Hot Toddy

hot toddy

A hot toddy is typically made with whiskey, lemon, honey, and hot water. Simple, right? Sounds exactly like what my grandmother used to mix up for us as children when we complained of a sore throat. She would spoon a few drops into my mouth and my scratchy throat was instantly and magically relieved. That combined with a little Vicks VapoRub on my chest with a warm compress and I  would soon be slipping off into a deep sleep.

Dead Rabbit, was named the best bar in New York City in 2016. This well-known bar resurrected a method of making a tart lemon syrup known as a “sherbet.” This syrup used in some of their cocktails is also known by another fancy name, “oleo-saccharum”.  That is a Latin term for “muddling or smashing citrus peels in sugar.” So this sherbet is not the icy tart delight that you may keep in your freezer to enjoy on a hot summer day. Rather, it is a mixture of sugar and lemon peel that is allowed to sit for 3-4 hours in a covered container. Then this mixture is liquified with the addition of lemon juice. This recipe does not recommend cooking the syrup. A little shaking and stirring will allow the sugar to dissolve and achieve the results that you are looking for. And there you have it, lemon “sherbet.”

Combine this tart lemon sherbet with a little honey syrup, whiskey of your choice, and hot water for your hot whiskey toddy. The Dead Rabbit recipe recommends Irish whiskey. I used rye whiskey. If you prefer rum or bourbon, those would also work well for a very satisfying toddy on a cold winter day. A sprinkle of nutmeg completes the perfect toddy. Now, it’s time to light the fire, bundle up in a warm blanket with someone you love, and mix up a hot whiskey toddy. Brrrr, baby, it’s cold outside!

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