Padma Lakshmi Swears By This Twist on a Hot Toddy for Cold Days and Sore Throats
It's easy to find Padma Lakshmi's life aspirational—whether she's looking glamorous on the cover of EatingWell Magazine or serving up a glass of boozy nature's cereal, Lakshmi always seems to be having fun. And if her latest Instagram video is any evidence, Lakshmi doesn't stop having a ball even when she's under the weather. The television host posted her recipe for a tea-based hot toddy yesterday while hanging out in front of a cozily lit fireplace—with "Careless Whisper" playing in the background for bonus pizazz.
Even if you can't crank up your favorite George Michael song by the fire, you can copy Lakshmi's go-to throat-soothing drink. Her recipe starts with a mug of ginger tea, which she says you could swap with your favorite hot tea, and a "healthy pinch" of oregano seeds. (In the comments, Lakshmi suggests trading the oregano for ajwain, if you have it on hand.)
"They're really tiny," Lakshmi says of this key second ingredient. "You know how you take oregano oil when you're not feeling so great or under the weather? This is the same principle." Oregano is also chock-full of antioxidants and a great ingredient for helping to lower your blood pressure.
Lakshmi tosses the seeds straight in her mug of tea, but she says you could also put them in with your tea bag and strain them out later. Her third ingredient is a shot or half a shot of whiskey—you may want to skip that step if you're doing dry January or are seriously under the weather, since alcohol can be tough on your immune system.
For sweetness and a boost of flavor, Lakshmi finishes her drink with a spoonful of honey, some tangerine peel and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The result is a steaming cup of tea that Lakshmi says she makes any time she's "under the weather or needing something for my throat."
To get started on this drink, you might want to try our Ginger Tea, or maybe a mug of Soothing Ginger-Lemon Tea, as the base. Or you could swap in one dietitian's dupe for Starbucks' Medicine Ball tea, which includes lots of honey and chamomile. You could even add in other ingredients that support a healthy immune system, like freshly squeezed orange juice or some apple slices.
Once you're on the mend, you could always turn your attention to another Padma recipe that's perfect for winter, like her roasted cabbage or chicken with a creamy cashew sauce.