Hello, It’s Me: Christmas Toddy

Phew! December has been a whirlwind, hasn’t it?! Between end-of-the-year everything (and if you’re a business owner and/or financial type, you definitely know what I mean), not to mention the onslaught of holidays, there’s hardly been time to catch up. And yet, here we are at the tail end of 2014! The Winter Solstice has come and gone, and tonight is Christmas Eve and the last night of Hanukkah. In less than a week we’ll be kissing it all goodbye and saying hello to 2015. 2015 already! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some downtime. A break in the action. I’m jumping into pajamas and mixing up a Christmas Toddy to sip while wrapping those last few gifts and enjoying a little peace on earth. Or, at least in my living room.

What you need: a Christmas Toddy (and maybe some panettone, too)
What you need: a Christmas Toddy (and maybe some panettone, too)

What’s a toddy, you ask? Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a toddy as “a usually hot drink consisting of liquor (as rum), water, sugar, and spices.” Generally I’m not a fan of hot drinks (the occasional cup of tea is about it for me), but this time of year, sipping a hot toddy just seems so… holiday-like.

My Christmas Toddy has its roots in a hot-buttered rum recipe I found many years ago in a half-price bar book, long-since donated or lost in the debris of packing up and moving. Spices, tea, and rum are the key ingredients here. I like to keep it as local as possible, so I’m using local, raw honey and lemons from my backyard. Captain Morgan’s is my dad’s drink, and it just seemed like the right rum for this cocktail. I think the tea adds a bit of body to the drink and rounds out the flavor profile.

So get yerself one of these, find a peaceful spot, and just relax. Wishing you all a very happy holiday season!

Recipe: Christmas Toddy
Yield: 1 Cocktail
You’ll need a paring knife or channel knife, coffee mug, and shot glass with measurement markings or measuring spoons.

Note that I’ve given the ingredients in ounces. If you’re using measuring spoons,
2 ounces = 4 tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons, ½ ounce = 1 tablespoon

Assam tea: 1 teaspoon loose in a tea ball or 1 teabag
7-8 ounces hot water, just off the boil
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick (about 3″ long)
2 teaspoons local honey (or to taste)
2 ounces Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum
Organic lemon (Eureka)
Freshly grated nutmeg

Christmas Toddy ingredients
Christmas Toddy ingredients

How To:

  1. Place the whole cloves, cinnamon stick, and tea ball or teabag in the coffee mug. Fill the mug with hot water.
    The water should be just off the boil: not bubbling, but still very hot.

    Steep the tea and spices for 4 minutes
    Steep the tea and spices for 4 minutes
  2. Let the tea and spices steep for about 4 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the lemon peel garnish: using a paring knife or channel knife, cut a 3-inch piece of lemon peel for the garnish.  Set aside.
  4. After 4 minutes, remove the teabag or ball and add the honey and the rum. Stir the drink using the cinnamon stick.
    Adjust sweetness or rum to taste.
  5. Twist the lemon peel over the the mug and drop it in.
  6. Sprinkle freshly grated nutmeg over the drink.
  7. Have a happy holiday!

3 thoughts on “Hello, It’s Me: Christmas Toddy

    1. Thanks Terri — Merry Christmas to you, too! Drop me a line and let me know where your post-culinary school plans take you and whether ramen is still in your future. Best wishes! Anni

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