentioned there alcoholic? If not, what's the difference between that and apple juice?

#2 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 05:26 AM:

Apple juice is clear, filtered, and usually pasteurized.

Apple cider is more tart, cloudy, unfiltered, and usually sold refrigerated.

#3 ::: Ryan Freebern ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 06:50 AM:

My sister and I enjoy this one:

Put a couple shots of sambuca in a glass and then fill the glass with boiling water. Squeeze a quarter of an orange in and then drop the orange quarter in. Add spices to your taste: we usually use five or six cloves, a star anise, and maybe some allspice berries and a cinnamon stick. Let it steep until it's cool enough to drink.

#4 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 07:12 AM:

Hot *Ginger* Lemonade is even better, IMHO:

Slice fresh ginger into "coins", 1-3 per cup. Get your old meat tenderizer (it's in the back of the "miscellaneous kitchen items" drawer) and whap the ginger lightly. Add to honey-lemon before you heat it up.

I use regular honey instead of crystallized, for reasons of cost.

I make it in 2-4 cup batches, depending on number of people served & their general health. The longer the mixture steeps, the more gingery it is -- I often keep it in the fridge overnight.

This is both tasty and medicinal, especially for colds, flu, and other winter-time ailments. If you can find honey produced within 20 miles of you it may help prevent hay fever & other allergies -- but it's not worth it if the bees were working the broccoli & cabbage fields, believe me.

#5 ::: Ian Osmond ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 07:17 AM:

I've been working on hot drinks for a while now.

Some of the simple ones are classics: boiling water, brown sugar, dark rum, and butter. Delicious.

Or all sorts of toddy variations: boiling water, brandy, honey, nutmeg.

I've got three Blue Blazer variations I've worked out, all of which are lovely for cold days:

2 oz boiling water, 2 oz overproof (American) rye whiskey, or bourbon, 1 oz turbanado sugar, 1 dash Fey Brothers Orange bitters.

Put into one metal tankard, light on fire, pour back and forth from tankard to another tankard, while it's blazing. Serve.

My other variations are Slivovitz and honey and boiling water, and absinthe and sugar and boiing water.

#6 ::: G. Jules ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 07:17 AM:

Trader Joe's has begun carrying a citron honey that makes a damn fine addition to a cup of tea, IMO. It's more of a marmalade-meets-jam substance than honey, and has to be kept in a fridge once opened. It's got a good citrus-to-sweet ratio -- not too sweet, but enough honey to soothe a sore throat.

I'm pretty sure it's an Americanized version of a hot citrus drink mixture I've run across at my local Asian grocery.

#7 ::: Ian Osmond ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 07:18 AM:

I've been working on hot drinks for a while now.

Some of the simple ones are classics: boiling water, brown sugar, dark rum, and butter. Delicious.

Or all sorts of toddy variations: boiling water, brandy, honey, nutmeg.

I've got three Blue Blazer variations I've worked out, all of which are lovely for cold days:

2 oz boiling water, 2 oz overproof (American) rye whiskey, or bourbon, 1 oz turbanado sugar, 1 dash Fey Brothers Orange bitters.

Put into one metal tankard, light on fire, pour back and forth from tankard to another tankard, while it's blazing. Serve.

My other variations are Slivovitz and honey and boiling water, and absinthe and sugar and boiing water.

#8 ::: SeanH ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 07:23 AM:

James D. Macdonald at #2: ah, right. Here in the UK, it's just the good apple juice you have to go to nice shops to find. Sounds lovely.

#9 ::: D. Caruana ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 07:30 AM:

And, on a different note, 'Puggle' is also the word used to refer to the young of the platypus, I believe.

#10 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 08:32 AM:

SeanH at #8, the key thing about American sweet cider is that it's not pasteurized (well, in some parts of the country it is, but that's just unfiltered apple juice). Which means that it "works," -- it is in the process of fermenting from the natural yeast on the skins of the apples. Also, the apples used for cider are traditionally at least partially windfalls, so they're a bit pungent by the time they go in.

As a result, it has a complex flavor and sometimes a bit of natural carbonation not adequately comparable to either British-style bottled hard cider or unfiltered apple juice. It's essentially very, very young apple wine.

