Festive Winter Beverages with Herbs
When a chill comes round this time of year. I begin to think of how I can incorporate herbs that will support my immune system during the colder winter months. Some of these beverage creations make great gifts as well!
Hawthorne and Rose Hips add vitamin C. Astragalus root is an adaptogen tonic good for the immune system. It tastes a bit like licorice and is yummy. Other herbs or spices add flavor, like cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla. Give a chocolaty and super food boost with carob pods. Elderberries are another great source of vitamin c and are a good demulcent for the lungs.
Brandy can be infused with any number of fruits and spices and served slightly warm. Suggestions are blueberries with vanilla, cherries with cinnamon, oranges with cloves, apples with licorice root.
All you need for these infusions (see below) is a jar and your imagination.
I whipped this up this Fall in a Cup this morning. It was fun, beautiful and tasted fantastic. With 1 shot of rum per gift bottle added, I feel confident it will keep until I pass it on as a gift in December.
Another fun thing to make is this Fruit Concoction:
- Slice apples, peel and separate an orange and fill a quart mason jar with the fruit about ½ way full.
- Add ¼ c cloves, 3 - 6 cinnamon sticks, 1 vanilla bean sliced open and about a cup of whole cranberries.
- Shake it up to mix everything together. Fill the jar with the remaining fruit.
- Pour about 1 cup of honey over the top.
- Cover with MoonShine, vodka or rum. My first suggestion is the best.
- Let steep for at least a month.
- Makes a great gift. Can be cut by serving over ice with Perrier or other fizzy water.
- Instead of cranberries you could use rose hips or Hawthorne berries.
- Add a few sprigs of lemon balm for a lemony edge
Infuse rum with astragalus root and add to your beverage. Astragalus helps support the immune system.
Make your morning a wee bit Irish.
Add a shot to coffee for an herbal version of Irish Coffee.
Infusion = cover herbs with a liquid and allow to steep, covered. For these use a jar with a lid. Put a piece of wax paper between the rim and the jar when sealing.