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Ingredients for the `green not toddy.`
Ingredients for the "green not toddy."

Bring spicy warmth to back patio this winter

Tue, Dec 15th 2020 12:10 pm

Extend social scene a little longer – and safer 

By Michelle Blackley Glynn

Space heaters were a “hot” commodity this fall, and just because winter is fast approaching it doesn’t mean they don’t have to be put away just yet. Instead, grab nine of your closest friends and family, pull down the mask, pour some yuletide in a mug, and head for the outdoors.

There are many warm beverage recipes to be found, but here is a trio that will not only bring coziness to a cup, they are also healthy to drink.

The hot toddy is a great drink for cold and flu season, and still soothing without the liquor. A “green tea not toddy” is a perfect drink for cold nights. To make this toddy, simply choose your favorite hot green tea (caffeinated or not) and add citrus and spices.

Green tea has proven to aid heart and brain health, and while cloves are best known as a sweet and aromatic spice, they are also used in medicine. According to Healthline, they contain important nutrients, are high in antioxidants, may help protect against cancer, improve liver health, regulate blood sugar, promote bone health, reduce stomach ulcers, and kill bacteria.

Green Tea Not Toddy

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces hot tea 
  • 1 tablespoon raw or local honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves (in a tea ball)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
  • Lemon wedge

In a mug of hot, freshly brewed tea, add the honey, lemon juice, cloves and nutmeg.

Stir well with a cinnamon stick.

Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Prepping warm mocktails can be a family affair.

The “pandemic pear” is so easy to make a toddler could do it, and consume it. Here is a drink that could be enjoyed without the booze or with – either way, it is also healthy for the entire family.

Pandemic Pear

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups pear juice (Gerber works if planning to share with kids)
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves (in a tea ball)
  • 4 teaspoons raw or local honey
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pear thinly sliced for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a small pot.

Heat on low for 20 minutes.

Pour in a mug and garnish with pear slices.

The beverage will be the perfect temperature for kids' consumption. If an adult beverage is desired, add a shot of whiskey or rum.

For the sweet tooth, there is a warm cranberry mocktail. This drink for two is a take on the popular cosmopolitan, without the sugar-induced headache that follows. This one is also a kid-pleaser because it’s so sweet, but it will need to be chilled before little mouths consume it.

Warm Cranberry Mocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sweetened cranberry juice
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 limes, squeezed 
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • Slices of ginger

Combine cranberry juice, orange juice and lime juice in a saucepan.

Stir to combine.

Warm until it comes to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Pour into a mug and add ginger.

Stir with a cinnamon stick.

Serves two.

Of course, none of these winter concoctions are complete without a proper vessel to put them in. Visit Steamworks Coffee on Canal Street in Lockport for a huge ceramic mug, great for anything hot. If COVID-19 prevents an in-person visit, stop-by its online swag store at steamworkscoffee.net.

Michelle Glynn lives in Buffalo. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at shellblackley.

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