the best hot toddy and the essential bar book.

October 14, 2014

the essential bar book by jennifer fiedler How’s that for superlatives?

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.

And no, I’m not just saying this because Jenny’s my friend. But how lucky am I to know a cocktail guru?*
the essential bar book by jennifer fiedler Ginger ale? Ginger beer? There’s a difference. Jenny will tell you. the essential bar book by jennifer fiedler

Swizzlestick tree? Who knew?
the essential bar book by jennifer fiedler The Hot Toddy
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.
the essential bar book by jennifer fiedler Not for pancakes only, I love the rich taste of maple syrup in my hot toddies. the essential bar book by jennifer fiedler Slow pour from a jigger wrested from the back of the cabinet just in time to celebrate Jenny’s new book.
the essential bar book by jennifer fiedler 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.

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  • Reply Txell October 14, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Looks delicious to warm up in those new afternoons that are comming !
    Also cognac is good for ovarian pain šŸ˜‰

  • Reply Steph October 14, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Wish I liked that alcohol! It looks so appealing. šŸ™‚

    • Reply Erin October 14, 2014 at 11:34 pm

      Might be worth a shot (pun intended)! The maple, honey, and cinnamon are so, so lovely.

  • Reply Fey October 14, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    I feel like this will cure my sore throat. šŸ™‚

  • Reply Neurotic Workaholic October 14, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    I love your pictures (like I always do). And it looks like a good book, but I'm a teetotaler; that's why I drink so much coffee. I think I've replaced alcohol with caffeine.

  • Reply Maja October 14, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    How beautiful. Makes me wish we had hard liquor in the house. Well, I can always make mulled wine I guess.

  • Reply Kim Johnstone October 14, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    My brother-in-law is obsessed with bar books, this will make the perfect Christmas gift for him! Gorgeous pictures, too, Erin, thanks for showcasing!

    • Reply Erin October 14, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      So glad to hear it!

  • Reply best halloween party nyc October 21, 2014 at 4:06 am

    If you need a fix of delicious drinks then this is the place. Oh and they also have a great wine list. The ambiance is a dimly lit extremely intimate bar.

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