As such, it has a short season, generally only being available in apple-growing regions and only for as long as the ripe apples are on the trees. There's something of a religion surrounding it, because when you get it from the farm stand at your local apple orchard, it really is that good. (Supermarket cider is almost always pasteurized, and thus a loss. It's like yogurt made with gelatin or soy sauce made with caramel. Why bother? EAT THE HEALTHY MICROBES, PEOPLE! They taste good!)


Another excellent addition to hot lemonade, which is also a tradition here, is a couple of bruised cloves. They are tasty and aromatic, and contain an antiseptic, analgesic oil--if you happen to have a sore throat.

Also, we like salabat, which is made by simmering grated fresh ginger in water and then doctoring the resulting fluid with sugar or honey and lemon juice.

mmmm. Winter. More weather today!

#11 ::: Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 08:35 AM:

Just in case someone feels like something really strong to drink during the cold months, here's a recipe I learned from a Brasilian girlfriend once.

Quentão ("Big heat")

* 0.7-1 liter of vodka (the original recipe calls for Cachaça, but having tried both I must say I much prefer it with the more neutral taste of vodka)
* 1 ginger root (I never really weighed it. Whatever normal sized ginger root you find will be good; you'll have to play around with the quantities anyway)
* 5-6 dried clove flower buds
* 2-3 sticks of cinnamon
* plenty of (brown) sugar--again, play with the quantities until it feels right

Peel the ginger and cut it into cubes (or cuboids, I should say). Don't make them too small. The rule of thumb here is: the more surface area, the spicier the drink. Put the vodka into a pot and start heating it. You want it to barely start boiling, then immediately turn down the heat, throw everything inside, and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Once it's cooled down a little, strain everything through a sieve just fine enough to catch the clove. You should be able to put it back into the original bottle with maybe one shot glass of excess liquid (which I recommend you drink right away). If you want, pick out an aesthetically pleasing cube/slice of ginger and put it in the bottle as decoration. Be warned, though: if you do put ginger into the bottle, you shouldn't let the drink age too much (say not beyond two or three weeks) because it will get fiendishly hot.

A few tips:

1) Be careful about breathing in the fumes of boiling vodka. You would not believe how quickly you absorb alcohol through your lungs.

2) You can add oranges, lemons, or apples if you like, but I tend to like the basic version of the drink better. One fun thing my mother once did when I used oranges and apples though was to turn those fruits into a very tasty jam afterward, which had a distinct alcoholic taste.

3) Quentão can be drunk while warm, but it doesn't have to be. I find it's even tastier once it cooled down. Depending on how much ginger you put in it can be surprisingly spicy, and between the spice and the imagined heat of the alcohol (as explained in the original article) you'll feel like you're burning up.

4) Don't add too much clove. A little is great, but if you add too much the drink goes bitter.

#12 ::: Mary V. ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 08:50 AM:

For my latest cold, I've been adding a shake of cayenne to my hot lemonade. It's definitely helped with the congestion, and the overall feeling of warmth helps to fight the overall feeling of blah. Plus, I actually like the taste - bonus!

#13 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 09:13 AM:

I've found that the pepper oil (recipe here a couple or three years back) can help clear the tubes.

Just don't tell anyone how many times you sneezed whipe you were cooking the chili con carne (and it helps to put a lid on the pan).

(I grew the peppers in summer '06, maybe could have watered them more, and my father tried eating a whole pepper, thinking they'd be like the huge supermarket peppers, with a heavily diluted payload.)

#14 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 09:17 AM:

Dave Bell at #13, so what you're saying is that they're... super-spicy Bell peppers?

#15 ::: Ryan Freebern ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 09:17 AM:

Dave @ #13: Maybe you shouldn't have told him they were your own homegrown "Bell peppers".

#16 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 09:30 AM:

Ryan at #14, you owe me a beer.

#17 ::: Eve ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 09:31 AM:

Beware of mixing mead and hot milk. It sounds like it's going to be really nice, but it can produce the most appalling curdled mess imaginable.

#18 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 09:33 AM:

Does anyone have any experience with making and keeping ginger extract? I'm looking for something I can mix with club soda in the summer, or with hot beverages in the winter.

