Sometimes you need a cocktail that can be sipped from a tea mug. Especially once the weather’s turned crisp and the days turn abruptly into night. On those days you might need a reminder on how not to botch perfectly good bourbon and perfectly good maple syrup by adding things in all the wrong proportions. You need a hot toddy but first you need a reminder about how to make one.
On other days, you might find yourself stopping right in the middle of mixing a moscow mule in order to a) remember what the heck you put into a moscow mule and b) solve the mounting debate between you and your spouse about the distinction between ginger beer and ginger ale. Here again, you need a helping hand.
To satisfy these needs and approximately one million other bar-related questions, you would do very well to consider picking up a copy of The Essential Bar Book: An A-to-Z Guide to Spirits, Cocktails, and Wine by my very dear friend, Jennifer Fiedler. Hot off the presses this very morning, Jenny’s book is filled half way up with definitive recipes for every classic cocktail you’ve ever hoped to recreate and filled the other way up with encylopedic entries for every bar-related term you might be
arguing wondering about.
It’s just the thing you might need to round out your bar cart, or to tuck into a Christmas stocking, or use to impress your friends with your uncanny knowledge of all things boozy. Wrap it up with a set of cocktail napkins and cocktail coupes and you’ve just nailed the season’s best present.
Reprinted with permission from Ten Speed Press
1 1/2 ounces bourbon or rye (or any dark spirt including aged rum or Cognac)
3/4 ounces honey or maple syrup
4-5 ounces hot water
Add spirit and honey or maple syrup to a mug or rocks glass. Top with hot water and stir gently to dissolve honey or maple syrup. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a cinnamon stick.
Not for pancakes only, I love the rich taste of maple syrup in my hot toddies. Slow pour from a jigger wrested from the back of the cabinet just in time to celebrate Jenny’s new book.
Et voila. May you all put your languishing bottles of dark spirits to good use and pour yourselves a hot toddy. And may you especially consider ordering a copy of the The Essential Bar Book.
*Disclosure: I was sent an advance copy of this book by Ten Speed Press for the purposes of this post. Unabashed support of my friend, my own!
More cocktail posts, HERE.