Adult Treats Warm Wishes for the Holidays
By Deborah Salomon
"I don't recollect how many tumblers of whiskey toddy each man drank after -supper ..." The result, according to Charles Dickens, was "insensibility."
No way. A hot toddy on a winter evening hits the spot. Many spots, in fact. A spirited (as in rum, whiskey or brandy) toddy cures the cold and warms the cockles. It is a liquid lullaby.
Would that Ebenezer Scrooge had partaken.
Yet the very mention makes Scotswoman Annie Hallinan shudder:
"When we were young, my sisters and I got hot toddies when we were feeling -poorly," the Southern Pines resident says. "They tasted awful."
She blames whiskey, the only spirit her father kept in the house.
But they worked.
Long live the British libation!
Or is it?
One mixology blog dates the drink to 17th century Scotland, when sugar, lemon and honey made whiskey more palatable to women. Yet the etmyology suggests a hot Indian beverage based on fermented palm sap. And glogg - the potent wine/brandy/spices brew - kept Swedes and Finns defrosted during the dark nights of Advent.
Later, the ski slopes of Aspen.
In modern times, a hot toddy is more than a drink. He or she who sips must lean back in a comfy chair, draw a shawl around the knees, encircle the mug with chilly hands, inhale the steam and wipe the mind clean of nasty naggings.
A hot toddy requires no recipe. Guidelines suffice:
All toddies: Add alcohol after base liquid is hot but not boiling. Wouldn't want the good stuff to go up in smoke. Always warm the mug; fill with boiling water, let stand a few minutes.
Milk toddy: Whole milk only, please. Heat gently, stir in honey and dark rum to taste. Sprinkle with cardamom.
Mocha toddy: Heat -chocolate milk until -steaming. Remove from heat, stir in Kahlua. Pour into hot mugs and top with whipped cream or shaved chocolate.
Lemonade toddy: Simmer commercial lemonade with thin lemon slices. Bring to a boil, pour over maraschino cherries and light rum in mug.
Tea toddy: Simmer 4 cups water in saucepan for five -minutes with two tea bags, a sliced small orange and lemon, sugar to taste, a sprinkle of cinnamon, -nutmeg and cloves. Remove fruit with slotted spoon. Pour a jigger of Southern Comfort, brandy or bourbon into each jumbo mug. Bring tea to a boil and pour over spirits. Garnish with a fresh orange slice studded with cloves.
Cider toddy: Simmer 4 cups spiced cider with 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup. Bring to a boil, pour over apple brandy in mug.
Berry toddy: Simmer 5 cups cranberry juice until reduced by a cup. Add one raspberry tea bag and simmer a few more minutes. Bring to a boil, pour over raspberry or cherry liqueur/brandy in mug.
Wine toddy: Bring 4 cups merlot and 1 cup port to a simmer. Sweeten with light corn syrup. Spear one or two dried apricots with a short wooden skewers. Stand fruit skewers in mugs; pour simmering wine over them.
Now you know how Rudolph got the red nose.
Contact Deborah Salomon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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