The recipes I've looked up all over the place: "grate the ginger," "don't grate it; slice it," "boil the water," "use cold water," "let it simmer" "no, let it steep."

I want something really strong, hot, and bright that keeps well. Alcohol is fine, but I can't do sugar, so syrups are out.

#19 ::: Ryan Freebern ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 09:34 AM:

ebear @ #14, come to Readercon in July and we'll settle up.

#20 ::: Eve ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 09:46 AM:

HP@18: Do you have a juicer, or can you beg/borrow/steal one? If so, you can use it to extract the juice from the ginger root. That juice will freeze nicely in ice-cube trays - you can dilute it pre-freezing depending on how strong you like your gingery drinks.

#21 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 09:51 AM:

Eve@20: I don't have a juicer myself, but a friend has one. He's also a Doctor of Mixology, and might easily be persuaded to experiment in the interests of finding a new mixer. Thanks for the tip.

#22 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 09:54 AM:

Ryan, you're on.

Eve @ 20, I do the juicer trick too, and it works very well. Also, one can buy ginger juice in some grocery stores, and it keeps indefinitely in the fridge in its little shaker bottle. I think microbes are scared of it.

#23 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 10:31 AM:

Not all microbes are scared of Ginger..but the vast majority are indeed chased away. I must use this power only for good.


#24 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 10:43 AM:

Dr Science @ 4

If you have honey that's been around a while, it's probably crystallizing. They'll likely be big crystals, unlike 'creamed' honey, but in a hot drink it won't much matter.

#25 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 10:47 AM:

I suspect that if the ginger recipes are all over the place, it's because they all work. Try one steeped in cold water and one in boiling water; they'll probably have different flavor balances.

(I've got a perfectly nice one which involves chopping the ginger and pouring boiling water over it. With sugar, but I don't imagine that's essential. Flavor with some lemon juice, cloves, almond extract.)

#26 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 11:06 AM:

Alcohol doesn't really warm you.

And also doesn't really bleed off heat. It tends to dilate capillaries, which increases heat-exchange with the environment. So if you're outside freezing to death, it accelerates the process. However, if you're inside in a warm room, but your hands and feet and legs are cold but you're nowhere near hypothermia, a little alcohol will make you more comfortable more quickly and quite safely.

Daniel@11: you mention the risk of breathing the vapors from the vodka, but don't mention the risk of lighting the vapors of the vodka. That recipe looks kinda scary to me.

Also a cup of a hot drink will warm your hands, regardless of alcohol content. :-)

#27 ::: Sylvia Li ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 12:02 PM:

Simple comforts from my childhood (triggered by memories of hot lemonade):

White Tea

1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp sugar
fill cup with boiling water

Proportions depend on desired drinking temperature. This tastes smoother than you'd expect, the warmth somehow compensating for the dilution of the milk. (Of course, nowadays you don't need the water, you can just put a spoonful of your preferred sweetener into a cup of milk and pop it into the microwave... but it's not the same.)

Honey-Lemon Butter
Cream equal quantities of butter, honey, and lemon juice. This is as soothing to a sore throat as any cough drops ever invented.

#28 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 12:02 PM:

Peggle is also a highly addictive computer game.

I prefer chai or mulled cranberry juice when I need a hot drink. I don't like the smell of hot alcohol, so all of the lemon-honey-whiskey types of combinations are for cough syrup only. For the mulled cranberry, I put in a sachet with whole spices (cinnamon, cardamom, clove), a slice of ginger, and some strips of orange peel. Microwave or simmer, as time allows.

I make chai in one of these. Two tsp of black tea (mamri tea - the kind that's little pellets and dust rather than leaves) and a teaspoon of chai masala (ginger, cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, clove, mustard). Add hot water (usually 150F - if it's too hot the spices will turn into glue) and let steep.

Half an hour later, remember that you were making tea and drain it into your mug. Reheat tea in mug while you clean the tea goo out of the filter. Stir in two-ish tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk.

It's especially good when you have a sore throat - the spices scratch the itch and the milk coats the throat.

#29 ::: Ryan Freebern ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 12:02 PM:

Another tasty and simple hot drink is mulled red wine, which my sister-in-law makes occasionally (to rave reviews). I don't have her recipe, but I imagine if you're adventurous it's easy to come up with your own version by heating wine and adding some sugar and various warming spices (cloves, cinnamon, etc.) and maybe some orange zest.

