In the dead of winter, why settle for cold cocktails? January 11 is National Hot Toddy Day, and we're all for it. And this time of year, we've seen restaurants all over the country upping their hot toddy game. 

Sure, the classic combo of whiskey or brandy, lemon, honey, and hot water does the trick -- truly, nothing warms you from within like a toddy. But ever-creative bartenders are having quite a bit of fun with the drink, turning it from a classic cocktail into an entire genre. 

The "Muir's Medley" at P.S. Kitchen in Manhattan unites homemade sweet potato and pumpkin spice-infused bourbon, Rozelieures Smoked Single Malt, Black Sheriff Rum, and homemade vanilla and spice-infused cider.

At Paper Coffee inside the MADE Hotel, the toddy takes on a Japanese character, with the "Toki Toddy" -- Japanese whisky, turmeric tea, pressed lemon, ginger, and star anise. 

At Gloria in New York, the "Venus as a Boy" brings in other spirits along with whiskey: Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, an extremely sophisticated dark rum, joins bourbon, Punt e Mes, housemade fig syrup, cinnamon and lemon. And at Hotel deLuxe in Portland, Oregon, the "Blueberry Toddy" leaves behind whiskey altogether, with Jamaican rum, Townshend’s Bluebird Liqueur, honey, and lavender syrup.

It brings us to the question: Is a "toddy" really just any hot cocktail? It's a matter to ponder over a good, stiff drink -- served warm, of course.

 [Photo: Carey Jones]

Topics: san francisco, cocktails

Written by Carey Jones

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