The Perfect Hot Whiskey – Make it an Irish Christmas!

Even at its most beautiful, the winter season can take its toll! Whether it is the bite of a December breeze, the ever creeping darkness, or the echos of sniffles signalling the beginning of cold and flu season, sometimes you need that special something to get friends and family in the celebratory mood. There are, of course, countless ways of doing this – food, music, storytelling, a crackling fire, a viewing of your favourite Christmas movie, chocolates or sweets. But if you still find yourself succumbing to the winter blues and need that extra special something, we recommend making this Christmas, an Irish Christmas!

To Each His Own

hot whiskey The Perfect Hot Whiskey   Make it an Irish Christmas!

Every country has its own unique traditions and methods of enjoyment. Whether it is a cup of tea in England, an authentic pizza in Italy or online roulette in South Africa, there are certain things we should leave to the experts. When it comes to famous winter drinks, mulled wine was created by the Romans in the 2nd century in order to defend their bodies against the cold winters as they conquered Europe. In recent years, the Danish term “hygge” has gained in popularity around the world. While there is no direct English translation, it is said to have derived from a Norwegian term connected to the English word for “hug”. It is the idea of surrounding yourself with all things cozy – knitted jumpers, cashmere socks, a warm drink and a roaring fire. And in order to deal with the wicked wild west winds gifted upon Ireland courtesy of the Atlantic Ocean, the Irish have their very own solution – the Hot Whiskey!

The Water of Life

The word whiskey comes from the Irish language phrase “uisce beatha, which means “the water of life”. And this phrase has never been truer than when you prepare a hot whiskey. It is is the perfect concoction for those days spent firmly wrapped up inside to escape from the cold. The combination of whiskey, lemon, cloves and brown sugar is the ideal remedy for the bleak winter months. And while it might not be first on your doctor’s list of recommendations, the medicinal values of each of its ingredients is hard to argue with. 

The Irish Way

Much like the pouring of a Guinness, the traditional way to prepare a hot whiskey is a sacred act on the island of Ireland. And while there are subtle differences that come down to taste, whether you take it with brown sugar or honey, there are certain things, the addition of cinnamon or ginger for example, that if your granny could see, “would have her spinning in her grave!”. 

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First things first, a heatproof glass is required. Place a metal spoon inside the glass (this will prevent the glass from breaking) and pre-heat by swirling boiling water around the glass before pouring it out. Next, cut a lemon into two thick semi-circle slices and stud them with 4-5 cloves. Add a measure of Irish whiskey to the glass before adding either brown sugar or, if for medicinal purposes, honey. The next step is to place the clove-studded lemon slices into the glass before topping it off with boiling water. It is crucial that the water is boiling in order to release the full flavour from the sugar, cloves and lemon slices. Finally, gently stir the concoction in order to fully dissolve the sugar.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Once prepared, it is recommended to find yourself a comfortable chair and some good company before slowly savouring each sip of what the Irish call the water of life!