Oh, and use the inexpensive red wine; the spices will essentially mask any more subtle flavors anyway, so using good stuff is fairly pointless.

#30 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 12:07 PM:

HP @ 18
We just boil or simmer slices of ginger (drink sweetened or not). Crushed is more efficient, I guess, since it exposes more surface area.
Adding it to the pot of chicken soup you're cooking is great for colds & coughs.
You can freeze ginger to preserve it then grate it as needed.
I've tried soaking crushed ginger in vodka to see if I could get gingerol but it didn't work too well.
Anyway, I decided to cut down on my ginger intake since it's blood thinning and I need more red blood cells, not less. Too bad; I love ginger.

#31 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 12:31 PM:

White tea is also known as Cambric tea, in case anyone grew up with that offering.

Just the thought of a hot toddy is enough to make me feel better today. ;-)

#32 ::: anatidaeling ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 12:50 PM:

It's nice to have any of these hot drinks in a heavy, thick ceramic mug. Maybe an extra-thick mug keeps the heat in longer, maybe it just seems that way, but there's something comforting about it.

#33 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 12:59 PM:

I find a simple hot buttered rum works if you're staying home and not going out again (noting Jim's warning above about the effects of alcohol):

In a two-quart saucepan gently heat

1/2 pint pure lemon juice
1/2 pint honey

stirring until the whole is mixed together and completely liquid. Continue stirring until it begins to bubble.

Reduce heat, add 1 oz butter, stir till completely melted.

Remove from heat.

Add 1 oz dark rum (Appleton, El Dorado, or Mt Gay depending on your preference). Stir. Drink.

#34 ::: Ulrika O'Brien ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 01:12 PM:

A local restaurant makes what they call Russian tea. This is tea that is made by boiling the water with a cinnamon stick in, steeping the tea in the boiling cinnamon water, and then adding orange juice concentrate and honey to the steeped tea. It's lovely and warming stuff, and I do wonder if this was the inspiration for flavored teas like Good Earth's house recipe, and Constant Comment. In any event, the orange and cinnamon combination is da bomb.

#35 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 01:15 PM:

D. Caruana, #9: Almost. A puggle is a baby echidna, not a baby platypus. I have an online friend in Australia who does wild-animal rescue, and he seems to end up with about 1 puggle a year to raise and release.

I'd like to put in a plug for Mystic Chai and Trader Joe's chai mixes. They taste about the same, and either one makes a lovely hot drink for a chilly evening. I just heat a mug of water in the microwave (about 3.5 minutes) and then mix in the powder, and I tend to make it a little less concentrated than the directions suggest because I get less colloidal fallout that way.

Another suggestion for quick-and-easy chai that I remember seeing but have never personally tried: pour a can of sweetened condensed milk into a small jar, add cinnamon stick and cardamom pods, and let steep in the refrigerator overnight. Then you can add a couple of spoonfuls of it to a cup of strong black tea. The spiced condensed milk will keep for a week or so.

#36 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 01:30 PM:

I am fond of a form of flip.

Dark beer (dunkles is good, but any dark, malty beer. Stouts are out, IPA's don't work, think nut-browns and the like).

A healthy dollop of mollasses

A tot of rum.

Put all of this in a stout ceramic cup, with about 2 inches of room at the top.

Insert one, red-hot loggerhead.

That's the hard part. I usually make this when camping. I use a poker I made when I was studying forging. It's not the best (I need to get to a forge and upset a loggerhead).

#37 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 03:27 PM:

I'll take five.

#38 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 03:31 PM:

#28 - shadowsong

If I'm thinking of the right game, the addictive part of Peggle for me was the amazing, over-the-top Ode to Joy-and-fireworks celebration when you cleared a level. I nearly hurt myself laughing the first three times I got it.

#39 ::: Tim May ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 03:35 PM:

D. Caruana @ #9, Lee @ #35: People (by which I mean "web pages") disagree over whether puggle is also applicable to young platypuses, but definitely the echidna first & foremost.

