It is the season for hot toddies, those warming drinks made with hot water, honey, lemon and a good measure of something stronger. Anything from whisky, rum, brandy or even gin.
Alcohol has for a long time been used for medicinal purposes. You often hear people say they are going to have a hot toddy as they feel like they are coming down with a cold. I’ve been doing that for years. Consider a hot toddy as the alcoholic version of chicken soup. It warms you up, soothes your throat and makes you feel relaxed, relieving aches and pains.
These days you can find many variations of the classic hot toddy recipe. I do love the simplicity of the classic as you are always likely to have all the ingredients at hand. However, sometimes it’s fun to jazz up the serves and bring in other wintery flavours.
Apple & Cranberry Hot Toddy
Apple Juice (from red apples, sugar free)
25ml Rum (I used Ron Colón Salvadoreño High Proof Aged Rum)
20ml Lemon Juice
Honey, adjust to taste
Add equal measures of apple juice and cranberry juice into a saucepan. Squeeze in around 20ml fresh lemon juice and bring it to heat. Once the mixture is hot, pour it into a mug of your choice, add a shot of rum and sweeten with honey. Give it a stir and enjoy.
Ginger Hot Toddy
25ml Whisky (such as Loch Lomond Inchmurrin 12-Year-Old)
15ml Ginger Liqueur (for example King’s Ginger)
Honey, adjust to taste (the liqueur will already bring sweetness)
Add hot water into a mug. Measure in whisky, liqueur, honey and a squeeze of lemon. Stir well and serve immediately.
More suggestions on how to bring sweetness to your recipes, see my previous article The Essential Guide to Cocktail Sweeteners.
The Pear-fect Warmer
50ml Pear-infused Navy Strength Gin* (I used Brighton Gin Seaside Strength)
20ml Cinnamon Syrup**
20ml Fresh Lemon Juice
Pear slice for garnish
First combine cinnamon syrup, lemon and hot water in your chosen glass/mug. Give it a stir and add a double shot of pear-infused gin. Make sure to leave enough room to add a pear slice into the glass.
*To infuse the gin, simply add pear cubes into the gin and leave it to rest in the fridge for three to four days. Try it after three days and decide whether it will need more time.
** To make the cinnamon syrup, mix sugar, water and cinnamon sticks in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Cover with a lid and let it rest for at least one hour. Strain and store in the fridge.
Black Tea Toddy
This recipe is great if you are low on energy as black tea contains caffeine. Feel free to use whatever spices are available to you.
35ml Whisky (for example, Scallywag)
1 mug of Water
1 Cinnamon Stick
2 Cardamom Pods
1tbs Black Tea Leaves
1tsp Honey, adjust to taste
In a pot, combine water and spices. Bring to boiling point and take off the heat. Add in tea leaves and allow it to steep for a few minutes. Once the tea is ready, strain the tea into a mug, mix in honey and lemon. Finally, pour in whisky.
Which one of the hot toddy recipes is your favourite? Do you have a go-to recipe?
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