Marisa Chavetz / Supercall

Entertaining
4 New Ways to Make Hot Toddies All Winter Long

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Cozy, delicious and scientifically proven to actually help cure your cold, Hot Toddies are winter staples. But there’s only so much whiskey, lemon and hot water one person can take before they tire of the same old recipe. Luckily, there’s more than one way to make a Hot Toddy. In fact, come winter, one Brooklyn bar features an entire menu of Hot Toddy variations.

Branch OFC’s co-owner, Christopher Buckley, is a firm believer in the power of the Hot Toddy. “Up until about 100 years ago, people were really cold all the time,” he says. “Taverns were places where your feet were cold but your belly was warm.” While his bar does have heat, folks still travel to OFC to warm up with his many Hot Toddies, which range from the ‘Ti Toddy (rum, lime juice and cane simple syrup), to the East Heats West (mezcal, lapsang souchong simple syrup, lemon and orange) to the Dutch Courage (genever, lavender simple syrup and lemon). “Every culture has something different,” he says. And almost everything can be turned into a Toddy. In his many Toddy trials, Buckley encountered only one troublesome flavor: annisette. So, to all those absinthe lovers looking for a warm treat, apologies, but you’ll just have to settle for one of these four new recipes from Buckley and other star bartenders around the country.

Marisa Chavetz / Supercall
In French-speaking regions of the Caribbean, ‘Ti Punch is a popular drink made with rhum agricole (usually white), lime and cane syrup. Buckley took that remarkably simple but ultra-delicious drink, and turned it into a warming Hot Toddy. While ‘Ti Punch is only ever made with rhum agricole, Buckley chose to make this cocktail with Due North, a Brooklyn-produced unfiltered rum. “It looks like an alcoholic snow globe,” Buckley says. While many Toddies are garnished with citrus zest or spices, Buckley chooses to leave his unadorned, letting the heat of the drink lift the cocktail’s aromatics up into the face of the drinker.

The Essentials

Rum
lime juice
hot water
Marisa Chavetz / Supercall
Made with mildly malty, barrel-aged genever (gin’s predecessor), this take on a Hot Toddy from Buckley is like spring thaw in a glass. Though the drink is still hot and cozy, the addition of lavender simple syrup brings some brightness and florality to the cocktail, calling to mind that first day of melting snow, when it’s still cold but spring is most certainly in the air. “Lavender lightens up the genever,” Buckley says. “It pulls everything up.” Bring the mug to your nose, breathe in (not too deeply, there is a good slug of booze in there, after all) and know that warmer days are on their way.

The Essentials

genever
lavender syrup
hot water
Marisa Chavetz / Supercall
“The Toddies I’ve had in the past have been underwhelming,” says Jessica Maria, co-owner of Hotsy Totsy Club in Albany, California. But her duo of Hot Toddy variations make up for all of those hum-drum Toddies. There’s the Hotsy Totsy, which arrives on fire, and the Tight Knit Sweater, which lacks pyrotechnics but packs some serious flavor thanks to Old Tom gin, crème de cassis and Becherovka, an herbal liqueur from the Czech Republic. Head to Hotsy Totsy for the fire show, but feel free to try your hand at the Tight Knit Sweater at home.

The Essentials

Old Tom Gin
Becherovka
Crème de Cassis
hot water
Marisa Chavetz / Supercall
This cocktail from Barley Swine—regularly lauded as one of the best restaurants in Austin, Texas—is a weeks-long project. But if you’re willing to put in the time, you’ll be richly rewarded with an amazing take on a Hot Toddy—and some delicious, homemade spiced whiskey to boot. The recipe calls for barrel-aging whiskey with an array of spices, as well as apples, for three weeks before mixing the aromatic spirit with the usual Hot Toddy suspects: lemon juice, honey and hot water.

The Essentials

Barrel Aged Spiced Whiskey
hot water
honey

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