Some pictures here (scroll down). I used to know a site with a gallery of echidnas at different ages, but I can't find it now.

Puggle is also applied to a pug/beagle cross, which is what most of the results are on a google image search.

#40 ::: flowery tops ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 03:47 PM:

D. Caruana @ #9, Lee @ #35 and Tim May @ #39: I must read the surlier sort of web page with regard to the use of puggle as a term for young echidna and platypuses, because all I ever find is disparaging comments about it not being the proper term. In which case, imo, it should be.

The nicest mulled wine I had was at a Latvian function. I have no idea what was in it beyond the usual spices, but I think it had some port added. Anyone know a recipe that sounds familiar?

Apple cider vs apple juice: here cider is either fizzy juice (and non alc.) or alcoholic (and delightfully so); when I was in Canada canoodling with the husband, where they buy cider in giant jugs from the supermarket, I nearly had convulsions of pure happiness when I tasted it. So good! I have speculated that if we juiced apples here with the skins and seeds intact, we'd get a similar spicy, brown drink too.

#41 ::: P JEvans ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 04:07 PM:

Here in CA, apple juice is frequently unfiltered and cloudy, while cider is the clear brown stuff, slightly fermented (it isn't juice, that's certain).

Martinelli's comes to mind immediately: sparkling cider is big for the end-of-year parties, where people don't want or can't have alcohol.

#42 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 04:14 PM:

I haven't tried it yet, but I know a lot of people who swear by Alton Brown's Hot Cocoa Mix, as follows:

2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Hot water

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly. In a small pot, heat 4 to 6 cups of water.

Fill your mug half full with the mixture and pour in hot water. Stir to combine. Seal the rest in an airtight container, keeps indefinitely in the pantry. This also works great with warm milk.

#43 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 04:14 PM:

flowery tops @ 40:

That stuff with the convulsions of happiness is the one true cider, which must be the stuff that's meant in Jim's recipe. I'm pretty sure of this, because like me, he lives in Yankeeland.

You can tell the difference because our kind of cider is regionally pronounced "cidah," and may be referred to as "sweet cider" to differentiate it from "hard cider," which is the fermented stuff.

#44 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 04:46 PM:

The absolutely perfect cold weather drink is something fruity and frozen, drunk while sitting on a beach in Cabo San Lucas or St. Croix. Or maybe Maui.

#45 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 05:07 PM:

My hot chocolate practice is:

Some bar chocolate (darker the better)

Some sugar

Some cream.

Some vanilla (or almond extract, orange is ok).

Melt the chocolate and sugar in the cream. Add the extract. Powdered cinnamon is acceptable.

Once all has melted, add milk to taste, alternately the ganache can be put in the fridge (or covered and left out, overnight). It improves with age, but acts like a cream custard).

For decadence, a splash of calvados, or brandy, rum if you like, bourbon/sour mash is ok.

#46 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 05:10 PM:

Tim, #39: OMG, that's my friend's website!

Since we're talking about drinks, I'll mention (from the same site) the Beer Bat story. Den's a pretty good writer, especially with funny stuff.

#47 ::: Richard Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 05:23 PM:

Hot toddies are wonderful when the snow is falling and you're snug in your home. But after the storm blows on, I really enjoy taking a stroll through the hushed and huddled landscape, under the stars, with a martini in hand.

#48 ::: Tlönista ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 05:24 PM:

Stick cloves into an orange until the orange looks like some kind of microbe or perhaps alien space-probe. Bake the orange for a short while until it's gone a little more tender and is leaking juice. Heat apple cider (the Canadian kind) in a pot with the orange and a couple of cinnamon sticks.

The last time I tried to make this, I ended up in the juice aisle of the Sainsburys wailing on my cell to my roommate, "They don't have any cider this isn't my country I want to go hoooooooome!"

#49 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 05:46 PM:

Tlönista #48: Stick cloves into an orange until the orange looks like some kind of microbe or perhaps alien space-probe.

Or The Orb?

(sorry, can't seem to find a better picture of it)

#50 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 07:10 PM:

SeanH @8 Here in the UK, it's just the good apple juice you have to go to nice shops to find.

