Regardless of how you currently make yours, here are 5 variations on the classic hot toddy recipe that you’ve got to try this winter.
The colder it gets outside, the warmer our cocktails become, so there’s no better time than right now to teach yourself to master the hot toddy recipe. The toddy is a simple drink that is enjoyed in many countries, and takes on many forms along the way.
The hot toddy most likely dates back to the 17th century, according to the Washington Post, taking on different formulas in different countries along the way. But the basic template of the drink is constant around the globe: liquor (typically bourbon, whiskey, or brandy); hot liquid (typically water), sweetener (typically honey), and often spices (any mixture of cinnamon, cloves, and allspice). This recipe on Imbibe Magazine shows you how to make a “classic” toddy with bourbon, honey, lemon juice, and boiling water, garnished with a lemon wedge and cinnamon stick.
Once you’ve had a hot toddy or two, you’ll soon discover how easy it would be to play around with the ingredients and make variations on the cocktail. And it is easy! Here are 5 variations on the classic hot toddy that each only call for one simple substitution:
- Use apple cider instead of honey and water. My personal favorite “toddy” is not a true toddy but a delicious variation. In this version, the honey and water are replaced with apple cider—use real cider from the farm if you can find it. Bring to a boil with a cinnamon stick and one or two cloves, then mix with bourbon and a squeeze of lemon juice. Finish off with a garnish of a lemon wedge and cinnamon stick.
- Kick up the heat and spice with ginger. Fresh ginger rarely hurts a cocktail, and this is no exception. When boiling your liquid of choice, add a few long slices of thinly sliced ginger to the mix so you make a ginger infusion. The longer you simmer your ginger and liquid together, the stronger the ginger flavor will develop. Add liquor and spices to taste as usual.
- Use tea as your mixer liquid. Instead of juice or water as your base toddy mixer, use green, black, or chai tea and enjoy the lightly herbal zing. Simply brew a strong cup of tea in hot water then use in your toddy as usual.
- Replace the spirits with vodka. Vodka is rarely used in toddies, but it’s a natural pair for both lemon and honey, so this combination works quite nicely. Use a high-quality plain vodka to keep the toddy clean and minimalistic, or go with an organic flavored vodka to get your mixology on.
- Go ultra-cinnamon. If you’re a fan of cinnamon—and chances are, if you’re into toddies and wintry drinks, you are—then you’ll love this variation. Imbibe Magazine features a recipe for homemade cinnamon syrup that you can use in place of honey to make your classic toddy wonderfully spiced.
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