Thursday, January 18, 2007

I Dream of Tea (and Whiskey)

As this is my first post on our new Recipe4Living blog, I thought I would introduce myself by talking about two of my favorite things, tea and Irish whiskey (even more magical when served together). Really, these two beverages speak volumes about me. During the drudgery of these cold winter months in Chicago, I do my utmost to replace a part of my chilled blood with hot tea, hot toddies (made with Irish whiskey, recipe below), and the occasional hot chocolate. But since that last one goes against my hard-earned reputation of drinking like an old man despite being a 20-something female, let's just forget that one for now. Hot tea and toddies are superbly flavorful ways to warm up, making me slightly uncomfortable with people who scoff at hot drinks.

Don't get me wrong, coffee has its perks (excuse my pun), but it only seems to impress me with hefty amounts of cinnamon, as was introduced to me by an Ethiopian restaurant in Evanston called Addis Adeba. If you live in the Chicagoland area, check this place out. In the traditional spirit of sharing, meals are presented on a large communal platter for the table and everyone scoops up the food with pieces of spongy injera bread. No, you cannot have a fork and knife. Trust me, it's fun and finger-lickin' good.

But I digress. Despite that cinnamon treat, tea is a much more interesting experience than coffee for me, especially when it comes to loose-leaf. The varieties of tea are quite staggering, and loose leaf creates an aesthetic experience while brewing in a clear cup or pitcher. I once gave a sweetheart a special Valentine's Day red tea which look and smelled gorgeous as it brewed with rose buds and more. One of my favorite loose-leaf teas right now is White Pear from adagio, which has a surprisingly smooth flavor. And, Adagio's loose-leaf infuser is simple brilliant. You put the loose-leaf into the clear cup with hot water (it's also microwaveable), let it brew, and a valve in the bottom releases the filtered water into your tea cup. It's just as easy as a teabag and MUCH more flavorful. Check it out here.

Hot toddies are an entirely different kind of experience, perfect for chilly nights at the local pub. All you need is hot water or tea, a shot of Irish whiskey such as Jameson, or my own personal favorite, Bushmills, honey, and a lemon stuffed with cloves. It's great for a cold. Nothing coats a throat quite like it. Enjoy!

Hot Toddy


1 1/2 oz. whiskey
1 oz. honey
1 lemon wedge
2-3 whole cloves
3 oz. hot water


Add hot water to the whiskey, and then stir in the honey. Stuff the cloves into the lemon wedge and add to the drink. Enjoy.


spotts101 said...

Ahh Caley, you and your whiskey. I prefer Vodka over whiskey anyday. But I do agree with you when it comes to hot tea. Especially when it comes to Green Tea. Love it! Here is a recipe that I use from time to time - For all the Vodka fans out there:


1 Tbs. Vodka
Green Teabag
1 C. of boiling water
Lemon Slice (optional)


Add your boiling water and your favorite green tea bag into your mug. Let the tea sit in the mug for a few seconds and the add vodka and stir. Add a slice of lemon to give it more of a kick (optional).