This is the official Big Joe drink of the Polar Bear Plunge 2022. No matter the temperature outside, when you dive into the 30 degree ocean waters, you’re going to be cold. My hot toddy will make you feel warm and fuzzy.
Due to the pandemic, we have been semi-quarantined and sometimes have the chance to go out and let the kids stretch their legs with snow activities like sledding, tubing, snowball fights and building another Frosty the Snowman. Once the kids are home from the cold, the standard hot chocolate is prepared to warm them up.
What do parents and adults have? You have to try my Big Joe’s Hot Toddy. This is a great hot drink for adults that will warm you up and help ease a cold sore muscle or two with the kids.
I originally introduced this recipe for the Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics New Jersey which happens around this time every year. In 2020, over 7,000 divers plunged into the 37 degree waters of the Atlantic to raise big money for Special Olympics New Jersey.
Over 50,000 people packed the Seaside Heights boardwalk to witness this epic event. I counted the dive and they left. My grog was a drink for these divers and participants to warm up after this great experience.
Divers and sponsors, including the Law Enforcement Torch Run and the New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association, have generated over $2.5 million for Special Olympics New Jersey, an exceptional effort and collaboration.
You don’t need to dive to enjoy my toddy. You deserve it, here’s what you need. Cheers!
1 bag of Earl Gray tea or a bag of your favorite black tea
10oz. almost boiling water
1-2oz. from Bourbon
1 orange wedge
1 C. honey (Optional)
Slice of orange with cloves pushed into it (Optional)
The cinnamon stick (Optional)
How to assemble it:
I like Earl Gray tea for this as it adds another layer of citrus, but any quality black tea will work just fine. In a kettle or small saucepan, heat the water just enough to almost boil. In a large mug, pour hot water over the tea bag and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag and discard it.
Now, depending on how cold you feel after diving into the icy waters of the Atlantic, add 1-2 oz. of your favorite Bourbon. Squeeze an orange wedge into the tea and stir gently to incorporate everything.
For me, the juice from the orange and the natural sweet notes of the Bourbon are sweet enough. If you want it a little sweeter or you have a sore throat, you can add a teaspoon. honey. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or a slice of orange with a few cloves pushed into it. Enjoy and feel the heat start to return.
The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. All opinions expressed are those of Big Joe.