Wait until next year

Putting off what could be done tomorrow, today

Tag: whisky

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The Hot Toddy

Yesterday I advocated feasting, not fasting this chilly January. And I thought I’d continue on my crusade to make my readers a little more cosy by discussing the King of all hot drinks…the hot toddy.

Last week my Significant Other was feeling a little poorly, and so the kind man that I am, I offered to fix her drink to soothe her throat and fight off the cold. To make sure she was fully at ease with the concoction, I made myself one too. I’m good like that.

What a drink. So good, it’s probably worth catching a cold for. The perfect warming, calming drink when you retreat from the cold outside. And that is a key element – this is very much a drink for when you return, not for when you head out. Mainly because, if made right, you’ll be in no state of mind to venture out to brave the elements.

There are a multitude of recipes for a hot toddy, of course, but I try to keep it simple. Cinnamon and cloves are fantastic if you get it right, horrid if not. So, let’s play it safe. Here’s the quick and easy toddy recipe. In fact, calling it a recipe is a little grand. It’s just stuff to make a drink. Ready?


  • A big slug of bad whisky. It’s no good wasting the good stuff on this. A cheap blend will work just as well, and be a lot easier on the pocket. It’s not there to dominate the drink anyway, it’s there to make you feel all warm and contented.
  • Half a lemon. Let’s keep it fresh, if only so we can kid ourselves that the drink is doing us some good. If the hot water kills the vitamin C, don’t tell me.
  • A spoonful of honey. What spoon? Depends how sweet you like your drinks, but I wouldn’t recommend overdoing it.
  • Hot water, freshly boiled. And then breathe in those lovely lemon and whisky fumes. That’ll right ya.


Er, stick all the ingredients in, hot water last, and give it a good stir. Drink. Repeat as necessary. Or until you fall asleep. Sleep is good if you’ve got a cold, multiplying the benefits of this drink further. Hell, it’s good to sleep anyway. I don’t buy all that “eight hours a night will kill you” bunk. It’s cold out. I want a good night’s sleep.

Anyway, give it a try. Any alternatives for a good drink on a cold night most welcome!

January is for feasting, not fasting

Just when it seemed like all the snow had passed, more was on its way, and the blanket of snow across Great Britain remained in place. Yet still, some hardy souls persevere with their New Year’s resolutions. But, apart from being prompted by a calendar, why start any resolutions now?

January is not the time for running, dieting or abstaining from alcohol. Now is the time to indulge! “But why?” I hear you cry.

December is our main feasting month of the year, of course, mainly because of Christmas. But also, the wintery climate helps. Big stodgy meals, staying inside and partaking of warming drinks is ideal behaviour for December’s weather. And with January even colder, and more wintery, why stop now?

We all overbuy provisions for Christmas. I’m sure most households are still full of Christmas food and drink purchased before the holiday, along with any consumable gifts that followed. Waste not, want not, as the old phrase goes, so let’s use it all up.

This weather is ideal for staying in and working your way through whatever treats you have to hand. And that is sure to cheer you up if you haven’t seen proper sunlight for days on end. Plus, the extra padding will keep out the cold when you do venture out!

Let’s face it. In this weather, at this time of year, nobody wants a salad or a light dinner. In these conditions a hearty meal is what’s required, and is what’s necessary, quite frankly. And if a snifter of whisky or a good red wine warms the cockles, all the better.

Plus, who is really able (or willing) to actually exercise at this time of year? Outdoor activity, bar sledging, is a no-no, and I doubt anyone is excited at the prospect of fighting their way to and from the gym. The countless lapsed or unused gym memberships are proof of that.

So, there you have it. Now is the time to finish up all those goodies, to cuddle up in the warm with a loved one and let that Christmas spirit continue (or perhaps just start rather early). There will be plenty of time for healthier eating and exercise regimes when the weather improves. And we’ll be far more likely to stick to any plans then, when the sun is shining, than now, when the elements are against us.


(So, what are your plans this month? Healthy or unhealthy? What food or drink do you turn to, to keep the cold away? Have you exercised? Have you managed to keep any resolutions?)

Photo from Paolo Camera via Flickr