The Hot Quincey
What could be more soothing for a thirsty (perhaps dehydrated) cold- or flu-sufferer than a nice hot toddy? Not a lot! However, not everyone drinks alcohol, which at any rate is dehydrating and therefore can be dangerous for sick folks, and even those who like alcohol and are properly hydrated shouldn’t imbibe while taking medications, be they acquired by prescription or over the counter. Despair not! Here is a virgin hot toddy (you do not need to be a virgin to prepare or enjoy it) designed to quench your thirst, soothe your throat and congested chest, stifle your cough and satisfy your sweet tooth!
* Ingredients *
Enough honey to cover quince bits in a small jar
One half cup orange juice
One half cup pineapple juice
One cinnamon stick
One cup still apple cider
Two Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger tea bags
One tablespoon ginger root
Two cups still (not sparkling) water plus enough to thin mixture to taste
Four to six sprinkles of nutmeg, depending on whether you get four or six servings from this recipe
* Directions *
Rinse (but do not peel) and finely dice the quince (excluding any seeds). Put the pieces into a jar in which they JUST fit. Cover them completely with honey (pour slowly, allow to seep down, pour more – otherwise the honey will just spill out the top of the jar and not immerse the quince bits). Cover and set aside for an hour.
While waiting for the quince, rinse and slice (but do not peel) the lemon, remove seeds (but not peel) and set aside. Grate ginger root equal to about a tablespoon and place in blender or food processor. When the hour is up, spoon the quince bits in, leaving the now-thin honey in the jar (some honey will get spooned in; that’s fine).
Put the lemon slices into the jar with the quince honey, make sure they’re all immersed, cover and set aside another hour. Then add the lemon and honey to the blender, along with the juice, cider and water. Liquify. If the resulting mixture is thicker than you would like to drink, add more water.
Pour the contents of the blender into a saucepan along with the cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and steep tea bags for 15 minutes, right in the saucepan. Remove tea bags and cinnamon, reheat the liquid if necessary, and serve in teacups of coffee mugs with a sprinkle of nutmeg as garnish.
NOTE: You may save an hour and end up with some flavorful cough syrup which will last at least a year in the refrigerator by making the lemon honey and quince honey at once, using the lemon honey in the recipe and storing the quince honey for use by the spoonful to relieve coughs. You may also experiment with other Celestial Seasonings tea flavors, such as Lemon Zinger, but Red Zinger’s hibiscus flavoring provides good balance for all the sweet ingredients.