‘Tis the season of drinking and eating; but who wants a frosty-cold beer on an icy-cold night? Even a tumbler of red wine (held in cupped hands) isn’t quite the warmth we seek. Enter the Hot Toddy; steaming, golden, spicy; a hint of sweet, a dose of citrus; perfect for chilly Sunday afternoons or long, dark evenings after too-short days.
The December 2011 issue of Bon Appetit features a wonderfully special version of this seasonal drink: the Honey-Bourbon Toddy (pictured above). But I like to keep it simple and use whatever I have on hand. My Hot Toddy is easy, instant and comfort in a mug: enjoy with slippers and a good book.
The Hot Toddy
2 tablespoons honey or good quality maple syrup
2 cups hot water (about… you may not use all of it depending on the size of your mug and how strong you like your drink to taste)
6 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 cinnamon sticks
Add 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup to each mug, top with 3 tablespoons of brandy, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 cup of hot water. Add cinnamon stick and serve.