Hot citrus drinks for cold winter nights ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

11 January 2015

Hot citrus drinks for cold winter nights

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.

Hot citrus drinks for cold winter nights

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 citrus drinks for cold winter nights

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.

Hot citrus drinks for cold winter nights

What are you drinking (or eating, or otherwise doing) to keep warm and toasty this winter?


Joanne said...

Love the citrus infusion into this hot water...I mean, if it's good cold, then it's probably good warm also!

foodfeud said...

Wow! What a nice idea. As you know, I have been loooving grapefruits lately. Drinking the juice warm at night sounds fantastic.
Even tea sometimes keeps me up if I drink it too late at night.

Marissa said...

I love warm citrus - it's always been my go-to when I have a sore throat, but I've never tried anything other than lemon! I've been sipping on rooibos chai and mint tea lately. This sounds like a refreshing change...

erin {yummysupper} said...

Eileen. Yes! Your citrus drinks combine everything I'm craving these days.... a warm cup of something + anything citrus.
Glad your furnace is working. It has been seriously chilly once the sun has gone down.
Wishing you all the best for 2015!

Caz said...

I love the idea of different citrus flavours. I've always been a hot lemon drinker. You should definitely ward off colds this winter with these lovely drinks!

Sippity Sup said...

I think you were struggling with the furnace before I left for S. America. Glad to hear you've got heat in two forms (Mug and Furnace). GREG

Erin @ The Speckled Palate said...

What great ideas, Eileen! It's been unseasonably warm in Dallas recently (I'm talkin' almost 70 degrees some days!), so we haven't been combatting the cold... but these are fantastic for when the cold comes back. I always like to do lemon or lime juice in warm water as something to warm myself up. Definitely gonna have to try the grapefruit!