Don't be caught unprepared! Here are 8 delicious hot cocktail recipes to warm up your next snow day.Read More
As I write this, I am laying in bed with a cat at my feet and a rye hot toddy by my side. It would be such an image of comfort if it wasn't for the body aches, running nose, and cough. I officially have my first sickness of 2016.
It's kind of appropriate since Monday, January 10th is National Hot Toddy Day. I hate being sick but at least I can find comfort in this boozy comfort cocktail. The hot toddy is like a warm hug when you need it the most.
I chose to make my toddy with rye whiskey. Really you can make a toddy with just about any spirit. Why did I chose rye? Rye is a spicy whiskey with delicious notes of cloves and nutmeg. Bourbon is great but sometimes you want a whiskey that's robust in flavor. In a cocktail where you're already adding sweetness, a spice-filled rye may be a better partner than a sweet bourbon.
I've been all about the rye in the past year. In fact, rye whiskey sales are currently on the rise and gaining strength. If you've been entertaining the idea of learning more about rye whiskey or giving it a try, do it! With so many distillers turning to rye, now could not be a better time.
My advice for trying rye whiskey would be to go in toes first. Start off with a "low" rye whiskey. I consider a "low" rye whiskey to be one that contains 51-70% rye grain. The rest could be made up of corn, barley, wheat, or whatever (but usually it's corn). This way you'll still get that same familiar sweetness you'd find with bourbon. If you're a Manhattan drinker, switch the bourbon out for rye. Give it a shot.
RYE HOT TODDY
My first experience with Hot Buttered Rum was a dismal failure. It was a girls weekend. We were in our early 20s. It was cold out and someone got the bright idea to make hot buttered rum.
It's one of those classic drinks you see in old movies. The heroes are snuggled up on the couch while it's snowing outside. There's a Christmas tree decorated with popcorn and the mom is preparing a goose. It seems so poetic. How could this go wrong?
Well, for starters we used margarine. FAIL! We also used the only rum we had on hand, which no doubt was also the cheapest. Double FAIL!! It was a disgusting catastrophe.
Recently I received a sample of Ron Zacapa 23 Rum. I'm not much of a rum drinker, so I approached hesitantly but was pleasantly surprised. This dark rum has notes of cinnamon, cloves, vanilla and leaves a lovely sweet finish on your tongue. It was the perfect rum to help me erase my hot buttered nightmare.
Hot Buttered Rum 2.0
2 oz. Ron Zacapa 23 Rum
2 oz. Heavy Whipping Cream
2 oz. Water (filtered)
1/4 oz. Ginger Syrup
1 tbsp. Butter
Grated Cinnamon (approx. 1 tsp.)
Grated Dark Chocolate
In a small pot combine Cream, Water, Butter, and Cinnamon. Heat on medium-high while constantly stirring. Once butter has melted completely, remove from heat.
Add Rum and Ginger Syrup to wine glass or mug. Stir in cream mixture. Top with grated Dark Chocolate.
The result is a Hot Buttered Rum that is rich and flavorful. It leaves you feeling warm all over and ready for a long winter's nap.
I had my first cold of the season this past weekend. An annoying cough that derailed my weekend plans, keeping me in bed. All weekend long I craved nothing but comforts foods. Hearty soups, casseroles, and a variety of carbs. This got me brainstorming about a comfort cocktail.
Is there any drink more comforting than the hot chocolate. When it's cold outside and there's snow in the air, we immediately reach for the hot cocoa mix. Hot Cocoa is synonymous with comfort and warmth.
Rich & Spicy Mezcal Hot Chocolate
2 cups Milk
1/4 cup Condensed Milk
2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Cayenne Powder
Pinch of Kosher Salt
1 1/2 oz Mezcal
1 1/2 oz Tequila
Marshmallow garnish, if desired.
Serves two or one with a really big mug.
In a saucepan, bring milk to a simmer on medium to medium-high heat. Stir in condensed milk. Reduce heat.
Using a whisk, slowly stir in chocolate chips. Once chips have melted, add in cocoa powder. Continue stirring until smooth.
Now add vanilla, cayenne pepper and salt. Continue to stir a few minutes longer. Then remove from heat.
After removing from heat. Stir in Mezcal and Tequila.
I garnished my hot chocolate with jumbo marshmallows dusted with cayenne pepper and cocoa. I then roasted them with a kitchen torch.
What is Mezcal?
Some would say that Mezcal is a type of Tequila, but I would argue that it's the other way around. Since Mezcal has a broader definition, it's Tequila that is a type of Mezcal.
Tequila is made specifally from Blue Agave, whereas Mezcal can be made from a variety of agave plants.
Tequila is made from the piña, the heart of the agave plant and is steamed before distillation.
Mezcal is roasted underground in a pit before distillation, giving Mezcal it's smoky flavor.
I love this recipe for hot chocolate. It is super richness and the kick from the red pepper gives you a warmth all over. It's the perfect snow day cocktail. And it's sure to knock out any pesky cold. Almost makes getting sick worth it.