Cold weather calls for a “Winter Warmer”. Hot drinks fit the bill. Traditional libations like the Hot Toddy and Hot Buttered Rum have been served in steamy mugs for a very long time. Flips and slings too have their genesis as hot alcoholic drinks designed to sooth the soul.
Hot drinks do more than create warm hands and a warm heart. They seem to have some medicinal value too. When winter rolls around, I consider these warm libations to be the original nighttime sniffling sneezing coughing aching stuffy head fever so you can rest medicine. Of course, I don’t know how much actual medical science is behind that theory, but I’ll admit just the idea of a Hot Toddy can make even the flu seem more fun.
But I’ve decided to modernize the cool weather cocktail using a very old fashioned spirit. My version is just as comfy as its name sake, Warm Cardigan. Its highly fragrant with cardamom and chamomile tea. But it get its kick it from genever, which is considered the “original gin”. It’s often called Dutch gin, but it’s not really “gin”, though it’s made with a botanically infused neutral spirit. If you were to mix a gin and tonic or make a martini with it, you’d take one sip and wonder what kind of funky gin you were drinking. Because its base spirit is malt wine (but don’t get too hung up on the word wine). But it’s these malty notes that make it a wonderful “Winter Warmer”.
There are a lot of ways to define winter. There are even more ways to enjoy the chill and snuggle into the warmth it can create. This week on The Table Set the guys and I set out to bring a little warmth to your winter. But is winter coming or is it going? That depends on where you live. Listen up as we try to sort it all out. From warm grogs to hot pots, “what’s hot and what’s not”? GREG
- 4 oz strong, hot chamomile tea
- 2 oz bols genever
- 2 cardamon pods
- 1 barspoon clove infused honey (see note)
- 1 thin sliced lemon wheel
Stir the tea and genever together in a heat proof mug or glass. Pinch the cardamom pods to slightly crush them and drop them into the hot drink; stir in the honey. Garnish with lemon. Let the flavors come together about 3 minutes. Serve warm.
Note: Make the clove infused honey by gently warming 1/4 cup honey with 1 tablespoon whole cloves. Let infuse about 1 hour then strain before use.