January 9, 2015 – January 11 is National Hot Toddy Day. Who knew? We’ve searched and searched but have been unable to find a definitive answer as to where or when it started or where the name “toddy” came from. We did hazard a guess or two in our Blog.
Its three basic ingredients are alcohol, sweetener (honey or sugar) and hot water. It has always been regarded as a drink to warm you up in very cold weather and also to ease the discomfort of a cold or flu. As children, we remember having a soothing drink of hot honey and lemon juice without the alcohol. It seemed to help.
Now that we’re all grown up, we checked in with Seth Kaikainahaole, the mixologist at the River Ranch Lodge in Tahoe City to see what he’s serving to warm up cold skiers. Here are his recipes for three drinks, two being hot and perfect to mark the occasion of National Hot Toddy Day this weekend or any weekend!
Knob Creek Maple Cider
Rimmed glass* (Irish coffee glass preferable) with Cayenne-Sugar mix (50/50)
1.5 oz Knob Creek Maple Bourbon
7 oz hot spiced cider
Fresh cinnamon stick
Dash of nutmeg
*If you don’t have glass Irish coffee mugs, use a stemmed glass, as the drink is too hot to serve in an ordinary glass.
Warm Winter Rosemary Bramble (a new drink)
This takes a bit of preparation, as you need to have the Port Reduction on hand.
4 cups Port
2 sprigs rosemary
1 cup sugar
1 cup raspberry vinegar
Peel from ½ lemon
Combine the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil then continue to simmer uncovered until it is reduced by about half or until it coats a spoon. It will take about a half an hour.
2 oz port mix/reduction above (zap in the microwave for a few seconds if it is out of the fridge)
7 oz very hot or boiling water
1.5 oz of gin, brandy or rum — your choice (Hendricks gin recommended)
Garnish with lemon twist and small sprig of rosemary
Serve in an Irish coffee glass or a stemmed glass. When pouring very hot liquid into, say, a wine glass it’s a good idea to put a spoon or fork in the glass to absorb the heat and prevent it from cracking.
The Port Reduction will last at least 30 days in the fridge. Remove the lemon peel and rosemary before storing. Warm it up before serving.
Smoked Maple Manhattan
This is a chilled drink.
2 oz Knob Creek Maple Bourbon
1 oz Antica Carpano vermouth
Splash of bitters
Stir 15 times with hard ice cubes (slushy cubes dilute the drink and spoil the flavor). Strain into a martini glass or coupe and garnish with a brandied cherry