- 1 3/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp. fresh apple cider
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (or more) pure maple syrup
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. blended Scotch whisky (such as Chivas Regal 12 Year or The Famous Grouse)
- 6 tablespoons Calvados (apple brandy; such as Boulard)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram Liqueur
Heat cider and 1 1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat until just beginning to simmer. Mix Scotch, Calvados, and Allspice Dram in a heatproof pitcher. Add hot cider mixture to pitcher, adding more maple syrup by teaspoonfuls until desired sweetness is achieved.
Divide Toddy among warmed mugs. Garnish each with a cinnamon stick.
The PDT Project: Apple Malt Toddy
The PDT Project rolls on with the Apple Malt Toddy, a delicious drink that you'll want to bookmark for the colder months, unless you're one of our readers from the Southern Hemisphere. Or maybe you really enjoy hot drinks in hot ass weather.
Apple Malt Toddy
2 oz Red Jacket Orchards Apple Cider
1.5 oz Chivas Regal 12 Yr Old Blended Scotch Whisky
1 oz Drouhin Pommeau
0.25 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1 barspoon Deep Mountain Grade B Maple Syrup
Cinnamon stick, for garnish
Glassware: Pre-warmed mug
Method: Heat ingredients in a small pot, making sure to dissolve the maple syrup, and pour into a pre-warmed mug. Add cinnamon stick garnish.
Pommeau, in case you're wondering, is a product that's made by mixing unfermented apple cider (must) with Calvados (French apple brandy). It's made in Brittany and Normandy, and while it's not so popular stateside, you can find it at specialty or high-end liquor stores, or better yet, online. It typically ranges 16-18% ABV, which makes it a great aperitif.
This is a great drink to make in large batches and serve to guests at your winter dinner party as they wander in from the cold. If making this for only yourself, you can just pour everything in a mug and heat in a microwave.
*This post is part of a series in which Payman takes on the task of making and writing about every cocktail featured in the PDT Cocktail Book, as well as providing an awesome photo of each drink taken by Vanessa Bahmani Photography.
History of the Hot Toddy
I did a little digging after looking up the recipe in two of my Scottish cookbooks, and discovered that there are several theories about the hot toddy’s creation and name. One is that 18th century Scottish doctors prescribed them so that it would cover up the strong taste of raw whisky, which was apparently much more “rough” back then.
Another possibility is reported from Ross Dennis, a drinks expert, “The first mention of what we now think of as a hot toddy comes about in the 1780s. We think the name hot toddy comes from the Todian Well, an ancient water source in Edinburgh.” –The Scotsman.
NB: Whisky, without an “e”, is how to spell Scotch whisky, whilst whiskey, with the “e”, is for most others. So do use a whisky! :)
1 part The Moffat Blended Malt Scotch
1 part ginger wine
90 g (about 21 pieces) Moffat Toffee
315 ml boiling water
90 ml lemon juice
120 ml The Moffat Blended Malt Scotch
Put Moffat Toffee into a clean, empty 70cl bottle
Add boiling water
“Shake it up, baby,” until the Toffee is almost dissolved, and you’ve had a decent upper-body workout.
Add the whisky and shake again until all of the toffee is completely dissolved.
Add lemon juice
If you’re feeling decadent, dip the rim of a heat-resistant glass in dolce de leche and then in a tray of powdered Moffat Toffee.
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"Milky Way Over Moffat", by Greg Sheard.
We love the Macallan Double Cask for its creamy palate and hints of dried fruit and butterscotch. It makes a statement, but it&rsquos less intense than the Sherry Oak expression. Mixed with the apple cider, maple syrup, and lemon juice in this recipe from wedding guru Stephanie Karvellas, it creates a delightful drink that will instantly transport you to a remote, mountaintop retreat.
What You'll Need:
- 1 oz Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old
- 2 oz Local apple cider
- 1/4 oz Maple syrup
- 1/4 oz Lemon juice
- dash of allspice
- apple wheel for garnish
How to Make It:
Pour all ingredients&mdashexcept hot water and apple slices&mdashinto a mug. Top with hot water and stir. Garnish with apple slices.
7 easy Christmas whisky cocktail recipes
If whisky doesn&rsquot already feature in your Christmas traditions, perhaps it&rsquos time to experiment with a little mixology this year. Whether you&rsquore after a pre-dinner cocktail to inject some life into the party or a drink to warm the cockles after a brisk Boxing Day walk, try one of these seven simple Christmas cocktails. By Alex Mennie.
