cure for winter (elderberry hot toddy)

So we’re smack inside winter’s icy landscape and instead of buckling beneath February’s malaise, we acclimate to it. Clad in woolen layers with wind stung cheeks we look like a picturesque ad for the season. We hike in knee high snow and climbing. Sled down icy wooden hills. Drink mug after mug of hot cocoa and snack on brown butter carrot bread. I even go so far as to tape a fireplace drawing to the wall and cuddle up to it’s bright flames with talk of ski trips (a sport I’ve sworn off for years) and mountain getaways. We’re biting into winter’s romance with an insatiable appetite.

365.2.1.11 72 dpi (hot toddy)

Sure, I dream of stealing away to the tropics for a week or more. But, I can’t and won’t for a number of reasons, the top two being steaming cups of elderberry hot toddies and warm loaves coconut ginger banana bread enjoyed in front of our newly installed faux fireplace on any given night.

water for hot toddy

You’ll have to draw your own fireplace, but I will leave you with the hot toddy recipe that’s sure to get you through the rest of the month, and possibly into spring.

elderberry hot toddy

Elderberry Hot Toddy

Yield 1 serving

2 tablespoons dried elderberries (place inside a tea strainer)
1 teaspoon raw honey (or sweeten to taste)
1 cinnamon stick
1 1/2 ounces rum

optional garnish
1/2 orange slice (studded with 3 whole cloves)

Put the first four ingredients inside an 8-ounce mug. Fill the mug with very hot water. Cover with a plate and allow the flavors to steep for 15 minutes. Remove the tea strainer and cinnamon stick. Adjust sweetener and add the optional garnish.


  1. says

    This sounds wonderful (and very Nordic) — I have some dried rosehips that I may try in place of the elderberries. Fruity hot rum sounds like a prescription for winter happiness! theresa

  2. says

    This sounds like such a wonderful way to warm up after coming in from the snow. As I sit here watching the snow fall, I know that the boys will want to go out and play in it. Now I know what I’ll be drinking when I come in, with the rosehips substitution suggested by Island Vittles, because I don’t have any dried elderberries in the house. Looks like I’ll need to put some on my grocery list for next time. Thanks for sharing.

  3. says

    This summer I made Elderberry cordial, which has a similar feel at this time of year! Have you tried cordials? So easy!! Lots of recipes out there, but I just fill a quart jar 3/4 full of fruit. Squished down and then fill the rest with alcohol, either rum or vodka! Ummm. Medicinal and warming :)

    • ArtandLemons says

      Hi Sarah—Just read this. I’m adding your Elderberry cordial to my list to make soon. It sounds incredible.

  4. says

    Ooops I forgot to mention you want to leave it to set like this for at least a month or more, then strain and store. At that point you can eat the fruit too.

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