Yes, that’s what the thermometer outside read when I awoke this morning. Hm…I suppose this means winter has at last moved in and plans to stick around for awhile.
Warming, soul-satisfying foods and beverages will certainly be on tap today, and in that mix, hot mulled tea tops my list. Come this time of year, I find myself often turning to older cuisines based in northern climes for food and drink ideas to deeply comfort when the temperatures drop.
Hot beverages, spiked with various selections of naturally warming ingredients such as cloves, cinnamon, and alcohol are found in many cultures for the colder months. Spiced wine, the beloved hot toddy, sweetened and spiked coffees…all delicious. Both Austria and Germany have variations on spiced tea, the Germans adding rum and vanilla to it as well.
Since I still have work to do, I’m making mine sans the booze, but I think it’s every bit as yummy.
Give this a try whenever you’re in the mood for a cozy warm cuppa to warm you through and through, or to revive a chilly group just back from the slopes or pitching snowballs…
16 ounces water
2 strips of orange peel & 1 strip of lemon peel (no white pith)
1 teaspoon whole cloves
2 star anise, broken apart
half a cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons loose black tea (or 2 tea bags)
Honey and/or milk to taste
Gradually bring the water and aromatics to a simmer, then add the tea and let steep for about 8-10 minutes. Add the honey and milk to your liking. Curl your chilly fingers around your warm cup, get comfy, relax and enjoy!