The parents of one of my friends make apple juice; you can't get it in supermarkets because... well actually there's a whole bunch of reasons, but economically they'd have to double production, give up on their current customers, accept a much smaller payment per bottle, and if the supermarket decides it's not doing what it wants, three months later they'll cancel the order. They seemed suprised to be tunred down.

(The year I helped them pack up their stall at the county show, all the other producers (cheese, beer etc.) in the tent had similar stories, so that's probably why you can only find it in nice shops)

#51 ::: sara ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 08:37 PM:

Some might be amused that on scrolling to this post, I first read "Cold War Drinks" (having come away from too many foreign policy blogs) and then interpreted "Hot Lemonade" as radioactive (or imitating same, maybe with cayenne pepper). It would suit the slightly macabre humor of ML regulars.

#52 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: February 26, 2008, 11:48 PM:

Ginger is good for unsettled stomachs. I usually cut crystalized ginger into tiny pieces and put them in the bottom of the mug. Then I pour boiling water over and stir. When it's cool enough to eat, there's a lovely taste, plus all the little ginger bits at the bottom to eat.

And, I must admit, among the treats I'm taking to Minicon is dark-chocolate-covered-ginger from NutsOnline.

#53 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 12:08 AM:

#34, Ulrika O'Brien

We used to make something called Russian tea in the 70s. IIRC it was sweetened instant tea, Tang, and various spices, mixed dry and kept in a jar. Add 2 or 3 teaspoons to a cup of boiling water.

#54 ::: Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 03:18 AM:

David@26: well, we have electrical hot plates here but really I don't think the recipe is all that scary. You're not supposed to let the vodka boil for any amount of time. You'd really need to hold a lit match over the liquid to light those fumes, I think. Of course better safe than sorry: if you do have an open flame gas hot plate you might try keeping the liquid below boiling at all times. I think moderately warm might be enough for the vodka to absorb the taste of the ginger.

On the other hand, now that you've planted the thought in my head I'm pretty sure that I will *try* to light the fumes next time I make the drink. If I survive I will report back.

#55 ::: mk ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 03:41 AM:

Sylvia @ 27, Ginger @ 31, the kidlet could not pronounce 'cambric,' so she called it hot-water tea and sometimes I would even put a spoonful of tea from my mug into her cup. Now (as a teenager) she just slurps straight from my mug, because it tastes better if it is mine.

#56 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 03:58 AM:

If you're having problems looking at the photo of The Orb, try down the bottom of this page

#57 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 04:50 AM:

Epacris, I'm filled with embarrassment at not having seen that myself.

#58 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 09:55 AM:

Hot Tom and Jerry

1 egg
1 cup milk
1 tbsp sugar
1 shot dark rum

This is a little fiddly but very good

Heat the milk to boiling hot. While the milk is heating, beat the egg and sugar over steaming hot water until it's thick and foamy. Pour the milk (slowly at first) into the egg. Add the rum, put in a hot mug, grate a bit of nutmeg on top. (This is basically an very thin egg custard.)

#59 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 02:15 PM:

#42 Sarah S had cayenne in chocolate: MMMM!

A local coffee shop near my home called Sisters' Sludge (I think the ' goes after the s there 'cause there are 3 or 4 sisters and they all own part of it...) that offers what they call IIRC an "Aztec Mocha" that is the usual espresso and milk with dark chocolate and ground cayenne pepper, plus maybe a few other ground spices. I generally have them add a bit more cayenne and it zings! The dark chocolate does not dissolve well in the espresso/milk combo - could be a "not hot enough" problem, or just too much to dissolve properly, but the goo tastes good, too.

After I tried that, I occasionally put some ground cayenne pepper on top of the ground cinnamon on top of the coffee grounds in my drip coffee maker. Makes for a nice zing without the usual sludge, but be careful: hot temperature plus hot spices can be surprising on first sip after reaching the expressway...

A lot of these drinks sound good. I'm flying solo through Sunday so maybe I'll experiment with the alcoholic drinks... (yes, I'll be safe, no driving, etc.)

Catch y'all later,

#60 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 27, 2008, 08:42 PM:

A different orb...

Shadowsong, I had to go look up Peggle... and then I had to try it. Fortunately, running thru the free download session seems to have been enough for me.

