Baby it’s cold outside!

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 It’s not Christmas anymore, but man it’s still cold!

It’s not Christmas anymore, but man it’s still cold!

You need a hot drink

Article: Robyn Tocker – A&C Editor

[dropcaps round=”no”]I[/dropcaps]’m Canadian, and with that comes a certain responsibility to maintain a level of tolerance towards cold weather. Even better, I’m a Saskatchewan girl born and raised, and our winters aren’t exactly what I would call a ray of sunshine. Despite all that, when the thermometer shows -35 degrees with a wind chill of -40, I get a little scared. How am I supposed to survive such conditions? Easy: I find something warm to drink.

There are, of course, a list of options that would keep me nice and toasty, but too many choices and I start to go a little crazy. By narrowing it down to some form of coffee, tea, or alcoholic beverage, it’s easier to make the tough decision.

After taking a quick Facebook poll, I realized a lot of people favour tea when they are feeling chilled to the bone. A close second was “other”, mainly consisting of hot chocolate, with coffee and alcohol tied for last. Like the people who kindly answered an impromptu poll, I usually opt for tea. But why drink tea over the other options, especially alcohol?

Canadian Living magazine tells me exactly why this is a good idea, even when it isn’t bloody cold outside. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, tea is really good for you. It strengthens your immune system, reduces risk of cancer, prevents tooth decay/bad breath, and builds strong bones. Drinking tea regularly also cleanses your intestines, eliminates body fat, and boosts your memory.

If we’re going to get really precise, certain teas have different benefits. Green teas specifically target things like reducing neurological disorders, along with reducing risks for a host of cancers. For that smoker in your life, if you get them to drink black teas, studies have shown it may protect the lungs from exposure to cigarette smoke, or so Web MD tells me. There are other types of teas with different benefits, so if you want more details, Google is your friend!

While tea is a great drink, sometimes we want something a little different to spice up our day (and warm us up). If you don’t want to brave the cold for a Timmy’s run, which I wouldn’t blame you for, the internet has a host of recipes to make special drinks that are affordable for the frozen university student.

Real Simple, an online recipe shack, gave me a package of nine hot beverage recipes. One that really stuck out was warm mulled cider. It sounds like I’ve gone back to Old England when mulled ale was a particular favourite in court.

To make such a beverage, all you need is one navel orange (whatever that is), half a gallon of apple cider, two tablespoons of honey, five whole allspice berries, six cloves, a pinch of ground nutmeg, one half-inch slice of ginger, and eight cinnamon sticks.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from the orange to create long strips. In a medium pot, you should bring the cider, honey, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and orange zest to a simmer. Don’t boil! Heat, uncovered, for 30 minutes. When it’s all said and done you ladle the beverage into cups and serve warm with the cinnamon sticks.

Actually, that might take too long. Oh well, I guess there’s always Tim Hortons!

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