This winter we experienced more snow and colder temperatures than we have in some years past. Because of the pandemic we’ve been semi-quarantined and occasionally get the chance to get out and let the kids stretch their legs with snow activities like sledding, tubing, snowball fights and building another Frosty the Snowman.

After the kids come in from the cold the standard hot chocolate is made to warm them up. What do the parents and adults have? You have to try my Big Joe’s Hot Toddy. It’s a great hot adult beverage that will warm you up and help relieve a muscle ache or two from being out in the cold with the kids.

I originally introduced this recipe for the Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics New Jersey that happens around this time every year. Last year over 7,000 plungers took a dip into the 37 degree waters of the Atlantic to raise big money for Special Olympics New Jersey.

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Over 50,000 people crammed the boardwalk in Seaside Heights to watch this epic event. I counted down the plunge and off they went. My hot toddy was a drink for those plungers and attendees to warm up after that great experience. The plungers and sponsors including the Law Enforcement Torch Run and the New Jersey State Police Benevolent Association generated over $2.5 million for Special Olympics New Jersey, an outstanding effort and collaboration.

You don’t have to plunge to enjoy my hot toddy. You deserve it. Here’s what you need. Cheers!


1 bag of your favorite black tea
10 oz. of almost boiling water
1-2 oz. of Bourbon
1 wedge of orange
1 tsp. of honey (Optional)
Orange slice with cloves pushed into it (Optional)
Cinnamon Stick (Optional)

How to put it together:

In a kettle or small pot, heat the water just hot enough that it almost boils. In a large mug, pour hot water over the tea bag and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag and discard.

Now depending on how cold you are from diving into the icy waters of the Atlantic, add 1 - 2 oz. of your favorite Bourbon. Squeeze a wedge of orange into the tea and gently stir to incorporate everything.

For me the juice form the orange and the natural sweet notes from the Bourbon are sweet enough. If you want it a bit sweeter or if you have a sore throat, you can add a tsp. of honey. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, or a slice of orange with a couple cloves pushed into it. Enjoy and feel the warmth start to return.

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Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

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