Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Eating Omily: Have Yourself a Hot Toddy

Feeling chilly?  Exhausted after a long day?  Maybe you're spending those loooong winter evenings with your less-than-favourite family members?

Those are all great reasons to break out the hot toddies, but I don't need any of them!  I start with mulled wine in October, and things only get more potent (and more delicious!) from there.

I shared a mulled wine recipe with you guys last year, but I haven't shared my secrets for staying warm and jolly no matter what the holidays bring...until now!  I'll try to start with the simplest and work my way toward the more involved, but honestly, none of these are rocket science.  Start with the one that sounds the most delicious!  You'll be mixing up your own takes on these steamy treats in no time.

Coffee and Bailey's

This is a classic, and one of my mom's favourites.  Just brew coffee (decaf, if you're hoping to unwind, instead of gear up!), and add a generous splash of Bailey's Irish cream.  Or more.  Stir, add sugar if it's still not sweet enough, and savor.  This is a great addition to or substitution for dessert.

Irish Coffee

No one seems to do this one like the folks at St. Jame's Gate, on Amsterdam near the Museum of Natural History.  It's a straight-forward enough process though, and if theirs is any indication, it's best served in a stein.  Brew coffee (why not do regular and serve it with brunch?), add Irish whiskey and brown sugar to taste, and top with whipped cream. Let the whipped cream melt in for an infusion of cream, or enjoy it as is with the cream on the top. Hot, strong, and full of Irish charm! Pro tip: top with freshly grated nutmeg!

Spiked Hot Chocolate

There are lots of ways to make cocoa.  I like to mix cocoa powder and sugar with a little milk, then stir hot milk into the resulting slurry.  You can add cinnamon, cayenne, ginger, vanilla, orange, or mint extract, or other extra little flavors before adding your choice of booze.  Peppermint Schnapps is nice in regular hot chocolate.  Vanilla vodka is lovely, too.  Whiskey is a bit warmer, spiced rum adds an extra touch of flavor.  Chocolate liquor will keep the boozy flavor subtle. Whipped cream, and the afore-mentioned grated nutmeg will take this to the next level (it wouldn't hurt to back track and add it to your coffee and Bailey's, either!)

Spiked Mulled Cider

My new favourite way to do this one is to bring the cider to a boil, then add a ginger herbal tea bag, and let it steep for ten minute or more.  Then I add a generous splash of bourbon for a triple treat that warms my body in three ways!  A cinnamon stick or a clove are also lovely additions, and spiced rum can be used in place of the bourbon.

Hot Buttered Rum

Mmmm...Hot.  Butter.  Rum.  What's not to love??  Start by creaming brown sugar, cinnamon, and cloves (both ground) into butter: equal parts butter to sugar, a generout pinch of both spices, till the resulting mixture tastes like a spice cookie dough.  Just keep this in your fridge, and anytime you're ready, add a tablespoon to the bottom of a mug, add a generous pour of spiced or dark rum, then pour in boiling water, and stir.  This isn't one to linger with.  The butter quickly rises to the top, and as it gets closer to room temperature, re-solidifies.  Enjoy it quick, and get merry!

Hot Toddy

Yes, there's actually a drink with this  name, though of course, there's a million ways to make it!  St. Jame's Gate does it by studding a big slice of lemon with a few whole cloves, and steeping it in hot water with Irish Whiskey.  It is absolutely delicious.  I had a wonderful variant on this at Maggy Brown's in Clinton Hill: they used lemon herbal tea bags, and tequila.  There's sugar added to both to taste.

Enough toddies to keep you busy till the end of 2012?  Good!  Enjoy!


  1. The hot toddy sounds delightful.

    My Irish coffee recipe: Equal parts good strong coffee and Jameson.

  2. I like the way you think! Usually I like to drink my Jameson with only ice to keep it company, but one does have to make compromises at breakfast time. ;-)