Keep warm this Samhain…

As the cold starts to creep in with the longer nights, I find myself drawn to coffees, teas and spiced drinks. Here’s a couple options for you this Samhain

 Growing up, whenever I was suffering a bad sore throat, my Dad would make me my favourite soothing drink. I didn’t know at the time that this was sort of an Irish remedy, what with the alcohol content. My Dad was definitely old school :)

 Hot Toddy

1 tbsp honey (to taste. I like mine sweet!)

2 fluid ounces boiling water

1 1/2 fluid ounces whiskey

3 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1 slice lemon

1 pinch ground nutmeg

Pour the honey, boiling water, and whiskey into a mug. Spice it with the cloves and cinnamon, and put in the slice of lemon. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes so the flavors can mingle, then sprinkle with a pinch of nutmeg before serving

(Pssst. The source of my picture is also a fun post about curing cocktails.)

 No matter your celebration plans, Mulled Wine is a great addition as a festive beverage for those who drink alcohol. I usually make this for my Samhain rit.

Mulled wine


-Bottle of red wine, dry usually.

-2/3 cup of sugar

-2-3 Cinnamon sticks

-6-8 Cloves

-2 tbsp Allspice

-Lemon or orange slices

-1/4 cup water

 Combine water, sugar and spices in a pot. Heat slowly, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. Add wine and orange/lemon slices and heat until steaming. I personally like to do this slowly to let all the spices and flavours mingle. When you feel it has steeped enough, serve (be sure to strain out the spices and slices)

 For those that prefer a non-alcoholic drink, why not make some mulled cider?

Mulled Cider

1 large lemon, cut in half
1 medium orange, cut in half
16 whole cloves
4 cups clear apple juice
1/2 to 3/4 cup honey
4 (2-inch) cinnamon sticks
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Cut two slices (1/4-inch thick) from each lemon and orange half. Insert whole cloves into slices; set aside. Squeeze juice from remainder of fruit halves into a medium non-reactive saucepan. Stir in apple juice and honey; mix well. Add cinnamon sticks, ginger and reserved fruit slices. Bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Strain cider if desired and place one or two cinnamon sticks in each glass or cup. Serve immediately in a heatproof serving bowl.

Makes 6 servings.

Note: If desired, a little brandy can be added to the cider to give it that extra “zip”, or leave it alcohol-free so the kids can enjoy it also. (from


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