February is a perfect month for a soul-warming libation, and a hot toddy is always a good staple. This month, we take the basics of a hot toddy and change it up a bit, adding brandy and black tea. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to this month’s event — so this write up comes from our super great hostess, Christina DeVore, and photos are by the ever-wonderful Caroline Hargraves (you can find more from Caroline at SLCFlake).
Christina is a a true one-of-a-kind person. We worked together for many years and she is one of the most thoughtful, funny, and detail oriented people I know. After she quit working for United Way of Salt Lake, there was a definitely gap, so I was thrilled she was interested in HBN Cocktail Club! She joined our ranks over the summer, and it has been so fun to see her again on a regular basis. Big thanks to her this month for not only hostessing, but also doing this blog write up! You are a true friend and cocktail enthusiast! 🙂
February Cocktail: A Mean Hot Toddy
Why Brandy and Black Tea Go Together in Perfect Harmony
by Christina DeVore
For February HBN Cocktail Club, the ladies of HBCC were small in numbers but what we lack in seeing everyone this month we made up in the conversation. It was Super Bowl 50 and those of us who braved (traded in really) the Bronco or Pather anticipation, gathered to make a cold winter day better with an inspiring drink—not to mention a witty new tag #CocktailsNotConcussions.
I did some research about the history of a Hot Toddy and shared with the ladies that the cocktail originated in Scotland in the early 1700s. If you’re familiar with Scotland then you would understand the country’s liquor of choice, Scotch, which has a harsh smoky flavor. Rumor has it that women were not fond of the taste, and thus, the creation of something a bit sweeter for the ladies to enjoy while still sipping the nation’s delight—a Hot Toddy. Ironically, the drink itself is named after a Dublin-born male physician, Robert Todd, who was known for prescribing a hot drink of brandy. Doctors had it right even in the 1800s.
This month I chose a brandy base, because its flavors would draw out the black tea in the toddy. We learned that brandy is the distilled alcohol extracted from any fruit-based mash. The origin of the word “brandy” derives from Dutch meaning “burnt wine”. Brandies are quite diverse although the most common being the French, Cognac. For a quality American brand, I chose E&J’s XO Brandy. I hadn’t really discovered brandy until experimenting with it for cocktail club, but was excited to find out its versatility and deliciousness.
As far as making the drink, it’s rather quite simple. It consists of some type of liquor (for ours I chose brandy, but whisky or rum are popular as well), a sweetener, a hot water base, and lemon. A hot toddy can have a hot water base of coffee or tea, although it has more recently been common to use only hot water; we used a black tea base with flavors to experiment. Pick something you want to explore and give it a try. For our toddy’s we used a peach black tea and a vanilla bean black tea from Boozetique. This really complimented the brandy and had two different taste. The peach was very floral while the vanilla bean gave a hint of winter.
1 ½ oz Brandy
1 Tablespoon Honey
Juice of 1/4 Lemon
6-8 oz. Brewed Black Tea (experiment with different flavors)
Cinnamon stick (optional)
Pinch whole cloves (optional)
To make: Begin by brewing your tea according to the directions, approx. time is 5 minutes for black tea. Then, coat the bottom of a mug with honey. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the cup. Add the brandy. Once the tea has brewed, pour it into the mug. Stir. Finish with a cinnamon stick and cloves. Enjoy!
We also learned that a hot toddy was commonly served as a medicinal remedy, and many people still use it for that purpose during the cold winter months. You could experiment with a chamomile or mint tea. But you don’t have to take my word for it, here are the reasons why:
Top 5 Reasons to Choose Hot Toddies to Cure a Common Cold
- Ease congestion
- Soothe your throat
- Help you sleep
- It has booze and tastes better than meds (NyQuil)!
- Did I mention it has booze?
BIG, HUGE, WONDERFUL THANK YOU
to Christina DeVore (hostess and content)
and Caroline Hargraves (photos)
HBN Cocktail Club has BIG things coming up!
We are working with VIDA Tequila for March and Kid Curry Vodka for April….so stay tuned.
WE LOVE LOCAL!
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Categories: Cocktail Club