Warm Boozy Drink Season Favorites - Hot Toddies
What’s your favorite hot boozy drink?
For me it will always be a Hot Toddy, that soul soothing winter drink made simply of honey, lemon, whiskey and water. This is a drink that even has its own day, January the 11th every year is National Hot Toddy Day!
I grew up drinking them because my riding instructors apartment was just up the steps and situated over the top of her barn. It was such a warm and wonderful place to be in the winter, I spent the night there quite often listening to the chewing of hay , happy snorts, quiet Gaelic whispers and the rustle of the ponies in their stalls below. I loved getting up early in the morning and making warm bran mashes for the ponies that were laced with flaxseed jelly, molasses, carrots and apples.
I wish that I could share the scent of that warm mash with you. Trust me when I say that it was heaven. These were the best horse girl memories ever. I was so lucky to have them.
Usually when I’d stay overnight it was a weekend and often the night before a horse show. I’d have a hard time falling asleep, but Mrs. Bailey was 100 percent leprechaun and believed heartily in a healthy tot of warmed whiskey for almost occasion. I may have only been 10 but that didn’t stop her. She’d bring it in to me to sip and soon I’d be sound asleep, dreaming of my ponies and the fun days to come.
I have drunk hot toddy’s ever since then because I’m a firm believer in their ability to soothe any savage beast as well as relax the bronchial airways when you have a bit of a cough. They’re also just simply delicious and a lovely old fashioned drink to sip while sitting in a cozy chair with a great book. A well mixed toddy is not too sweet, nor is it too sharp, it’s simply just right, the perfect balance of heat, sweet, smoke and citrus.
Until a few years ago chances were good that if you saw me out riding on a cold day, that there’d be a bit of this in the hip flask attached to my saddle, because there are certain traditions I’ll never change. For me this one is a matter of simple good luck! Mrs. Baileys recipe was delicious , simple and old fashioned, but I’ve taken liberties with it by using a sweet cinnamon spice black tea and maple syrup instead of boiled water and honey, but I don’t think she would mind! You can make it easily with boiled water and honey if you’d like, just use the exact same proportions! For an autumn twist you can also use apple cider. If you want you can infuse a black tea with rosemary, cinnamon, star anise or other wassailing spices. I’ve made this many different ways and it’s always delicious!
For one toddy you will need:
A large mug
One cup of hot cinnamon spice tea
The juice of a lemon
A jigger of your favorite Irish whiskey ( I use Jameson’s)
A tablespoon of brown sugar
A tablespoon of maple syrup or honey
A pat of salted butter
In a saucepan heat all the ingredients until the butter and sugar are melted. Whisk in the whiskey last and heat everything through
Pour into your favorite mug, wrap yourself in a blanket, add a purring cat and dream.
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Today this isn’t a quote. but one of my favorite Irish songs and the best video ever. The “parting glass” was always the final glass of whiskey offered to a guest before departure, to fortify them for the journey home. A good custom me thinks!