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Christmas Isn't Christmas Without... a Hot Beverage

Today the high is 26F, with a severe wind chill. Most people would shudder at the thought, but, for me, conditions are perfect for something warm, spicy, and perhaps slightly alcoholic. Among my favourites are hot toddies, warmed apple cider with spices, hot chocolate sometimes with a peppermint stick, tea with a decent spoonful of sugar and a splash of milk, and coffee with some milk (that one's not seasonal). But the most luxurious, rich, and celebratory hot tipple is Mulled Wine. Precious spices mixed with precious red wine and simmered on the stove under a watchful eye combine to make something that warms my bones. While apple cider can be bunged in the microwave for 90 seconds, and hot chocolate can come from a sachet of powder and hot water, there is no cheat with mulled wine; effort must be made. My first true encounter with it was in Tallin, Estonia. I was spending a college semester in St. Petersburg, Russia and my older sister Kirsty suggested meeting in Tallin when she ca…

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