|Photo via Andrea Beaman|
Half of the charm of a Hot Toddy lies in it's simplicity - at first glance, it's merely liquor and hot water. But, like many things menswear, it's the little touches that make the drink so comforting; the slight sweetness of the sugar cubes, the cinnamon that gives it such a comforting, spicy fragrance, the brightness lent by the lemons, even the traditional glass mugs that say cozy, but refined.
OK, I'll stop waxing poetic. Here's how you make one:
- 2 sugar cubes
- 4 lemons
- 1 quart rye whiskey
- 2 quarts water
- cinnamon sticks
I like to follow the directions given by the folks at Esquire, who suggest starting off by rubbing the sugar cubes against the rinds of two of the lemons, infusing the sugar with the citrusy zest and oils. Next, squeeze the other two lemons and combine the juice with the 1 quart of whiskey (NOTE: big bonus here, you can substitute your favorite whiskey varietal, be it bourbon, scotch, etc., or opt for Jamaican rum or brandy for a sweeter flavor and a cocktail custom-made for your tastes). Combine this mixture with two quarts of boiling water. Serve in glass mugs and garnish each with a cinnamon stick and a clove-studded lemon slice if you're feeling fancy. Serve piping hot!
Obviously, this recipe is written for a large batch, perfect for a holiday get-together (don't try drinking this all on your lonesome). However, Esquire also kindly points out that you can make a single-serving: "Muddle a lemon-rubbed sugar cube in a double-shot of your favorite hooch, toss in a bit of broken-up cinnamon stick, and top off with boiling water to taste."
So have at it - don't drink too much - or do! After all, you hopefully have a few days off to nurse that hangover. Happy Thanksgiving, folks!