Monday, August 29, 2011


Terrible wet weather in Pune. Raining incessantly all day. It is windy, damp, cold and squalls of rain drench me from the insides as I stand in my balcony in Wakad enjoying the awesome view of the misty Mula Valley
and the Hills barely visible as silhouettes in the distance.
In order to enhance the experience of such moments you desperately need something to warm your insides. 
A cup of tea? 
Let’s fortify your tea with something stronger. 
Here is one of my favourite “Hot Cocktails” – a rousing Whisky Tea Toddy – just the right thing to fire you up inside out on the dampest of days and coldest of nights – a recipe breathtaking in its simplicity. 
By the way, I am sure you know there are five ways of making a cocktail: Layering, Building, Blending, Shaking, and Stirring. 
Here we will “build” our Whisky Tea Toddy – pour the ingredients directly in a large mug (or a glass tumbler), one by one, strictly in the order given in the recipe below. 
Brew one cup of steaming hot tea (orange pekoe steeped for 5 minutes if you prefer the flavour and aroma or your usual “boiled” CTC tea if you want it strong and rejuvenating). 
Keep the tea hot on the stove. 
Meanwhile, pour a generous spoon of honey into the glass (or mug). 
Add a large peg of Whisky. 
The person who taught me this recipe liked to squeeze in a wee bit of lemon juice, but I prefer it without the lemon juice – you can experiment and see for yourself, but if you do add just a very few drops. 
Pour in the steaming hot Tea and stir. 
Now cuddle up on your warm sofa, sip the invigorating Tea Toddy, close your eyes and you will experience how it warms you inside out. 
If you prefer, try a large peg of Brandy instead of Whisky, but not Rum – Rum Toddy is made differently – you’ll have to really “spice it up”. 
I am giving below the recipe for Rum Toddy. 
(A Spicy Cocktail with Tea, Rum and Brandy) 

Heat one cup of brewed tea, a few cloves (lavang), a pinch of nutmeg (Jaiphal) powder, a small stick of cinnamon (dalchini), a teaspoon of honey, a large peg of rum and a large peg of brandy, and the moment it boils, strain and pour into a glass tumbler. 
This steaming hot cocktail is guaranteed to warm your insides and drive away the chill on this cold, damp, wet, rainy day.
(If you prefer, use water instead of tea and caramelized sugar instead of honey) 
Hey, what are you waiting for? 
Just rush to your Kitchen (or Bar) and quickly make your Hot Cocktail and “Down the Hatch” – I guarantee it will enliven your spirits on the dampest, wettest and coldest of monsoon days. 
Do tell us which of these two cocktails you liked more. 
Cheers. Top Up and Dance in the Rain. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
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