As soon as the mercury begins to plummet and trust me it has, my tipple of choice turns from gin and tonics to whisky. There’s something very pleasing about the warming, sweet, smokiness of a good whisky, I suspect I may also have watched too much Mad Men, if that’s possible? Anna is adamant that whisky is nasty stuff but I like a challenge and set out to change her mind. Traditionalist whisky drinkers turn their noses up at hot toddies but what do they know, a good hot toddy on a cold day will convert the staunchest of whisky critics. It’s like mulled wine only much, much better.
Some turn to toddies for the medicinal qualities that citrus, spice, heat and alcohol bring to the table, but I drink them with or without a sniffle, in fact sniffle-less is more pleasurable. Whiskies are far ranging in their subtleties and ideally you will taste a few to find ‘the one’. For any entry level whisky sceptics I recommend a nice, sweet bourbon and your local bottle shop will steer you in the right direction I’m sure. If you’re all about rum a spiced rum ticks boxes too. Recipes are generally there to be tinkered with, use them as a guideline and tweak to your taste, the addition of orange zest was all my own but works really well. I also have a hunch that using a bit of warm ginger beer would works wonders too.
Toddies taste better in front of a fire, so if you have one light it up and get cosy, blankets are good too. I picked up an old chiminea at a bric a brac market recently and it’s become my winter companion. I get lost in it’s flickering flames and warm embrace, my inner Neanderthal can’t get enough. Don’t judge me but I’ve taken to filling my coffee cup with a nice toddy for afternoon strolls in the park with Max, father and son have never enjoyed the park so much!
Ingredients (for each toddy)
3 slithers of peeled ginger
1 strip of lemon peel
1 strip of orange peel
1-2 tsp lemon juice
Put the water in a small pan along with the spices and peel over a low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer. Meanwhile rinse a heatproof glass with hot water and dry.
Pour the whisky into your warmed glass and then pour over hot water and spices. Stir in the honey and lemon juice, taste and adjust to how you like it.
What do you turn to to warm you’re cockles when things get frosty?