Newsflash! It’s January in New York City and that means it’s cold outside. It means we need a drink to fill our souls with warmth, and a hot mug to defrost our fingers after being outside for more than 2 minutes. What better way to do that than with a combination of tea and citrus?! Citrus fruits thrive in the winter, unlike some of us, and we love them for that! I start this recipe with a high quality spiced tea, which creates a super flavorful foundation for the rest of the drink. I choose a cardamom cinnamon variety here, but any spiced tea will work! Next, I use the zest and juice from three different citrus fruits: lemons, for tang and acidity, oranges, for sweetness, and blood oranges, for color. The tea and juices get a healthy half cup of dark brown sugar, and the resulting drink is not only deeply warming and delicious, but a great punch of vitamin c during cold and flu season! This drink will make your house smell better than any candle ever has (The Yankee Candle Company is quaking!) and will be your new go-to on a cold day when you need a mug of something that feels like a hug. And of course, for those over 21 who’d like to make this warm cocktail, my culinary producers tell me it’s great with 2 ounces of bourbon added, too!
Warm Citrus Toddy
- 4 cardamom cinnamon tea bags, such as Republic of Tea brand
- 1 lemon, peeled with vegetable peeler
- 1 blood orange, peeled with vegetable peeler
- ½ orange, peeled with vegetable peeler
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup fresh orange juice (about the juice of 2 oranges)
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice (about the juice of 2 lemons)
- ½ cup fresh blood orange juice (about the juice of 1 ½ oranges)
- In a medium pot, add 4 cups of water, cover and bring to a boil. Remove lid, add in tea bags and zest strips, cover and steep for 6 to 8 minutes.
- While the tea steeps, place brown sugar and ½ cup water in a small saucepot or microwave safe container. Bring water to a boil and remove from heat, or microwave for 3 minutes til boiling, and stir until sugar is fully dissolved.
- Once tea is steeped, remove and discard teabags. Pour in fresh citrus juices and simple syrup, and stir well to combine.
- Ladle into mugs and serve warm. Slices of fresh lemon are an optional garnish, or 2 ounces of bourbon, for those over 21 and would like to make this a warm cocktail.