The East Coast has taken a cold weather battering these past weeks, leaving New York City streets covered in a perpetual ooze of grey slush, its cramped denizens sneezing this year's flu all over each other on the bus, and my mood at a real nadir.
From hot water bottles to warm baths to deeply unappealing wooly bed socks, I've tried everything to try and perk up, to little avail. Which is why, my darlings, 8 weeks in, I'm reaching for the bottle. Enter, the hot toddy.
There are lots of fancy recipes out there, all claiming to yield the perfect HT, and loftily recommending everything from star anise to cinnamon sticks to ludicrously expensive rum salvaged from an 18th century pirate's secret stash (I made one of those up) but the recipe I'm sharing here doesn't bother with any of that nonsense.
No, this is the bare-bones store cupboard version; with no need to venture out into the cold for any corner store extras; requiring nothing more than a few basics, and a sudden urge, as I had this icy Sunday afternoon, to ease my sore throat with hot water and lemon and digest my newspaper and all it's grim news via the golden filter of good rum.
See a step-by-step photo guide to hot toddy bliss below.
Top up with hot water.
Et Voila! This is so perfect. Medicinal in its lemon and warmth. Convivial over afternoon lounging. Deeply soporific when taken before bed. Press one of these into grateful hands immediately. What are you waiting for?