They say Christmas is a time for tradition, and it may be that whisky already features in a number of yours &ndash whether it&rsquos &lsquofeeding&rsquo the Christmas cake with a half bottle of a supermarket own brand, or leaving a tot out for Father Christmas as he does his rounds. For others, the festive whisky intake may be limited to some small respite with close friends or family over a dram but there are plenty of other ways to get cosy with whisky at Christmas.
If you&rsquore looking to raise your game in this regard, the following recipes provide an excuse for a generous measure at several stages during the celebrations &ndash whether it&rsquos a bright Sour before dinner, a rich, spiced Sazerac as a digestif or a sharp, vegetal Last Reel to wake everyone from their post-dinner nap and keep them going through to a peppermint Bourbon-spiked hot chocolate before bed.
Who knows, there may even be a recipe in here to convert the whisky denier in your family, or a recipe worthy of starting a new tradition.
Camomile Hot Toddy
Light sleeper: A Camomile Hot Toddy before bed will have you snoring before Santa visits
If you&rsquove not tried mixing camomile tea and whisky before (think camomile-infused Whisky Sour), this drink will be a revelation. This winter transposition is a simple twist on the classic Hot Toddy but is light and floral, so best suited to a whisky which carries the fresh notes of cut hay, such as Teaninich 10 Year Old, or the grassy, green oak of Compass Box Asyla. Of course, they say camomile can help you sleep as well, so one of these taken on Christmas Eve should ensure Father Christmas comes to call.
Method: Brew a cup of camomile tea according to the instructions. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until the honey dissolves. Garnish with lemon peel and star anise.
Winter Whisky Sour
Fired up: This bright, sharp Sour uses falernum, a spiced syrup full of Christmas flavours
The combination of bright lemon and tart cranberry make this a great pre-dinner cocktail. An easy variation on a Whisky Sour, it uses falernum &ndash a Barbadian rum-based spiced syrup more commonly found in tropical drinks. So how does it fit into your pre-Christmas dinner rituals? Well, falernum typically contains ginger, vanilla, cloves and allspice &ndash all flavours traditionally associated with Christmas. These spices are the main reason a complementary whisky such as Compass Box Spice Tree or a Chivas 18-year-old would work best in this recipe.
15ml fresh lemon juice
15ml cranberry juice
15ml falernum (rum based spiced syrup)
One egg white (optional)
Two dashes cocktail bitters
Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker and dry shake (without ice) to aerate the egg white. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice and finish with a couple of dashes of aromatic bitters (cranberry bitters are a nice match, but Angostura or any other brand will suffice).
Home experiments: Infuse your whisky with nutmeg to achieve this twist on a classic
The Sazerac is an institution and a fantastic post-prandial. Perhaps this is because its bright red colour and strong anise flavour make it look and taste almost medicinal. Because of the Peychaud&rsquos and the original drink&rsquos familiarity with peppery rye whiskey, a homemade nutmeg infusion can also work very well here. If you don&rsquot have the time (or the nutmeg) for that, you can dial back the spice by looking for a whisky which carries strong notes of nutmeg already. Balvenie Caribbean Cask or Glenmorangie&rsquos Nectar D&rsquoOr or Quinta Ruban would be a good fit.
30ml nutmeg-infused whisky
30ml VSOP Cognac
15ml rich (2:1) sugar syrup
Six dashes cocktail bitters (preferably Peychaud&rsquos)
Method: Rinse a rocks glass with absinthe and set aside. Combine the remaining ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir well and strain into the rinsed rocks glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.
Nutmeg-infused whisky: (Makes 700ml) Crack 10 whole nutmegs and add to a bottle of rye whiskey. Infuse for five days and then strain into a sterile bottle. Keep for up to six months.
Rich flavours: This livener works best with whiskies containing spicy or dark cherry notes
This drink is a small twist on The Last Waltz from Berlin&rsquos Pauly Saal bar, with the rye whiskey replaced with a spiced Scotch such as The Macallan 12-year-old Double Cask. Alternatively you could match the dark cherry notes of Dalmore 12-year-old with the Cherry Heering liqueur. Either way, peppered dark fruit, Champagne and spice make this a bold Christmas enlivener when you need to rouse everyone from their post-lunch slumber for a combative game of Trivial Pursuit.
15ml Cherry Heering
5ml yellow Chartreuse
Two dashes mole (chocolate) bitters
Method: Combine all ingredients (except sparkling wine) in a mixing glass with ice. Stir well and strain into a coupe glass. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with a twist of lemon peel.
