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When 18th-century Brits pioneered the hot toddy, their ingredient stores were relatively spartan: They had black tea, hot water, whiskey - and weather sufficiently

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A Pair of Hot Toddies for the Chilly Season

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bekathwia
When 18th-century Brits pioneered the hot toddy, their ingredient stores were relatively spartan: They had black tea, hot water, whiskey - and weather sufficiently damp to make the notion of combining them attractive.

Winter weather in the Pacific Northwest is painfully similar to the nasty conditions that inspired the first toddies, which is probably why the drink's so popular here.

"Everyone I know can remember their mother or grandmother giving them a hot toddy to soothe their cough or cold," says Ken Rudee, a Seattle-based tea consultant and certified tea instructor who helped create the Northwest Tea Festival. "Although now medically proven not to be beneficial for such illnesses, many of us still carry on the tradition, if for no other reason then to help make it through our cold, wet, nights."

But local hot toddy takers aren't limited to black tea and Irish or Scotch whiskey. According to Rudee, the best toddies take advantage of the diversity available to modern drinkers. He's developed such two toddy recipes especially for Voracious readers. While the Earl Grey and Sweet Chai hot toddies may not cure sore throats, they're nearly guaranteed to ward off the coming December chill.

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Earl Grey Hot Toddy

Rudee's Earl Grey Hot Toddy isn't a spur-of-the-moment indulgence: It relies on high-quality vodka infused with bergamot-flavored Earl Grey oil for its traditional citrus flavor. "The strong Irish Breakfast tea, again developed in Northern Britain, brings out the classic tea flavor of the original tea Toddy." Rudee says. "And of course, the honey "helps the medicine go down."

EARL GREY HOT TODDY

Total time: 12 minutes

Yield: 1 drink

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces Earl Grey infused vodka (see below)

1/2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 level teaspoons Irish Breakfast Tea

Directions:

1. Bring 8 ounces of water to a rolling boil.

2. Meanwhile, heat Earl Grey infused vodka, cinnamon stick, honey and lemon juice in a sauce pan until it begins steaming (do not boil).

3. Place the tea in a teapot (or into a strainer basket sitting in a mug). Pour the boiling water over the tea and let steep for 5 minutes.

4. After the tea has steeped, strain the tea into a mug (or remove the strainer basket).

5. Remove the cinnamon stick from the sauce pan and place it into the mug of tea, then pour the heated Earl Grey infused vodka, honey and lemon juice from the sauce pan

6. Sprinkle with two shakes of the nutmeg and enjoy.

Options:

Use a teabag in place of the loose tea.

For a stronger tea flavor substitute Assam tea for the Irish Breakfast tea.

EARL GREY INFUSED VODKA

Total time: 2 hours to 12 hours

Yield: 375ml of infused vodka)

Ingredients:

1/2 ounces (or 10 grams) loose Earl Grey tea

375 milliliters (1/2 bottle) of good quality vodka

Directions:

Pour the vodka into a sealable container (preferably glass) with the loose tea. Stir the mixture, seal and let steep for at least 2 hours, but preferably twelve hours. Strain the tea leaves out of the infused vodka and reseal the vodka until ready to use.

© 2012 Ken Rudee Exper-Teas™. All rights reserved.

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Sweet Chai Hot Toddy

"The Sweet Chai Hot Toddy is a tongue-in-cheek, albeit delectable, coffee vs. tea, take on a tea Toddy," Rudee says. "Indian Chai tea is used for the layered tea and spice flavors of the traditional Hot Toddy, which unexpectedly, melds extremely well with the sweet coffee-flavored Tia Maria. The tart lemon and classic bourbon whiskey layers more complex flavors and reminds us that we're still drinking a "real" Toddy."

SWEET CHAI HOT TODDY

Yield: 1 drink

Total Time: 12 min

Ingredients:

1 ounce Tia Maria liqueur

1/2 ounce bourbon whiskey

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 heaping teaspoons unsweetened chai tea (not concentrate)

8 ounces boiling water

2 shakes ground nutmeg

Directions:

1. Bring 8 ounces of water to a rolling boil.

2. Meanwhile, heat Tia Maria, bourbon whiskey, cinnamon stick, and lemon juice in a sauce pan until it begins steaming (do not boil).

3. Place the chai tea in a teapot (or into a strainer basket sitting in a mug). Pour the boiling water over the tea and let steep for 5 minutes.

4. After the tea has steeped, strain the tea into a mug (or remove the strainer basket).

5. Remove the cinnamon stick from the sauce pan and place it into the mug of tea, then pour the heated Tia Maria, bourbon whiskey, cinnamon stick, and lemon juice from the sauce pan into the mug of tea.

6. Sprinkle with two shakes of the nutmeg and enjoy.

Options:

Use a teabag in place of the loose tea.

Spray whipped cream over the drink before sprinkling with nutmeg.

Tia Maria is a trademark of ILLVA SARONNO S.p.A.

© 2012 Ken Rudee Exper-Teas™. All rights reserved.

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