Hot toddy season is in full swing. At least it is in our house. And trust me, it should be at yours, too.
These drinks are so satisfying and delicious- they warm your soul. And really set the mood, whether you're enjoying a cozy evening fireside or celebrating Thanksgiving (a tradition in our house!) with family and friends.
Now, in case you are wondering, what the heck is a toddy...?
Here's the deal: it's a warm alcoholic beverage containing rum, brandy, or whisky along with something sweet and something spicy. The toddy originated in colder climates (cough cough, New England) to warm people up during the frigid winter months.
Trust me, my version does just that.
So, what's the difference between Bourbon and Whisky?
Prior to reading this article by Chris Osburn, I had no clue. Here's what Chris says:
Bourbon is a type whisky that:
- Must be made in the United States.
- Must contain 51 percent corn.
- Must be aged in new oak charred barrels.
- Must be distilled to no more than 160 proof and entered into the barrel at 125 proof.
- Must be bottled at no less than 80 proof.
- Must not contain any added flavoring, coloring or other additives.
So basically, bourbon is an American whisky- that's how I remember.
Now that that's settled, you know I had to put my own spin on the toddy. What better accompaniment to sweet apple cider than zesty citrus?
This recipe is well balanced, warming, but uplifting- handy in the long, drab winter months, if you ask me (or any Northerner, at that!) We all need a little warmth and uplifting when the sun sets at 4:30 in the afternoon... le sigh.
Citrus Cider Hot Toddy
1 quart apple cider (32oz.)
2 tablespoons mulling spices
1 orange, peel and juice
1 lemon, peel and juice
Your favorite Bourbon
On the stove, gently simmer the cider, mulling spices, citrus peel and citrus juices for ten minutes.
Strain to remove the mulling spices and peel.
Pour the strained cider mixture into 4 mugs.
Top with 1-2oz. of bourbon.
A few notes about these hot toddies- you will need a vegetable peeler (or simply peel the citrus by hand. You want to avoid a zester/microplane. The idea is to use large pieces of lemon and orange peel because they yield more flavor.
We swear by Williams-Sonoma mulling spices. But you can find them at any grocery store.
Also, a strainer (fine mesh is best!) will come in handy when removing the mulling spices and peel from the cider mix.
Lastly, use your favorite alcohol. We tested dark rum (which was too tropical,) apple brandy (surprisingly didn't stand up to the cider- not enough depth,) and Bourbon.
Our conclusion: Bourbon is by far, the tastiest in this drink for its smoothness and real warming kick.
There you have it! An easy and seasonal cocktail just in time for the holidays (new tradition, anyone?) that will maybe, just maybe have you looking forward to winter...