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What to Drink This Weekend: Hot Toddy Riff

What to Drink This Weekend: Hot Toddy Riff

Looking for a new cocktail to try out this weekend? Want to wind down with a fresh new drink? We’ve got you covered. Here’s what you should drink this weekend.

Between the weather cooling down and trying to kick a mild cold, I’m craving a warm, soothing beverage for the weekend. So, I’m turning to a tried and true classic: the Hot Toddy. Historically, the warming whiskey drink was enjoyed as a nightcap or used to stave off coughs and colds. Now, it’s an ideal fall/winter cocktail that can be enjoyed around the fire pit, at a bar, or in the comfort of your own home.


As far as cocktails go, the Hot Toddy is pretty simple. And, open to a myriad of variations. The only standard ingredients are really boiling water, whiskey, and some sugar source. Fall-appropriate spices like cinnamon, ginger, allspice are welcome additions as is a squeeze of lemon juice. Basically, it’s the hot version of an Old Fashioned. For this particular version, we turn to Karl Steuck a.k.a. @SpiritandSpoon. For the Hot Toddy Riff, you’ll need:

  • BLACKENED American Whiskey – This recipe calls for BLACKENED whiskey but any whiskey you have on your bar cart will do. You’ll want a balanced flavor in a Hot Toddy so try not to reach for anything with too drastic of a flavor profile.
  • Ancho Reyes – You might struggle to find this Chile Liqueur, but I encourage you to seek it out. That touch of spice adds a whole other dimension to the Hot Toddy.
  • Lemon juice – This recipe calls for charred lemon juice, which you can achieve by lightly grilling a halved lemon and then juicing it. Standard fresh squeezed lemon juice works just fine, too.
  • Cinnamon honey syrup – You can make cinnamon honey syrup by combining 1 cup honey and .5 cup water in a pan with 5 cinnamon sticks. Bring it to boil, then let simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  • Hot water – Bring water to a boil in whatever tea kettle you have.
  • Tea – I would go for a mild tea (Eary Grey or Green Tea, maybe) but ultimately it’s your preference.

While your tea steeps, pour 1.5 ounces whiskey, .5 ounces Ancho Reyes, and .5 ounces of lemon juice in a mug. Combine with your tea and add cinnamon honey syrup to your liking. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and enjoy the tastes of autumn.

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