It is often cold in New York in the winter. That's fine with me, as long as I have hot drinks handy. I used to live on hot chocolate, but for some reason, that has not appealed to me this winter. I have, however, filled the void with three new hot drinks this winter.
The mason jar above is all that is left of two full quart jars of elderberry syrup I was able to make this fall. I've never had it before, but I LOVE it as tea. A couple of tablespooons in a mug, a dash of lemon juice to cut the sweetness, and fill it with hot water, and it makes an awesome, sweet berry tea, without the tea flavor.
In addition, it is FULL of Vitamin C, or antioxidants, or something. I swear by it. I have literally not had a cold since a year ago February. Some of that can be attributed to the sinus surgery I had in April, but I KNOW a lot of it is this drink, too. Look it up - elderberry is GOOD for you!
The second drink I found, just by accident, in The Christmas Tree Shoppe, at Christmas time. It is hot spiced cider mix, boiled down to a concentrate. Again, a couple of tablespoons of it, hot water, and you have instant hot spiced apple cider that doesn't taste like instant. I've had those packets of dry cider mix before - umm, yuck? But this is good stuff. I couldn't find more at the CTS, so I ordered another bottle on line, at Gormly's (http://www.gormlys.com/) ( It makes a gallon, for $7.95. Good deal. And I'm sure it will last me through next winter, or some of it, as well as the rest of this winter. I love it.
And the last of my new "discoveries" this winter: hot water, lemon juice, and spiced honey. I guess this is not NEW to some people - and in fact, I guess if you threw in a shot of some good whiskey, this is probably a really OLD drink. (Is this what is referred to as a "hot toddy"? ) But I made my own spiced honey from a local beekkeeper this fall, and again, since I don't like TEA, this is sort of tea-like, but without that tea flavor. I just REALLY like a hot drink in the evenings, and these three have been my constants this winter.
OH yeah, and then there have been a few days, just a few, mind you, when THIS is the drnk of choice at night. OK, so it's not HOT, but it isn't cold, either. If it can't be hot, I'll happily take room temperature (I don't like ANY drink cold, not even in the summer. I NEVER put my pop in the frig, nor will I drink juice or anything that is cold. I HATE ice cubes in ANY drink...) This is not my favorite wine, but thankfully, it was at least good. I say thankfully, because I tend to almost always buy my wine based on the label. I bought this one in Maine a couple of summer's ago. Who could resist a bottle with 3 Blind Moose on it? Obviously I couldn't. But it is the ONLY bottle of 5 I bought that week in Maine that I could actually stand to drink. The rest I took a sip, passed the bottle off to my husband, and saved the cool labels when he was done! If you enlarge the picture, you will see that my VSWG (very special wine glass) is from MacGregor Winery, my FAVORITE winery in the Finger Lakes, (http://www.mcgregorwinery.com/) they DO have my favorite wines there. It was a particularly bad night the night I took this picture - I had my glass of wine with a 2 Motrin chaser.
(And? I have no idea why the first words in this post are blue, and underlined. Just one of the many mysteries in my life, for which I really have no time to spend pondering today)