My hot whiskey recipe

A couple of years ago, my sister and I went to Ireland on a research trip and everywhere we went, we were offered hot whiskey (I want to point out that this was rural West Cork in the middle of winter, not a baking hot summer! We were almost snowed in at one point.) I never really liked whiskey, but it was cold, snowy and bitter outside and this is basically a hot toddy variant. It was a very welcome drink that seemed to be offered whatever time of day it was.

Our hostess, Margaret, taught me how to make it at home and, ever since, we’ve had whiskey in the house for winter. I tend to make it on cold days or if either of us has a cold. Benn’s not well at the minute, so I’ve been making it a lot. I’ve also been giving the ‘recipe’ out on Twitter a fair bit, so I figured I’d put it here too. (Disclaimer: obviously, don’t make this if you’re on certain medications etc. I don’t fancy being sued. Also, I’m not claiming this is a cure-all for colds, it’s just something I’ve found comforting to drink when I’m ill and not pregnant!)

You’ll need: whole cloves, a lemon, honey (for a cold, brown sugar if you just want to be warmed up), whiskey. As you can see, I’ve artfully displayed this for you on my kitchen worktop. It’s all about the visuals, people!

It’s dead simple to make this- you can vary the strength of the whiskey depending on your taste; I tend to do a lid and a half-full. Then I put a bit of honey (about a teaspoon) in with the whiskey. Then, chop a slice of lemon and push four or five cloves into the flesh. Pop into the mug and pour boiling water over the whole lot. Hey presto- hot whiskey! The smell is lovely. It reminds me of Christmas because of the cloves and altogether of Ireland. It should look like this when done:

Make sure you drink lots of water when you have a cold, as the alcohol will dehydrate you a bit! Also, if you’re having trouble sleeping, mix a little honey and whiskey with hot milk; the milk has a chemical in it when heated that helps you sleep.

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