As I leave behind balmy Australia and make my return to New York, I'm wondering if people still have the words "polar vortex" on their tongue or if at this point everyone's just calling the weather "plain old cold." I'm no stranger to a Manhattan frost, but the allure of a winter abroad usually keeps me armchair bound, book in hand cuddled in front of the fire, dreaming of my next international jaunt. Memories of my trip to Bhutan are particularly potent given the recent opening of NYC's first Bhutanese restaurant – owned by a former monk and situated in Queens. In fact, I may just don my warmest mittens, hail an Uber and head to Woodside just for the culinary nostalgia – a case of dining chair travel, if you will.
For those less inclined to tackle the tundra, a little international take out and some worldly spirits is the next best thing to a beach-bound first class ticket – maybe. In keeping with the Bhutanese flair, I love pairing my Himalayan take out with K5 Himalayan Whisky, which is the only Bhutanese whisky available in the US and is bottled (by hand, naturally) 9,000 feet above sea level. K5 is a special blend that was established in honor of the coronation of the 5th King of Bhutan’s ascension to the throne and it's honestly one of the only whiskys I can sip without wincing – perhaps because it came from the Happiest Place on Earth?
Brazilian BBQ can of course be paired with nothing but a homemade caipirinha. A friend of mine owns a small sugarcane farm outside of Sao Paolo, and they make a delectable small-batch cachaça. They only produce 10,000 liters per year and complete the entire harvest process manually, giving the artisanal spirit a special edge. For non-spirit lovers, my go-to wine to pair with spicy, rich Indian food is the Mirza Ghalib Viognier from Sufi Wines, which perfectly complements a Goan fish curry from your local South Indian haunt.
So while the weather might be horrid (pleasant climate readership excluded of course), you can’t beat the feeling of a little Seamless, a lot of Netflix, and a generous cocktail to keep the cold at bay. Bundle up, poppets!
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