Cinnamon Apple Manhattan
Winter warmer: A favourite armchair and a warm hearth complement this Manhattan
This applejack and cinnamon-spiked Manhattan variant just demands to be enjoyed from a slightly worn leather wingback chair beside a roaring fire. Perhaps it&rsquos the warming cinnamon-spice, or the knowledge that applejack used to be made by fishing out the frozen water from hard cider left out in the winter, thus &lsquojacking&rsquo up the alcohol content. Either way, pair the &lsquoJersey Lightning&rsquo with a Sherried whisky rich in spice and apple &ndash something like Strathisla 12-year-old, Mortlach Rare Old or Glenfiddich 18-year-old would be a good choice.
25ml applejack (American apple brandy)
15ml cinnamon-infused sweet vermouth
Two dashes bitters
Method: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir well and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a dried apple chip.
Cinnamon-infused sweet vermouth: (Makes 700ml) Infuse 10 cinnamon sticks in a bottle of sweet vermouth and leave for 2-3 days (to your taste). Strain into a sterile bottle and keep refrigerated for two months.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Off-piste cocktail: From the slopes to the sofa, this rich concoction is inspired by ski culture
This boozy and bitter hot chocolate recipe takes its inspiration from the peppermint schnapps hot chocolate of the après ski scene, but uses peppermint tea-infused Bourbon instead. If the infusion is a step too far, replace it with a measure of punchy single malt Scotch &ndash Ardbeg Corryvreckan, or Laphroaig Quarter Cask will hold their own and bring a little bit of menthol in place of the mint.
Either way, everyone needs a fantastic hot chocolate recipe up their sleeve at this time of year, and it&rsquos possible that arriving at the right moment with a tray of these may also diffuse any Trivial Pursuit or Charades-related tensions.
30ml peppermint-infused Bourbon
5ml Chartreuse (optional)
Hot chocolate (your preferred brand)
Method: Heat the hot chocolate according to its instructions meanwhile, add the peppermint Bourbon to a mug. Top with the hot chocolate and add an optional slug of Chartreuse for a richer, more complex flavour.
Peppermint Bourbon: (Makes 700ml) Combine four tablespoons of peppermint tea and 700ml of Bourbon. Infuse for one hour and then strain into a sterile bottle. Keep for up to a month.
Mulled over: This fiery drink should thaw you out on returning from a Christmas ramble (Photo: Iron Stag)
Basement London whisky bar Iron Stag offers up this fiery variation on the classic &lsquomulled&rsquo drinks of the season with hot spiced ginger beer and apple juice combined with Glenfiddich 12-year-old. Easily recreated at home, this is exactly the sort of thing you need to get bubbling on the hob once you&rsquore back from a chilly Boxing Day walk.
25ml Glenfiddich 12 Year Old
40ml mulled ginger beer
20ml clear apple juice
20ml hot water
5ml heather honey
Method: Build all ingredients in a heatproof glass or mug and stir until honey dissolves. Garnish with grated cinnamon.
Mulled ginger beer: Combine ginger beer, orange and lemon slices, cinnamon sticks and star anise in a pan and bring to a simmer.
Sloe Malt Hot Toddy Recipe
Described by food writer Nigel Slater as ‘the antidote to man-flu’ the science is out on whether Hot Toddy’s can really cure a cold, but one thing’s for certain – there’s a lot of fun in finding out.
There is a certain mystery around the origin of the Hot Toddy. Invented in the 1700s, one theory is that Scotch, Scotlands staple liquor of the time, had a harsh flavour that women disliked, and so it was designed as a sweet alternative for ladies.
There is no set recipe for a Hot Toddy, but the general guidelines are that it must contain: a type of liquor (traditionally whisky or bourbon), a sweetener such as honey, a warm base of hot water, tea or apple cider, and lemon or orange. If you would like to make a kid friendly version simply omit the booze and you have a Not Toddy.
Hot Toddys are thought to improve colds and flus because honey soothes the throat, alcohol numbs pain and encourages sleep, and the addition of citrus gives a boost of vitamin C.
Rex Burdon, from Nonesuch Distillery, located in Tasmanias South-East has kindly shared his recipe for an indulgent Hot Buttered Sloe Malt Toddy. Rex produces one of Australias only Sloe Malts. The early English settlers introduced sloe trees to Tasmania over 200 years ago, and many are still standing today. The sloe drupes (small plums) are picked ripe and added to alcohol to give a unique taste, aroma and colour. Rex describes the flavour of his Sloe Malt as slightly astringent, which then gives way to the mellowness and full mouth-feel of the malt.There is also a note of chocolate or coffee on the palate.
Hot Buttered Sloe Malt Toddy
1.Mix the Nonesuch Sloe Malt and apple juice in a pan and heat.Do not boil, as you will cook out the alcohol.
2.Stir in a knob of butter, add raisins and honey to taste.
