National Hot Toddy Day falls on Jan. 11 each year, right around the time the chill of the winter season is really starting to seep into our bones.
Confession: Last week, I was home alone one night, working from my couch. It was really cold in my house and I refuse to turn up the heat. So I made oatmeal and a hot toddy for dinner and dined on my couch. It was a satisfying meal.
The hot toddy I threw together that night was simple — a cup of Traditional Medicinals Cold Care tea (I thought I may have been coming down with something), some honey, some lemon and some Irish whisky. I can't give you measurements because I didn't make any. But plenty of hot toddy recipes exist — including these five below — for those who want to follow one. Often considered something to drink when you're under the weather, hot toddies are perfect for any time you need to feel warm or cozy.
Apple Cinnamon Gin Toddy: This is one of my original recipes that uses both gin and an apple liqueur along with an easy-to-make cinnamon syrup. Gin isn't the first spirit you think of when making a hot toddy, but it works well in the recipe.
Chai tea gives this hot toddy a creaminess. (Photo: Nicolle Dudek)
The 8th Day: This chai-based hot toddy is creamier than most hot toddies. It's simple to make. Combine 1 1/2 parts Havana Club Añejo Clásico Rum (or similar rum), 3 parts chai tea, 1 3/4 parts warm coconut milk (or other milk), and 1 part simple syrup (or 1 tbsp white sugar). Combine all ingredients in a mug, stir and enjoy.
Spiced Chamomile Ginger Hot Toddy: Chamomile and ginger teas both go in this drink that's spiked with bourbon. Spiced with cinnamon and cloves, it's a winter treat.
Hot Spiced Pear Toddy: Spiced pear nectar is the base of this beverage that you can add your desired spirit - rum, bourbon or vodka - to. Simple syrup, either plan or cinnamon, completes this three-ingredient drink.
Hot Tipsy Cow: Light or spiced rum are added to warm milk, nutmeg and a little simple syrup, with a dash of vanilla and another of bitters, to create a soul-warming, possibly sleep-inducing winter hot cocktail.
Red Wine Hot Chocolate: If you're more of a wine than a spirits drinker, you can still get a hot boozy fix by adding red wine to hot chocolate. You never boil the mixture so the wine retains its alcohol. Sure, this technically isn't a hot toddy, but it will take the chill off just the same.