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neighborly halloween toddies

November 1, 2011

K and I have been fortunate to befriend some really great neighbors since moving into the schoolhouse in JP last year.  There are 12 units, and among us there’s a neurologist, an oncologist, a realtor, a professional photographer, a domestic goddess, a federal agent, several scientists, and a Vegan from Australia.  In the event of an emergency, I  feel we have our bases pretty much covered, don’t you?

The group of us have done a pretty decent job getting everybody together for occasional neighborly fun.  At the end of the summer, we all spent a day landscaping & BBQ’ing, and then a few weeks ago one unit hosted an autumn pot-luck.   In December, I’ll have my turn at the hostess baton when we open our doors for our annual Holiday Cocktail Party.  I am already planning it with unbridled enthusiasm… (obviously!)

Halloween passed with no exception.  In a combined effort with the couple who lives directly below us, we decided to carve pumpkins, sit out on our stoop and dispense candy to  Jamaica Plain’s costumed kiddies.  It was a really nice time, albeit chilly, and we adult-ified the occasion by serving soul-warming Hot Toddies.   Nothing too fancy; I just googled for a recipe and jazzed it up with a homemade spiced syrup, used in place of sugar or honey.  Enjoy!


|     1 oz brandy, whiskey or rum     |     1 Tbsp spiced syrup (recipe below)    |     1 round lemon slice (for garnish)     |     1 cinnamon stick (for garnish)     |     1 cup hot water     |     1 tea bag     |


  1. Coat the bottom of a mug or an Irish Coffee glass with syrup.
  2. Add the liquor and the juice of the lemon quarter
  3. Aside, heat water in a tea kettle and add the tea bag to make hot tea.
  4. Pour the steaming tea into the glass and stir.
  5. Garnish with cinnamon stick & lemon slice

For the syrup:  Mix 1 c sugar with 1/2 c water over high heat.  when it bubbles, reduce heat.  Add 2 Tbs honey, the juice of 1/2 lemon,  2 whole cloves and a tsp ground cinnamon. stir.  After 3 minutes, remove cloves and it’s ready.

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