With today’s bone-chilling combination of frigid temperatures, biting wind and snow, all we want to do is curl up under a pile of blankets until spring. Failing that, we’ll settle for chasing away the cold by curling our frozen fingers around one of these hot, boozy beverages.
Generally speaking, the hot toddy is tea spiked with liquor, sweetened with honey and finished off with a squeeze of lemon. It’s widely regarded as a cold remedy — whip one up when you’re nursing a sore throat or head cold, and you’ll instantly feel better.
Some variations add ginger or swap out the honey for maple syrup. You can use any tea and liquor you’d like, but generally, black teas go well with dark liquors (think bourbon or rye whiskey), and green tea works nicely with light liquors.
For starters, try this honey-bourbon hot toddy recipe from Bon Appetite.
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1 cup hot water
- 6 tbsp. bourbon or apple bourbon
- 2 strips lemon peel
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Stir honey and water together until honey dissolves.
- Add bourbon and divide between two glasses. Garnish with lemon peel, stir each drink with a cinnamon stick and serve.
Hot Vanilla Cider
Makes 6 servings.
The only thing that can make that classic hot apple cider even better is spiking it. Try this recipe from shutterbean.com for apple cider dressed up with vanilla, nutmeg and bourbon. Of course, this drink is also quite delicious and cozy without the bourbon, if that’s what you prefer.
- 6 cups unfiltered apple juice or cider
- 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar (packed)
- 2 whole nutmeg seeds
- Vanilla bean (cut open and scrape out insides)
- 6 oz. bourbon whiskey (optional)
- Combine all ingredients except bourbon in a saucepan and heat to a simmer.
- After 15 minutes, pour cider through fine mesh to filter out solids.
- Add bourbon and serve.
Hot Buttered Rum
Makes single serving.
Buttered rum is one of the more decadent members of the holiday cocktail roster, but it’s quite easy to make. Try this hot buttered rum recipe from photographer Dennis Wilkinson.
- 3 tsp. Demerara sugar (or light brown sugar)
- ¼ to ½ tsp. ground cloves
- ¼ to ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. butter (softened)
- 2 ½ oz. rum
- 2 oz. boiling water
- Combine all ingredients in a glass and stir until butter is melted and sugar dissolves.
- Garnish with cinnamon stick and/or orange peel.
What’s your favorite drink to make when the weather outside is frightful?