Holiday Toddy

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I really wanted to call this toddy a Christmas toddy, but I’m realizing that I’m calling everything “Christmas” these days. I happen to be in love with Christmas, for so many different reasons. I love the smells, sounds, the food of Christmas… The White Christmas movie. I just love it all.

I’m actually listening to Christmas carols as I type this post, and I was listening to Christmas carols when I whipped up this toddy. I start listening to Christmas music the first cold day, or, the first of November, whichever occurs first.

About this time of year I also have a pretty well-stocked liquor cabinet, so I can create a holiday-inspired cocktail or toddy with a pomegranate vodka, an eggnog liqueur, a peppermint schnapps – whatever I fancy. I am very lucky this way.

Today it’s chilly, and I was in the mood for a toddy, which, in my book, implies a hot drink. Like a hot buttered rum would be a hot toddy to me. Which I almost made… But then I had this idea inspired by a recipe I once saw, using tea as the base. And, I happened to have chai tea bags, so that’s what I did. Please enjoy this hot toddy:

Holiday Toddy:

8 Chai tea bags*
1 teaspoon crushed cardamom
1 cup sweetened evaporated milk
1 cup spiced rum
Cinnamon sticks

Place the tea bags and the cardamom in a heat-proof container, preferably large enough to hold a quart and a half of liquid. Add boiling hot water and let the tea steep for at least 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags. Add more hot water until it measures exactly 3 cups. Alternatively, the toddy can be made in a pot on the stove.

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Add the sweetened evaporated milk and whisk until it’s completely combined. Add the rum. If you’re serving right away, heat the toddy up first till it’s steaming, then serve the it with a cinnamon stick. It can also be served from the pot on the stove, if you prefer. If it’s going to stay on the stove for a while before serving, I’d add some cinnamon sticks to it to get even more cinnamon-y!

*I think any Christmas-type tea will work, even an orange tea would work. And, you could always serve the toddy with a little orange peel twirl.

note: This recipe makes about 6 good-sized cups. It can easily be doubled, or tripled…..

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