Once upon a time a wise so-and-so said "write what you know." So here is what I know. My head feels like a hot air balloon made of marshmallows. I look like a friggin' newt, as I can only breathe out of my mouth. I actually used a coupon to buy Kleenex in bulk. Soup and I have gone on lunch dates for the better part of this week. I sound like a stepped on Muppet.
In short, I'm sick.
Thus, in a Vicks VapoRub haze, I asked some of my most trusted sources for their "Get Well Soon" drink recipes.
Comments on my Facebook page ranged from Chad recommending "Whiskey ... just whiskey" to Dave suggesting "A Lunchbox: aAmaretto, OJ and beer: equal parts in a glass, in that order, no ice." Mare likes coffee and Baileys because it warms her right up. Chris' go to is tea with honey, lemon and brandy, but Carolynn prefers hot Grand Marnier. Carrie let me in on a Wisconsin classic, a shot of blackberry brandy. Hmmmm. Interesting.
Blogger extraordinaire Jordan Reid from ramshackleglam.com suggested her recipe for mulled wine. After giving it a whirl, I'm happy to report it's ridiculously delicious and tastes like the entire holiday season in a mug. It warms your soul and your belly and makes your brain forget about your marshmallowey Muppet head, if only for a moment.
To whip up your own pot of mulled wine, grab a medium sized-pot and fill it with one bottle of red wine, half cup sugar, a few slugs of brandy, one cinnamon stick, a few shakes of allspice, a pinch of cloves and half an orange, sliced up. Let the pot simmer over low heat until it starts to steam. Sip and feel warm, fuzzy, and loved.
While my wine was mulling away I reached out to some of my favorite local establishments to dig up what their doctors/bartenders prescribe to those of us feeling under the weather.
Mike from Water Buffalo, 249 N. Water St., has two drinks to fight your flu bug. The first is "Manuka Tea" and will get you off the couch and on the dance floor. Take hot green tea, a lemon wedge and add 42 Below's Manuka Honey Vodka. Manuka Honey is a "super honey" that New Zealand has been using for hundreds of years to cure all sorts of ailments, like Muppetitis. The drink clears your fuzzy head and soothes your throat, making it a great drink to help get you through the night. His second remedy is "Drambuie Cider."
Take hot apple cider, Drambuie liqueur, and mix it with a cinnamon stick. It may not have the medicinal backings Manuka Tea does, but it will definitely help you forget all about your runny nose. And since you've most likely blown your budget on tissues and cough drops, Water Buffalo offers all seasonal drinks for 25 percent off Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. That's a deal worth changing out of your PJs for.
Mike and Mathias of Distil, 722 N. Milwaukee St., come to your rescue by serving up the "Apt. 137," a cocktail that includes fresh ginger juice which, get this, acts as an antihistamine and decongestant. Included in their recipe is 2 ounces of 44 North Huckleberry Vodka, 1 ounce Blueberry Nectar, 1 ounce fresh sour, half an ounce of ginger juice, a tablespoon of house made lemon curd and a topper of lemon foam. I wonder if Apartment 137 has a cozy couch and some reality television. Regardless, I'm ready to move in.
At the Hi-Hat, 1701 N. Arlington Pl., Dan has a recipe that's a twist on the classic hot toddy, a Georgia Toddy. In this he uses half an ounce of fresh lemon juice, three-quarters an ounce of honey syrup, an ounce an a half of Matusalem Classico, an amber rum, and one bag of Peach Rooibos tea. He adds all that to a coffee mug and tops with hot water and freshly grated nutmeg.
Branded at The Iron Horse Hotel, 500 W. Florida St., is headed by award-winning (and OnMilwaukee.com-featured) mixologist Clint Steward and offers up The Barn Jacket, an $11 drink composed of fresh-smoked apple cider and Drambuie with a pinch of nutmeg, clove and rosemary. Clint is also on heating it up with his Crackling Fire concoction. This beast is made with habanero, thyme and sugar cane which is then added to maple flavored Rehorst "Roaring Dan's" rum, then finished with bitters, fresh lime and a sprig of thyme.
Dan at Swig, 217 Broadway, has us sickies covered with a "Common Cure" martini. For $9 you can show that cold virus who's boss with whiskey, orange juice, amaretto, fresh lime and lemon juice, and a dash of simple syrup. Replacing the simple syrup with honey for the sorest of throats is a popular option.
John, from Bryant's Cocktail Lounge, 1579 S. 9th St., has a different take on the "Get Well Soon" adult beverage. He suggests turning to the cocktails that are firmly rooted in the tiki movement and says, "There is something about sipping on a tropical Polynesian concoction that make my blood flow and reminds me of warmer, happier times. Our Mai Tai and Hawaii Kai are two cocktails that will remind you of warmer places. If they don't, there is enough alcohol in them to make you forget about your winter worries."
In times of sniffles and snuffy heads it's good to know we have an army of Milwaukee's finest mixologists ready and waiting to serve up the best bar spun remedies. If there is one thing all the recipes have in common is a good stir of love.
To say Sara is a woman of many hats would be like saying sour gummy worms are delicious: an epic understatement. Besides blogging, vlogging, tweeting and designing, she is a gal about town. Hopping, skipping and jumping all over this fair city to seek out the latest and greatest.
Since moving to Milwaukee right after high school, Sara's ADD has led her to reside in nearly every ZIP code Milwaukee has to offer. She recently moved from the Third Ward to Shorewood, and though the quieter scene isn't sucking, she vows to prove the burbs' swagger is right up there with the city's.
The Milwaukee area is one of many hats. And Sara's determined to try on each and every one of 'em.