Oh the holidays! How I love you. So many presents. So much warmth. So much food. And of course, so much family time. And of course, I love sipping on a Ginger Apple Hot Toddy.
Over the next few days, you might find yourself in a typical holiday scenario: piled into the den, grandma and dog included, watching a movie that the whole family, after a ridiculous 15-minute debate, has finally decided on.
At first everything will be fine, the movie will be moving right along, you might even be having a little fun…until, the film’s two lead actors start to kiss and get all attracted to each other while on this random killing spree/adventure.
You think nothing of it, until their kissy-face-action starts again, and then next thing you know, you’re watching a sex scene with grandma. This is terrible, guys. This is what awkward is.
Even though grandma has birthed five children, and her children have birthed children, it doesn’t matter! Watching sex scenes with grandma/mom/dad is embarrassing.
What you need is a scapegoat, a reason to high-tail it out of the family den. Sure, you could fake a “I have to go tinkle” situation, but you risk returning and it still being on!
My vote is for this scenario: popcorn-making or even better, hot toddy-making…
My hot-toddy-making/consuming obsession has been in high-gear for the last month.
I realized that not every hot toddy was treated equally.
Some employ rum, gin or bourbon. (Bourbon, hi!)
Others like their hot toddies to have the flavor of tea, think Earl Grey or English Breakfast, heavily-spiked.
Other people are purists and like it with hot water, a squeeze of lemon, honey and whiskey.
In the past month, I’ve had more than 5 or 6 different takes on this drink, and the one you see pictured is my favorite.
I start with unfiltered apple juice (and I used my favorite, Martinelli’s). And then add spices like freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon and star anise. I add a few slices of lemon, a heaping tablespoon of honey and a few glugs (weird word) of bourbon.
I’m a little heavy-handed with the bourbon, so I apologize. (Not really.)
This variation is one that I’ve decided I love the best.
The recipe time on this is about 15 minutes.
- 4 cups apple cider
- 2/3 cup bourbon whiskey
- 1/4 cup honey
- 4 whole cinnamon stick
- 3 whole star anise
- 3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger, from a 1-inch knob
- 4 lemon slices
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Add apple cider, bourbon, honey, cinnamon sticks, star anise, grated ginger, lemon and nutmeg to a medium pot and place it over medium heat.
- Slowly bring the mixture up to a gentle simmer; once the mixture reaches a simmer, bring it down to low heat and steep for
- 10 minutes. Divide mixture between 4 to 6 mugs and garnish with cinnamon sticks, star anise or lemon slices.