Every Trick in the Bartender Handbook to Properly Celebrate National Hot Toddy Day
There’s no better way to give Old Man Winter the middle finger than to fix yourself a hot toddy and sip it in front of the fireplace. If you haven’t tried this winter survival strategy yet, let Jan. 11, National Hot Toddy Day, be your excuse.
On top of being a downright delicious combination of hot water, lemon juice, honey, and Scotch whisky, the tasty adult beverage been hailed for its medicinal qualities for years. Dewar’s even had advertisements touting the whisky’s cold and flu curing abilities, especially when made into a warm, therapeutic hot toddy.
No matter what ails you this winter, a hot toddy is always the answer. Sure, you can whip one up fairly easily with a few simple ingredients and a decent whisky, but there are a handful of bartender tricks we’ve compiled to make sure you make the best toddy possible. Check them all out below as well as the one trick we’ve saved for last that will make or break your hot toddy.
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Make Sure the Water Is Hot
A lukewarm hot toddy is just whisky and a few other flavors. You might as well just add an ice cube at that point. The water needs to be piping hot as you mix together all the ingredients. Obviously, let it cool for a bit or else you’re going to burn your tongue and it won’t matter if the toddy tastes like hot garbage; you won’t know.
Honey Is Important
Obviously, you can go and buy one of those bear-shaped honey bottles and that will work fine in your hot toddy. You only need a dollop or two to sweeten it. But, the higher quality the honey, the better the overall flavor. So, don’t skimp.
Real Lemon Is Key
Get out of here with your store-bought lemon-shaped squirt bottle. You might as well mix your toddy with Gatorade. If you’re going to get the most out of your winter imbibing, you’re going to need to squeeze a few lemons. Real lemon juice is very important and a little goes a long way.
Add Unique Ingredients
If you enjoy your hot toddy with the bare minimum amount of ingredients, make it that way. It’s all about your tastes. If you’re feeling a little squirrelly, add a cinnamon stick or orange peel. It’s only going to heighten the flavor experience.
The Keurig Trick
If you’re too lazy to wait for water to boil (or you don’t have a coffee pot to use), your Keurig can do the trick. Simply don’t add a K-cup, turn it on, and make a cup of scalding hot water. The key is to add all the other ingredients to the cup first so all you need to do is stir it together once the water joins the party.
Use Less Alcohol
This trick might seem surprising, but cut the amount of booze you were planning to add in half. Nobody wants to pass out drunk after one hot toddy. That kind of defeats the purpose of enjoying them. Plus, less booze means you get to enjoy the other flavors.
Add Your Favorite Tea
If you’re looking for more flavor from your hot toddy, simply add a bag of your favorite tea. Prepare it the same way you normally would but let a bag of peppermint or chamomile tea steep in the mug before you drink it.
Mix Up the Alcohol
The classic hot toddy is made with Scotch whisky. But, depending on what you enjoy, you can swap that out for bourbon, rye, or even brandy, applejack, rum, or literally any other spirit. We’d just say that you might want to stay away from unaged spirits like vodka and gin as they might not make the best base for this particular drink.
It’s All About the Percolator
If you truly want a hot toddy hack, look no further than your coffee percolator. That’s because, to make the best toddy, you simply add all of your ingredients to the percolator and let it do the rest. When it’s heated up, you’ll be left with a perfectly mixed hot cocktail.