Monday, December 14, 2009

Hot Toddy: The best winter drink ever

Every winter you can find numerous articles on what to drink during the holidays. The best ones tend to fall into two camps: egg nog and hot toddy. Now, don't get me wrong. I love egg nog. In fact, I'm convinced that the old Joy of Cooking recipe for egg nog (which calls for enough alcohol to get 5 shipsful of pirates drunk) is one of the best, if not one of the most lethal, ever devised. That said, we're left with the hot drinks, and that brings us into Toddy Territory.

A hot toddy is a warm beverage with alcohol, fruit juice and spices added, often with a bit of sugar to take off the edge. My favorite version is the Hot Buttered Rum, which was supposedly a favorite among the Pilgrims, and was said to make a man see double and feel single. The key ingredients are dark rum, boiling water, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cane sugar. The boiling water heightens the spice flavors and makes the rum hit your system faster, while the butter just makes the whole thing go down easy. Of course one can do a regular toddy, which has a similar makeup but substitutes lemon juice and whole cloves for the butter and nutmeg. I'm rather fond of orange flavoring so that's what I'm going to use here.

Hot Buttered Rum (makes 1)

1 jigger of dark rum (you can use that rum with the pirate on it if you want, but why bother when you can use a good Jamaican or Barbados one?)
1/2 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 cup nearly boiling water
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon butter
a generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Combine the rum and sugar in a heat-resistant mug, and add the water and cinnamon. float the butter on top and let it melt. Then add the nutmeg as a finisher. Reflect on how the Pilgrims were not as prudish as you thought they were.

Hot Toddy (makes 1)

1 jigger of dark Barbados rum
1/2 tablespoon light brown or white sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 orange slice, stuck with 4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon fresh orange juice
1/2 cup almost boiling water

Pour the rum into a heat resistant mug and add the sugar; stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the other ingredients and stir again. let it sit for a moment so the oils from the orange slice are released, then drink up.

No comments:

Post a Comment