“I really can’t stay…
Baby, it’s cold outside.
I’ve got to go away…
Baby, it’s cold outside.
This evening has been…
Been hoping that you’d drop in.
…so very nice.
I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice.“
Hm, perhaps if you really want to get that special someone to stay and warm up in your cozy London apartment, you could tempt him or her with a steaming, belly-tingling winter cocktail—the sort that our local London pubs are now serving for the season.
The UK holiday menu faves? The hot toddy and mulled wine. There are variations on both, but these recipes sounded quite nice to me:
HOT TODDY (which actually makes for a nice cold remedy, by the way)
- 1 oz brandy, whiskey or rum
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1/4 lemon
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tea bag [optional]
- Coat the bottom of a mug or an Irish coffee glass with honey.
- Add the liquor and the juice of the lemon quarter.
- On the side, heat water in a tea kettle and add the tea bag to make hot tea [or just use hot water].
- Pour the steaming tea [or water only] into the glass and stir.
MULLED WINE (this one comes to us from Jamie Oliver)
- 2 clementines
- peel of 1 lemon
- peel of 1 lime
- 250g caster sugar
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 1 whole vanilla pod, halved
- 2 star anise
- 2 bottles of Chianti, or other Italian red wine
- Peel large sections of peel from your clementines, lemon and lime using a speed peeler.
- Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice.
- Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg.
- Throw in your halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
- Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and then bring to the boil.
- Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. [The reason Jamie does this first is to better infuse the spices into the wine. Also, making the syrup base helps you get it very hot without burning off the alcohol of the remaining wine---which would occur if you dumped in both bottles at this stage]
- When your syrup is ready turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and both bottles of wine.
- Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve.
If that doesn’t sound like a deeelish indulgence when staying in or entertaining, I don’t know what does. It’ll keep you primed for all the impending holiday festivities, whether you’ve already relocated to London and are heading home for them or are presently in the process of moving to London. In either case, London Relocation wishes you safe travels and a comfy place to come home to, wherever “home” is for you!