The holiday season is the time of year for friends, family, giving and gratitude. However, it can also come with an increase in stress, exhaustion, eating and of course drinking. One of the best ways to avoid the seemingly unavoidable holiday weight gain is to limit empty calories including alcohol. Here is an incredible alcohol-free Ayurvedic Hot Toddy recipe, perfect for keeping you warm, boosting the digestive fire, enhancing circulation, increasing energy, and strengthening immune system throughout the winter months.
If you find yourself feeling obligated to partake in the unlimited amounts of alcohol at your next holiday party, get creative with a healthier solution. Make a large batch (this recipe can be multiplied) to bring and share with others, as you are probably not the only one needing a break from the typical. This will give you something to sip on while socializing, without the added calories, or hangover in the morning. Hooray!!
Although this is a great non-alcoholic option for your social life, this Ayurvedic Hot Toddy is equally as amazing for sipping on as an after meal treat throughout the winter season. As mentioned, it is excellent for boosting the digestion and metabolism, making it not only a tasty way to end the day, but an intelligent way to help digest the dinner meal before bedtime.
So what makes this spicy tonic so healing? The fresh lemon juice is antibacterial, detoxifying, great for the liver, and filled with vitamin C (a major antioxidant) and digestive enzymes. The Ayurvedic spices in this recipe are all considered warming, detoxifying, digestion boosting, immunity strengthening, circulation enhancing, anti-inflammatory and naturally energizing. Even the honey possesses amazing health benefits such as being antibacterial, great for the respiratory system, and according to Ayurveda, great for “scraping” away fat and toxins from the system… Not bad!
- Doshic effect: Vata↓, Pitta↑*, Kapha↓ *Pitta types can enjoy in moderation during the winter months, only if they are in balance.
- Serving: Two large servings (about 12-14 ounces per serving)
- Time: 20 minutes including steeping time
- Gluten Free, Vegetarian
- Medium sauce pan
- Lemon juicer (optional but recommended)
- Grater for ginger (optional but recommended)
- Small strainer (best!), cheese cloth, thin clean dish cloth, or paper towels for straining spices
- 4 cups of filtered water
- 1 lemon
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 9-12 whole cloves
- 1 tsp cardamom pods, hulled (add a bit more for unhulled)
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger (substitute with 1/2 tsp dry ginger if needed)
- Pinch of turmeric (freshly grated or dry powder will do)
- Small pinch of cayenne pepper (optional, omit for Pitta)
- 3-5 Saffron stigmas
- 2-3 tsp honey (to add only after the drink cools a bit)
1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium sauce pan.
2. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and add in the cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom pods, saffron, fresh ginger, turmeric, and cayenne pepper (optional). Simmer here for 15 minutes, or as long as desired.
3. After the spices are fully steeped, take off of the heat and let the infusion cool a bit before adding in the lemon and honey. This will preserve the enzymes in the lemon, the nutrients in the honey, and keep the honey from turning toxic to the body (honey should never be heated above 108-110 degrees, as this changes its molecular structure making it toxic to the system).
4. Once the tea has cooled, add in 2-3 tsp of honey and juice from the fresh lemon. Stir well.
5. Strain the tonic using a small strainer, cheese cloth, thin clean dish towel, or thick paper towel. Pour the spiced tea into large mugs.
6. Sip, enjoy, feel the blood start to pump, and the warmth flow through your body. The best time to enjoy this is in the winter months, after meals, or even as an energizing and detoxifying way to start your day!