3. Serve in a glass that is warmed and can handle some heat from the Toddy.
Thank God for the Toddy
Like a wool sweater or a log fire, a steaming hot toddy is a simple but sublime winter warmer. Traditionally composed of a shot of spirits (gin, rum, or whiskey), a spoonful of sugar, and hot water and garnished with nutmeg, this uncomplicated cocktail has eased generations through the pains of storms and sickness. Though the hot toddy appears to have originated in 18th-century Scotland, where a sweetened mixture of malt whisky was consumed with gusto as a remedy for the common cold, it wasn’t long afterward that the tipple arrived on American shores and was heartily embraced by colonists. Indeed, according to Revolutionary-era anecdotes, soldiers in search of liquid courage often heated their toddies by stirring them with glowing fireplace pokers from the local tavern. As David Wondrich notes in his new history of the cocktail, Imbibe!, “The old days were hard, but the people who lived them found ways of making them tolerable.”
Since those days, proper toddy drinking has acquired its own customs and accoutrements, such as the use of the toddy glass (a short mug or stemmed glass with a handle) and the toddy stick (a knob-ended swizzle stick that’s used for giving the cocktail a stir). While the warm version of the toddy remains the most widely known, dozens of variants abound—the blazer, hot buttered rum, the apple toddy (which contains a whole baked apple), and even a cool toddy—many claiming their own medicinal benefits. We haven’t consulted a doctor on the matter, but we can state with certainty that our highly unscientific experiments have found few ills that a full toddy glass in hand can’t diminish. So, take our word: don’t wait until the sniffles strike to mix one up. Take a hot toddy (or two) tonight, and call it preventive care.
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Everything you need to know about the iconic gin cocktail, from its seafaring origins to the perfect formula—and beyond.
Orchard Old Fashioned
1 oz CC Apple Brandy (2 or 8 year)
1 oz Trail's End
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 dashes Orange Bitters
¾ oz Simple
Add all the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice, and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass filled with a large ice cube. Garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry.
Hot Toddy Variations To Get You Through Winter
It’s getting colder each day, which means that along with cozy sweaters and thick socks, it’s time to unpack some hot toddy recipes.
In America, at least, the hot toddy is thought of as a whiskey plus hot tea with lemon concoction. And while that is certainly true, there’s an entire other world of toddy combinations that you can easily make at home.
Consider the Apple Toddy, which appears in Jerry Thomas’s seminal 1862 bartending guide book. You add large teaspoon of sugar to applejack or apple brandy to a warmed glass. Then you add half a baked apple, garnish with nutmeg and serve with a spoon. It’s a little bit dessert, a little bit drink.
The Hot Brandy Sling, also in Thomas’s book, starts by adding a small teaspoon of sugar to a wine glass, then filling half way with brandy. Add boiling water to top, stir and serve with a fresh grating of nutmeg.
Three Victorian men chatting and drinking glasses of steaming hot toddy in a restaurant.
Even the traditional idea of a toddy (whiskey plus hot tea) can be tweaked. Look beyond just the whisky family for herbal variations, such as Chartreuse, Suze and Fernet-Branca. Mezcal makes a smoky potent alternative to blended whiskey, as does the smokiest Scotches, such as Lagavulin. Want a sweeter, more mellow toddy? Try it with Calvados or another apple brandy.
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Don’t forget apple cider. While a hot spiced apple cider might not seem like a toddy at first blush, a “toddy” is defined as a drink made with liquor, hot water and spices. Apple cider can step in for the hot water, and provide a great autumnal backdrop of spices instead of just plain water.
Apple cider is a standby for all sorts of hot drinks.
Want something super easy with apple cider? Warm a few cups of unfiltered apple cider in small saucepan, adding a dash of cayenne pepper (to taste) plus cinnamon (sticks or grated). Once warm, pour the cider into warm mugs, and top with one to two ounces of a sharp whiskey, such as Nelson’s Green Brier. It’s a low effort drink that pays off in every flavorful sip.
Want to create an apple cider base that you can use in multiple ways? Use apple cider the way you would a wine, when making mulled wine. In a big saucepan, empty at least a gallon of cider, then drop in some baking spices, such as clove, cinnamon, ginger and all-spice. Warm gently and let infuse for at least a few hours. Use your spiced cider as a base to mix with different spirits, such as cognac, brandy and whisky. Replenish the cider and the spices as you use it, so that you always have a batch ready when the occasion strikes.
I cover spirits, hospitality and the growing zero proof space. I am the author of "Zero Proof: 90 Non-Alcoholic Recipes for Mindful Drinking."