Today’s Cocktail Advent Calendar begins with a line in the sand and a threat of war. It pains me to make this threat because is is against those in the trade that cares for me most, the baristas. Baristas, I love you all but we need to get some shit straight right now before I start smashing mugs and bending demitasse spoons- the toddy, is our word and it means HOT. If you are lost on this rant, the recent popularity of cold brewed coffee has brought on the word, “toddy,” meaning a cup of cold brew. “Toddy,” is a brand name of a trademarked brewing system, just like kleenex or band-aid. The Toddy company, by their very name, has committed a trespass on my trade like those that would use the suffixes, “tini, ” or “rita.” All of that lot can fuck right off. That being said, MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
Anyway, the Hot Toddy is what we are here to talk on today. This drink of unknown origin has been kicking around for 300 years, perhaps from Scotland, perhaps from India nobody really knows. I know it doesn’t seem like a very special drink, and in many ways it isn’t. But I’d like to offer 2 ways in which it can be special.
1. Often simple drinks such as the Hot Toddy are never fully executed because they are taken for granate. When we apply all of our skills to them, it’s an epiphany moment waiting to happen.
2. The Hot Toddy works with any aged spirit and can always be reinvented.
- 2 oz Aged Spirit – you pick, rye, scotch, bourbon, calvados, cognac, tequila, rum, applejack
- 1 oz honey -or agave syrup for tequila or demerara for rum , maple syrup for Canadian
- 4 oz boiling hot water
- 2 dashes Angostura – or any bitters you like
- garnish with a lemon – it is important to be able to add acidity if needed
and alway make sure to heat the cup first
Last week I made myself a,”Sad Bastard X-mas,” playlist, 12 very sad Christmas songs because that is how I like ’em. I popped into work one evening after strolling through the frosty downtown listening to, “A Fairytale of New York,” by the Pogues. I asked for a Hot Toddy with a smoky Irish single malt called Connemara. It fit the tune in my head perfectly and let me enjoy a Hot Toddy for the first time all over again.
I’ll throw out the rest of my, “Sad Bastard X-mas,” playlist as the rest of the advent calendar plays out. For the record, this is not any sort of ironic playlist, I love sad music, I love Christmas music and I love sad Christmas music.