Food & Drink » Remix

Can’t sleep? We mix up a few nightcaps that won’t give you a hangover

Sleep tonics

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Friend, I don't know about you, but I'm having a hell of a time getting to sleep lately. And once I get there, I'm having a hard time staying that way. So it seemed like a good time to explore one of liquor's traditional medicinal uses, as a sleep aid. I've always pooh-poohed the idea, since hangover rest is so terrible. But, I reasoned, while untwisting the blankets for the 14th time last week, taking a dose of NyQuil is pretty much like taking a shot, and that'll knock you right out. But I didn't want a boring hot toddy or shot of rum in my SleepyTime, so I thought about warm, soothing beverages that I've tried in the past to boost drowsiness. There's the cold-and-flu classic, hot lemon and honey; newly trendy golden milk, aka turmeric tea; and hell, why not hot chocolate? Here are three drinks that ought to take you down. See you in Nod.

Mezcal milk:

2 cups hemp milk

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of cinnamon

1-inch piece of ginger, sliced

raw honey to taste

2 ounces mezcal

Combine milk, spices and honey in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir mixture until heated through, but don't cook it. Fish out the ginger slices, pour into a mug, add mezcal and stir well.

Hot chocky:

4 ounces whole milk

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons agave

pinch of sea salt

pinch of cinnamon

2 ounces blackstrap rum

Combine milk, cocoa and seasonings in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir mixture vigourously and heat through, but don't let the milk boil. Pour into a mug, add blackstrap rum and stir.

rye maple:

4 ounces hot water

juice of half a lemon

2-inch piece of ginger, sliced

2 tablespoons maple syrup

pinch of ground cardamom

2 ounces rye

Combine water, lemon, ginger, cardamom and maple syrup in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir mixture until steaming but not boiling. Fish out the ginger slices, pour into a mug, add rye and stir.

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