We had some chilly weather over this past weekend and it got me ready for those great warm cocktails that shake the chill from your bones. The great thing about warm drinks are their versatility. When it comes to serving up a warm beverage, only your own imagination and ingredients on hand can hold you back.
The most recognizable hot beverage is the hot toddy. I think just about every has, or at least knows of, a recipe for the hot toddy. Here is a basic, yet tasty version:
2 oz whisky/rum/brandy
.5 oz simple syrup (to taste)
3 dashes of bitters
large swaths of lemon and/or orange peel
4 oz Hot Water
Combine the spirits, simple syrup, bitters, lemon and/or orange peel into a mug or other heat proof vessel. Add about 4 ounces of hot water and stir to combine. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or some grated nutmeg.
A few quick notes to help make your toddy taste even better. First, when peeling your lemon or orange, be careful not to peel too deeply and get into the pith of the fruit. The pith is the white part between the peel and the flesh of the fruit. The pith is very bitter and when added to the hot drink, will impart that bitterness into your cocktail. Without the pith, you get the fresh essential oils from the peels. Second, watch the temperature of your water. If it's too hot, the alcohol will evaporate and when you take a big whiff, you'll end up in a coughing fit. Remember, you want something warm, but not so hot that you can't drink it right away. Finally, the type and amount of sweetener is completely up to your own taste. Want to use honey instead of sugar? What about maple syrup? A teaspoon verses a half ounce? Sure, whatever you like, go for it!
Do you have a favorite hot toddy recipe? Let us know in the comments! Cheers!