11 January 2015
Hot citrus drinks for cold winter nights
You guys, we finally have a fully operational furnace. YAY.
So now is the perfect time to talk about what I was drinking to combat the creeping cold over the past few weeks.
When you're trying to use a beverage to keep warm, tea is the clear winner. Coffee is way too full of acid and caffeine for constant consumption, hot chocolate is super sweet and can become oddly filling, hot toddies are a bad idea in any quantity over two. Tea, in contrast, includes a great variety of flavors and levels of caffeine, and is neither sweet nor alcoholic unless you actually add sugar or alcohol.
But even tea can pall when you're drinking it constantly for weeks at a time. I needed to find some other hot drinks.
At the same time, a storm front came through California, and the wind and rain knocked quite a bit of citrus (not to mention leaves and branches) off the neighborhood trees. Our backyard was suddenly full of oranges, ranging from tiny and green to black and shriveled. In between, an overabundance of perfect oranges needed to be eaten.
So, after eating a lot of oranges and drinking a lot of tea, I decided to combine the two into a new hot drink, and it was good. I tried it with a white grapefruit, and that was good too. And so the hot citrus drink was born.
These drinks are the easiest things ever and provide a nice change from whatever else you might be drinking this winter. All you have to do is mix the freshly squeezed citrus juice of your choice with hot water, and adjust to taste. Bonus: they are perhaps the most frugal drinks possible if you happen to have an orange or grapefruit tree!
These do bear a strong resemblance to the traditional morning hot water with lemon that has become a byword with many detox programs, but I'm not using them to detox! They're tasty, warming, and a welcome addition to my hot beverage library, and that's plenty for me.
Hot water with orange
Put your teapot on to boil. Juice a large orange and pour the juice into your mug of choice. Fill the rest of the cup with just-boiled water. If your orange is very sweet, add the juice of a quarter of a lemon too. Stir and drink.
Hot water with grapefruit
Put your teapot on to boil. Juice a large grapefruit (white or red -- our local grapefruits are white) and pour the juice into your mug of choice. Fill the rest of the cup with just-boiled water. If your grapefruit is particularly tart, swirl in a spoonful of honey. Stir and drink.
What are you drinking (or eating, or otherwise doing) to keep warm and toasty this winter?