When it’s cold outside, opt for a warm cocktail that’ll not just make you feel fuzzy but will also keep the sniffles at bay.
Mumbai : As the onset of winters arrives, a cool wind makes you wish for some liquid warmth down your throat. And that’s where warm cocktails score high. A dose of alcohol, but to soothe you in cold months of the year is what makes it an ideal drink.
And if you thought these warm cocktails are around just for you to enjoy your drink and have a good time, think again. Most of these can serve as remedies to common cold too, thanks to commonly used ingredients like spices, herbs and more.
The hot toddy, a very common warm drink, originated in our very own country. Rich in spices, Indians prepared this drink even when the country was under the British rule. The hot toddy originates from the word ‘taddy’ of Hindi origin, which refers to a beverage made from fermented palm sap.
And with hot toddy becoming increasingly popular in cold countries, the popularity of other warm cocktails with whiskey or brandy as the base have increased too. Other spirits that can also be used to prepare warm cocktails are gin, rum, Baileys, Guiness beer, bourbon and tequila.
As far as India goes, people here are always open to trying new things. With our experimental nature, it’s easy to try new drinks and dishes, and have them in most restaurants.
Take our daily chai for example. It has been incorporated in several warm cocktails and receives a good response. Other ingredients like saffron, milk, cardamom, cinnamon and other masalas also are value additions to warm cocktails.
Now, our winters may not be all that cold, but warm cocktails not just comfort with weather change, they also are very delicious.
One of my favourite warm cocktail recipes is called The Warm Embrace. You will need about 30 ml bourbon, the same amount of ginger liqueur, 60 ml of cinnamon apple spice tea, some fresh lemon juice and some freshly pressed apple cider. Put the bourbon and liqueur in a heatproof glass. Add the apple spice team lemon juice and apple cider to it. Finally, serve warm and garnish with an apple slice.
With the ever-popular hot toddy, try its ginger variant. Take 100 ml bourbon, 50 ml honey, 20 ml ginger syrup, and 20 ml lemon juice. Heat the whiskey, ginger syrup and lemon juice in a saucepan together, till the honey completely dissolves. Then, serve hot in a large sniffer.
Or, you could try the orange cinnamon hot toddy. Take 80 ml freshly squeezed orange juice, 50 ml bourbon, 50 ml boiling water, a pinch of cinnamon and a cinnamon stick. Stir the orange juice, bourbon and boiling water and add a pinch of cinnamon to it. Finally, garnish with a cinnamon stick.
If you’re a little peckish, there are small bites to go with warm cocktails. You could serve cookies or fruits. Chewy oatmeal cookies, fruits and dark chocolates are your best bet.
Ricky is the owner of Summer House Café.