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Birthday Bitters

Let’s get one thing straight: I live in Atlanta because I hate the cold. Believe me, it’s not the easy traffic, clean air and kind people that have kept me here all these years (although I do have some pretty amazing friends in town). The traffic is some of the worst in the world, we spend more time on smog alert than Homeland Security does on orange and most of the transplants don’t have one iota of that much reputed Southern charm you always hear about – especially when driving through the smog blanketed city. Anyone who has done their time in A-Town knows this to be true.

If there’s one thing we supposedly have in Atlanta, however, it’s nearly year round warm weather (Hot-lanta anyone?). Most locals fall in love with the city anew as spring flowers bloom and the scent of magnolias wafts across Piedmont Park. I find something even more magical about Atlanta in December. What is it you ask? Jeans and t-shirt weather … duh! And yet, on this my 30-something birthday, I sit staring out my window at snow flurries and a high of 24 with no end in site.

Fortunately, my colleague Audrey sent me a little something that piqued my interest – a recipe for honey apple tea from Tetley.

4 Tetley Classic Blend black tea bags

3 cups boiling water

1/3 cup honey

3 cups unsweetened apple juice

Lemon slices

In a 2-quart pot, brew tea bags in boiling water. Remove tea bags and add honey and apple juice. Simmer until hot. Ladle into cups, and garnish with lemon slices. Serves 6-8.

Sounds like just what old man winter ordered. What could be better than some hot tea on such a cold winter’s day? How about the classic holiday cocktail – a hot toddy? Just add your favorite whiskey, brandy or rum to the cup for a festive treat that’s sure to warm the cockles of your heart – even an icy cold one like mine. I just can’t promise it will still serve 6-8 people once the liquor is added because you’ll probably be tempted to keep it all for yourself … I know I am. Happy birthday to me.

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