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 hot toddy recipe, perfect for keeping you warm, boosting your digestive fire, enhancing circulation, increasing energy, and strengthening your 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 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 dinner before bedtime.
So what makes this spicy tonic so healing? The fresh lemon juice is antibacterial, detoxifying, great for the liver, filled with vitamin C (a major antioxidant), and a natural source of digestive enzymes. The Ayurvedic spices in this recipe are all considered warming, detoxifying, digestion boosting, immunity strengthening, circulation enhancing, anti-inflammatory, mood-boosting, 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!
Hot Toddy Winter Tonic Recipe
*Pitta types can enjoy in moderation during the winter months, if the Pitta is not elevated.
- Medium sauce pan
- Lemon juicer (optional)
- Grater for ginger (optional)
- Fine strainer (best!), cheese cloth, thin cloth, or paper towels for straining spices
- 4 cups water
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 9 to 11 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom pods, hulled (add a bit more for unhulled)
- 1 tablespoon grated or finely minced ginger (substitute with 1 teaspoon dry ginger if needed)
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 to 5 saffron stigmas
- Small pinch of cayenne pepper (optional, omit for Pitta)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 to 2 tablespoons honey
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, ginger, turmeric, saffron, and cayenne pepper (optional). Simmer here for 15 to 20 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 to 110 degrees, as this changes its molecular structure, making it toxic to the system).
4. Once the tea has cooled, add in 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey and juice from the fresh lemon. Stir well.
5. Strain the tonic using a fine strainer, cheese cloth, thin cloth, or thick paper towel. Pour the spiced tea into large mugs.
6. Sip and enjoy; feel the blood start to pump, and the warmth flow through your body. The best time to enjoy this tonic is after meals, between meals, or as an energizing and detoxifying way to start your day!