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Outwit the winters

How does one shake off the shivers and the seasonal blues?
By Girija Duggal | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 08, 2010 08:36 PM IST

Brrrrr…so the cold has descended upon the city, and how! Foggy mornings, dark, gloomy afternoons, and every breath a stab in the chest. How does one shake off the shivers and the seasonal blues?

Multiple shots of neat vodka, a la the Russians or the Poles, might do the trick. Only, you will be left with a dry mouth and a mighty hangover. Akevitt, a herb-laced spirit distilled from either grain or potatoes and which is popular in the Nordic countries would be a great option — if only it were available here.

But if the cold gets to you more than it does the others, Black Death could serve you well. That’s what the potent Icelandic Schnapps Brennivin is sometimes called. Tell me if you find a bottle in Delhi. So that leaves you and me staring at other, equally warm and equally effective, alternatives. And mind you, they aren’t half bad.

The Christmas favourite mulled wine is one option. (Add cloves, ginger, cinnamon, citrus and sugar to red wine. Heat for 15 minutes.) Another quick fix recipe is to spike a mug of hot chocolate or espresso with flavoured vodka or liqueur (orange pairs beautifully).

And nothing warms up the soul better than a glass of hot buttered rum. Simply warm a mug, add about 3 tsp sugar and some hot water to dissolve it. Pour in 10 ml rum and 4-5 whole cloves, and top with hot water. Add butter and stir till it melts, and voila, you have a delicious drink.

And if you want to keep it simple, just sip on some brandy or cognac after dinner. It’s a tried-and-tested recipe for outwitting the chill.

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