Man Cave Poison: Winter Warmers

I’m cold and unless you live in the southern hemisphere you probably are too. Now we could talk about the ‘old have a drink to warm up’ trick but we gotta drink responsibly, right gents? So we’ll just thin out the booze so we can drink more, just like dad did. (Actually it was uncle Terry who did that but only so he could pour aunt Marcia into the car and drive home later). Now you might be aware of the old standbys, the Hot Toddy, Hot Buttered Rum, Irish Coffee, but I propose we not stop there. I say we delve deeper and find a drink that will really thaw us out and melt winter away just a bit.

Now a buddy of mine swears by warmed milk and Baileys as an insomnia cure and he ain’t wrong but it’ll knock you on your ass before nine. I say give this a whirl: brew up a cuppa tea, add cream or whole milk and add some Baileys. Not your cup? Take the old Appalachian cough syrup,( equal parts honey and whiskey), and add that. You’ll be warm soon enough.

Not your thing? Too old lady? I gotcha.

How about a Hot Laddy? Boil water, add a teaspoon of vanilla and a cinnamon stick, dab of honey and some Irish whisky. Pour the water in and add milk if you’d like.

Or this one, a twist in the London Fog: warm up milk, add black tea, steep, add a tsp of vanilla and some rum, vodka or brandy.

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My personal favorite has a history, thankfully not my own: Bumboo. Pirates drank this stuff while the British navy swilled their grog and you can too. Take 1 cup of simple syrup and warm of medium heat. Once it starts to bubble, add a teaspoon each of nutmeg, cinnamon and a half teaspoon of clove. Let sit for a half hour then filter the spices out. Mix with 375 ml of dark rum. Add this to two parts water and one part rum mixture and you’ve got Bumboo. Take the Bumboo and add that to warmed cream, water or cider, just an ounce or so, and you’ll be just fine for a while.

There’s also the Athol Brose, oat soaked milk with honey, Scotch and coffee added. Warm up that milk a bit and you can easily just tell your spouse that you’ve been sipping coffee all night, no, they cannot have a sip and why do they always have to start something in front of your mother? Look, you know she’s controlling but-can we talk about this later?

Gentlemen, keep warm this winter, not just with booze, no matter how much it keeps you merry, but also with getting out there and enjoying the weather. Take a walk, hike a bit, visit new pubs or try a new gym. Get moving, stay active, enjoy yourself and try something new.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll like it?