#61 ::: Meg Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 11:30 AM:

Hot lemon drink - my remedy for just about every single winter ailment I get. Admittedly, most of the time the ailments are along the lines of "sore throat" or "head cold with middle ear complications", both of which can be fixed pretty much by increasing the quantity of liquid ingested over a 24-hour period and sitting in a warm room while I feel very sorry for myself. Failing that, I gobble down Fisherman's Friend throat lozenges (the equivalent of a shot of drain cleaner to clogged sinuses, and a welcome relief) and slather myself with Vicks Vaporub.

Oh, and my home chai recipe (I used to call it spiced tea, until "chai" became all the rage a year or two back).

1 teaspoon leaf tea (black, unflavoured) per person (plus one for the pot, of course).
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half.
half a dozen whole allspice
three cardamom pods
Any other small whole sweetish (ie cake spices rather than curry) which happen to be available.

Pop all of those into the teapot. Boil the kettle. Pour the just-boiled water over the tea and spices. Steep until ready. Add milk and sugar to taste (I have mine black with none).

#62 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 03:40 PM:

If you want your chai to taste more Indian, mix the milk and water and boil the tea and spices in the mixture for a couple minutes. And add 2 peppercorns per cup of crushed black paper.

(From long ago, when I was in IT and single and my colleagues were mostly Indian.)

#63 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 04:24 PM:

cajunfj40: If you want to make that at home, make a ganache. The solids in high cacao chocolates don't mix well with water.

So take some cream, and heat it (cream has so much fat you can't easily scorch it), while the chocolate melts. You can make a bunch (I've been known to prep for a week of cozy nights by making a quart) and keep it in the fridge.

A large mouthed container is best, though one can put it back into a plastic cream bottle, and sqeeze it out, as needed. Don't let the children watch you, they will make scatalogical japes.

#64 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 05:36 PM:

@ Terry Karney #63: Okay, after Googling a bit I understand "ganache" better at least from a theoretical perspective (I bet my mother does something similar when she makes her Divinity Fudge...). What I don't understand is how this helps the solids not dissolving problem, or am I missing a step? Do I need to whip the drink well enough to emulsify the ganache into the beverage? Kind of like latte foam? (Hmm, maybe I should dust off the espresso machine too...)


#65 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 06:06 PM:

You can boil the spices with the cream (yeah, it won't curdle just from boiling it), then turn off the heat and let them steep for 5 minutes. Then you really want to remove the cloves, and anything that shares cloves' property of getting stronger and stronger and stronger. And bitterer.

Then you can either gently melt the chocolate and combine (see below) with the cream, or heat the cream back to a boil and pour it over chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate), in which case you want to wait for 60 seconds or so before beginning to stir.

When you start to stir it, begin in the center and stir in little tiny circles, as fast as you can. It will look like a mess at first, but keep it up; eventually you get a creamy dark dot in the middle. Then you can start expanding the stir outward. When the whole bowl is emulsified, you have ganache. Voila.

At this point I usually pour it over icecream, but so far I haven't put cayenne in it.

#66 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 28, 2008, 06:08 PM:

cajun 64: Cream will mix with coffee, and ganache is an emulsion of chocolate in cream. This will help mix the chocolate into the espresso. It's an initial-mix help, though: I'm not sure it won't separate once you mix it with boiling-hot espresso.

#67 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: February 29, 2008, 08:26 AM:

#63, Terry Karney - can put it back into a plastic cream bottle, and sqeeze it out, as needed. Don't let the children watch you, they will make scatalogical japes.

I think you made my morning with this. Both by the turn of phrase (one doesn't see "japes" often enough) and by simply thinking to mention the problem.

There's a delicious chocolate-peanut butter that my mother used to buy (may still, I'm not sure) that was packaged rather stupidly in individual-serving tubes. I was in my thirties when she first started buying it, and it was all I could do not to make japes of my own.

#68 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 01, 2008, 11:15 AM:

#58 Sam Chevre: my first thought, on seeing that recipe, was "Posset!"

Then I wondered if it might not be more like caudle.

A little bit of poking the net, and it looks as if medieval and Renaissance caudle recipes had eggs, but no cream, while at least one posset had both.

Of course they started with ale or wine (or sack), not rum, but in any case it looks related.

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