Friday, November 15, 2019
An Herbal Twist on the Hot Toddy
I'm always looking around for ways to use honey and one of the classics is to mix it with bourbon and lemon. Even your teetotalling grandmother likely mixed up the classic hot toddy when someone around the house was under the weather.
I thought I'd share this little gem for soothing whatever ails you. I used sage because I created it for a Thanksgiving dinner a couple of years ago but you could also use thyme or rosemary which are both still to be found in southern winter gardens.
I start by making a simple syrup by mixing water and sugar and boiling it together then adding sage and letting it cook for a while. Did you want exact measurements and times?
You're new here, aren't you?
Okay, since you asked:
2 parts sugar to one part water. Make whatever amount you want.
Bring water to a boil and add sugar slowly stirring until sugar is dissolved. Don't boil too long just until sugar is dissolved. Add a tablespoon or so of vodka to prolong shelf life but if you are using it immediately like I did there's no need. Add whatever you want in the way of flavor or nothing at all. If you have added something to make an infusion, strain it out. Let cool. Store any leftovers in the fridge.
Some recipes called for cooking the honey (if you are using it) with the sugar, water, and herbs. As a beekeeper, I just don't like heating the honey. My rule of thumb is that if you can avoid it never heat your honey. It destroys some of the magical properties. (I assume you are not here for the science.) Add the honey at the last possible moment when things have cooled down. Then pour the bourbon and (no longer simple) syrup over ice straining out any bits of herbs or beeswax.
Isn't that a great word?
I like that world too.
Make up a fun name for your concoction.
Now, seriously, concoction is a truly fabulous word.
This is a first cousin to an Old Fashioned or a Mint Julep. The differences are slight but mighty.
Don't be afraid to try something new if you want a signature cocktail for a gathering you are throwing together.