In my household we firmly believe a hot toddy will make you feel better than any cold or flu medicine you can buy. I've experimented with many versions and varieties and this simple soothing concoction always does the trick. It's also excellent alongside all sorts of holiday treats from cookies to cakes making it your perfect pick me up for this week's 10-Minute Happy Hour.
You may wonder what is Rye Whiskey anyway? It's a whiskey made from a grain mixture that's mostly rye (at least 51%) and the rest can be corn, wheat, malted rye, malted barley or a combination of any of the above. Then like Bourbon it's aged in new toasted oak barrels. The results range from robust and spicy whiskey to smooth sips tinged with vanilla and caramel flavors, making Rye whiskey the perfect pick for whipping up some hot toddies.
These days the term toddy has been tossed on almost any cocktail served steamy. But according to the cocktail guru David Wondrich, traditionally the toddy was simply whiskey; sugar and boiling water with perhaps a bit of lemon peel. My toddy below like the traditional isn't overly sweet and lets the rye whiskey shine. It is a bit jazzed up with the addition of fresh ginger and its sweet side comes from honey not sugar.
This hot toddy isn't an apple cider base so don't expect it to be viscous and sweet. It's a cocktail, that when done correctly is ideal served alongside a plate of holiday cookies or cakes and when sipped on its own as a nightcap will make for a deep comfy night's sleep.
How do you feel about hot cocktails? A turn-off, or do you deem them delicious?
Rye and Ginger Hot Toddy
1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
2 teaspoons honey
2 to 3 thin slices fresh ginger, peeled
In a teapot with one cup of water add the ginger.
Heat until the teapot whistles. If using a saucepot to heat your water add the ginger and strain when pouring into your whiskey and honey mixture.
In a mug add the whiskey, honey, and juice of the lemon wedge. Strain the ginger infused hot water into the mug.
Stir to dissolve the honey and enjoy.
Maureen C. Petrosky writes what she knows, food, booze and parties. Author of The Wine Club, she appears regularly on The TODAY show to share her vices, and advice with the world. For more info check out www.maureenpetrosky.com or follow her on twitter @maureenpetrosky
• What to do with the rest of that hand of ginger: Fresh, Candied, or Powdered: Tips for Cooking with Every Form of Ginger
(Images: Maureen Petrosky)