The Hot Toddy. A classic winter cocktail. And one with countless variations–some with tea, some with none. Some with citrus, some with none. And the spices are all over the place.
And even though the weather earlier in the week in the Mid-Atlantic was downright balmy, I wanted to get myself pumped up for the holiday season and I thought that a toddy would do the trick.
I went with a recipe from a book that my mum got from an estate sale titled Wonderful Ways to Prepare Cocktails & Mixed Drinks. And wonderful ways they are. It was published sometime in the 1970s, I suppose. There isn’t a publishing date on it. It’s an odd book because it feels like a coloring book or one of those phonics books I remember from elementary school. When I flip through its pages I have to remind myself to not color in the illustrations of martinis and punch bowls with crayons and practice my cursive in the margins.
Isn’t the cover just fabulous? It’s like a Candy Land for alcoholics. Complete with bendy straws!
So here is the recipe from Wonderful Ways to Prepare Cocktails & Mixed Drinks:
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 slice lemon
- 2 oz boiling water
- 1 oz hot bourbon
Put the sugar, cloves, cinnamon stick and lemon into a mug. Pour on the boiling water and allow to stand for five minutes. Add the hot bourbon and stir. Sprinkle on a little nutmeg.
My modifications: I didn’t have a lemon so I substituted a clementine (yeah, it’s that time of year!) and in lieu of sugar I used 1 tsp of honey. Also, I sprinkled cinnamon because I don’t carry full cinnamon sticks in my spice rack (that is something that should be remedied soon since I do have a penchant for warm, cinnamony boozy drinks). I should also I made this with brandy and not bourbon.
The verdict: deliciousness! The ratio of honey to brandy to water to spice to citrus was spot-on. It wasn’t too strong nor was the brandy water-downed. I think that heating the liquor separately and letting the other ingredients sit in the boiling water for 5 minutes was key.
In the past I’ve always had this with lemon, which is always nice (especially if the toddy is intended for a cold), but I thought that the little clementine was a sweet change up.
So bottoms up, darlings!
Also, as a thanks to those of you who supported Cleveland’s mustache to benefit the students of Baltimore City Public Schools, I give you the photo to the right.
Cleve and his facial hair may not have won the beauty pageant at the ‘Stache Bash, but his follicular awesomeness has raised almost $900 and helped over 330 students! Though Movember may be over, you can still donate until the end of December. Here is the link: Matt Stegman’s Mustache.
When I put my faux ‘stache on I asked Cleve “how do I look?” And he said, “you look like your dad.”