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Warm lovelies, sweet and fragrant, steaming up your glasses. Put these drinks in a mug and let their heat radiate through both your hands, through the front of your sweater. You do have the cup held to the level of your heart, don't you? Aren't you curling over it, catching the warmth with your whole body? Isn't the blanket around your shoulders keeping it in?

You only need one cup. Sip and sip and let your head droop and your body drowse over it.

Hot tea. Classic. Measure out your choice of tea into an infuser ball, or get out a tea bag. Place in your mug and pour boiling water over. Steep five minutes while you are running a bath. Balance the cup on the edge of the tub, beside the faucet, if that edge is flat. Then get in the bath. No bubbles, just dual hot waters. Let your whole body open to the steam.

Hot milk. Surprisingly good, much more subtle than cocoa. Warm milk gently in a saucepan. Add 5 drops vanilla or almond extract. Heat through, stirring, until steaming. Get in bed, wrapped in multiple layers of flannel. Sit up against the headboard with a book you bought and let sit on the shelf for six months. Read until it drops from your fingers.

Hot cocoa. Sweet and thick. Warm milk as above; add appropriate cocoa powder or syrup. Melt a spoonful of cream into the mix. Sit and sip with someone you like, talking about nothing in particular, eating thin, crispy cookies that crumble or melt on your tongue.

Onion soup. A very light broth, savory. Sauté a finely chopped yellow onion in butter until translucent. Add boiling vegetable broth or water from the teapot. Season with salt, pepper, a dash of cayenne. Pour into mug; grate a mild parmesan over the top, if desired. Drink, with spoon for necessary assists, while watching horrible sitcoms or reruns of M*A*S*H.

Hot toddy. Good for sore throats. In your mug, mix a shot and a half of bourbon or whiskey with one teaspoon lemon juice, one teaspoon honey. Fill the remaining space with boiling water. Stir well to melt honey. Wrap up in your bathrobe and sit on the couch, insulated from every angle. Inhale this one before every sip.

Hot buttered rum. Almost too sweet. Mix a shot and a half of spiced rum with one teaspoon powdered or brown sugar. Fill with boiling water and top with one teaspoon butter, with nutmeg, clove, cinnamon to taste. Permutations abound.

Hot brandy. Strong but spectacular. Warm and pour into a little snifter. Close your eyes; take tiny sips. Let it coat you and roll almost invisible to the back of your tongue. You absorb this one gradually, gradually let your guard down, gradually let your muscles relax.

Stop thinking. Your shoulders fall. Lines smooth themselves out of your face.

This is a slow force like gravity.

Wrap yourself in a snuggy. Failing that, a fleece blanket and your favorite gown.
The drink:
Take one teabag of Sleepytime extra and tension tamer tea. add to boiling water. steep for ten minutes or so. Curl over the insanely large mug. Sip, let the valerian spread through your veins like a fog.

Sweet dreams.

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