The weather in Seattle is a hateful old beast, and even in summer, there will be days of gloom and cold. When Seattle decides to spit on me, I take it in stride, and I use the opportunity to make one of these delicately portioned hot toddies. You can make almost any drink a hot one by swapping the usual 1 to 1.5 ounces of cold water from shaking or stirring with 2-3 ounces of boiling hot water, instead.
Just don’t try it with egg drinks, (unless you like drinking scrambled eggs!) and be sure to warm the glass before hand by filling it with hot water. Just as you don’t want to shock your cold drink by pouring it into a warm glass, you don’t want to shock your warm drink by pouring it into a cold vessel.
Of course, some drink recipes make much better toddies than others, but on the whole you will be surprised how many drinks lend themselves to the hot toddy format. For this variation I made a spiced apple syrup by simmering a cup of trader joe’s unfiltered apple juice with a cup of sugar, and I placed several cassia cinnamon sticks in the pot, and half an ounce of cloves. I allowed the whole mixture to simmer for fifteen minutes, to let the flavor of the spices steep into the syrup.
Spiced Apple Syrup
1 Part Unfiltered Apple Juice
1 Part White Sugar
Cinnamon Sticks and Cloves
Simmer all in a sauce pot until the spice flavors are extracted into the syrup and all of the sugar has dissolved. (~15 minutes)
I made a hot toddy out of spiced apple syrup, rye whiskey, and bitters. Lemon juice is a common ingredient in a hot toddy, and a classic recipe would almost certainly have called for lemon, but it is far from necessary.
I also enjoy a variation where, instead of simply boiling water, hot tea is added to the other ingredients. Black tea and bourbon is a very enjoyable combination, and just as you would not skimp on the bourbon, one ought not to skimp on the tea. What would possess you to pour over-steeped Lipton tea into quality bourbon? Next you’ll be telling me you want to add Sprite.
If you decide to go the tea route, always use a high-quality loose leaf tea, and consult this excellent chart to discover the appropriate temperature and duration for steeping.
Apple Hot Toddy
1.5 oz Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse Rye 100, Bottled in Bond)
.25 oz Spiced Apple Syrup
Dash of Aromatic Bitters (Angostura)
Combine all ingredients in a teacup and top with 2 oz hot water. Give it a quick stir, and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
For those of you who live in hotter parts of the country, I don’t imagine this drink has much appeal at the moment, but just wait. For all two of you reading this from Australia, it might be just the thing!