Brrr! I said it's cold in here!
There must be a recession in the atmosphere!
It's not even Halloween yet, and already it's colder than a witch's tit. Before you crank up the thermostat, only to be left in the cold when your heating bill soars, consider warming up with a hot toddy. This drink is a miracle: it's super cheap to make, packed with antioxidants, and guaranteed to clear sinuses and cure scurvy, shingles, smallpox, gout, dropsy, dysentery, dyspepsia, diptheria, and the consumption. At the very least, it's liquid Prozac for anyone who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder.
The traditional hot toddy consists of about two parts tea, one part brandy, a tablespoon of honey, and a slice of lemon, but you can also make a delicious bourbon hot toddy. Drinkable bourbon, however, tends to be a lot more expensive than drinkable brandy, but the Washington Post has lots of suggestions on how to recession-proof your liquor cabinet (thanks, Sanders!).
I make my hot toddies with E&J's XO Brandy. It may not be the very cheapest you can buy, at around $12 for 750ml, but it's certainly palatable, and it lasts the whole winter as long as you don't develop a major habit. I also cut corners and save money by skipping the lemon and honey and using instead honey lemon black tea or, in a pinch, lemon ginger green tea. I've also used pomegranate white tea and plain Earl Grey (with no honey or lemon added) to good effect. And, to save more money, as well as brain cells, calories, and myself from hangovers, I add just one shot of brandy instead of the recommended two. After all, it's the kind of beverage you consume while reading a good book with a cat on your lap, not the kind you use to play Flip Cup. On second thought...
Recipe: The Cozy Cat Lady's Recession-Era Hot Toddy
1 tea bag (can be lemon ginger, honey lemon, pomegranate, Earl Grey, or any fruity tea, really)
1 mug of boiling water
1 shot of brandy
Brew the tea. After it has steeped about 5 minutes, add the brandy. Cure what ails ye.
What if you buy brandy and find you don't like the hot toddy? Make mulled cider!