The Holiday Hot Toddy

Christmas is a time for indulging, right? I mean, who doesn’t indulge for Christmas (and, indulge in everything). When Christmas season comes around, I give myself license to do all of those things that are usually unthinkable during the rest of the year: skipping the gym for an entire week (or three), grabbing a homemade iced sugar cookie every time I walk past the kitchen (and my kitchen is in the center of my house), treating myself to an after-dinner aperitif (along with desert, and in addition to the pre-dinner aperitif I had) . . . you get the picture. Basically, I look forward to the Christmas season all year long, and that’s because I love enjoying holiday creations.

My favorite indulgence? Cocktails. Fortunately, my favorite cocktail is also calorie-conscious cocktail (I swear I didn’t plan it that way). It was my best friend who got me hooked, and she is “one of those” people who actually watches her weight during the holidays. Trust me, you won’t ever have to know you’re being health conscious when you drink this one – the holiday hot toddy.

What you need (for 3 servings):

3 cups water
2 sticks of cinnamon
3 tbsp cloves
3 star anise
1 whole nutmeg
1 tbsp allspice, crushed
¾ oz agave
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz honey (or, to taste)
½ cup scotch of preference

How to put it together:

Combine all the ingredients except the honey and scotch in a pot over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow it to stay at a slow simmer for 10 minutes.

Add honey to taste.

Divide the mixture into three of your favorite low ball glasses (or any heat proof drinking glass), then add 2 oz scotch to each glass.

If you want to beautify the hot toddy for guests, put cinnamon sticks in the glasses to use as fragrant stirrers.

On a cold Christmas night, there’s nothing quite like a hot toddy for warming your hands (and your belly). What’s more is the festive cocktail fills your home with an unmistakably holiday-esque aroma – an aroma so indulgent in and of itself that guests will think you are doing some major splurging. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about counting alcohol calories with these, even if you are trying to watch your waistline this holiday season. Cook up a batch (or two) and sit by the fire. It is time to get the holiday cheer on.

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