Hello again my Stay-At-Home Friends!
Welcome back to our Quaran-TEA-ni Series!
A blog about all things tea cocktails that you can make for yourself while you're stuck at home.
Today, we're going to talk about a classic.
THE HOT TODDY
Traditionally, a hot toddy is just hot water, whiskey, lemon and honey. Some recipes might also add different herbs and spices. Some use tea instead of just water (which is clearly what I'll be encouraging you to do here...)
Hot toddy's have been known to be a soothing drink to help reduce the symptoms of a cold. While not a cure, it is sure to relax you!
What is so great about the hot toddy is that it can be made with just about anything. You can change up the liquor, use different teas, spice it up with some cinnamon. The options are endless (either that or determined by what you might have in your cupboard...) and are truly up to your taste preferences!
If you'll remember from last week, I mentioned there are 4 ways of incorporating tea into any cocktail:
~ Flavoring a simple syrup
~ Used as a mixer
~ Infused directly into a spirit
~ Made into ice cubes
Last week's Chamomile Sour used a simple syrup flavored with tea. The hot toddy we're going to make today is just one example of incorporating tea into a cocktail as a mixer.
Before I go on to the recipe, I have to mention just one thing. When using tea as a mixer, it is incredibly important that you make the tea double strength! Essentially, you're making a tea concentrate. The reason for this is that if the tea is too weak, it will be completely overtaken by the alcohol. This could lead to a possibility of tasting something that's just watered down whiskey and who really wants to drink that? (I mean, if that's your thing, that's totally fine though...) The tea needs to be just as strong and robust as the alcohol you're mixing it with in order for them to complement each other.
Now, if you were paying attention to last week's post, I mentioned that I would let you in on our magic ratio for the best tea cocktail. Well, I'm telling you sooner than I originally thought because, well, it's that important and I want you all to make excellent tea cocktails at home now!
The Magic Ratio:
~ 5 oz tea concentrate
~ 1.5 oz shot of alcohol
~ Sweetener (about 2 tsp)
First of all, you're welcome.
Second, that ratio will work just the same with a cold cocktail or hot toddy. While the tea concentrate preparation will look a little different between the hot and cold, the idea is the same. This is always our starting point any time we start creating a new cocktail menu at iN-TEA. Then it becomes an art to play around with different ingredients until you love it!
With this recipe, you can easily start experimenting with your favorite teas and liquor that you probably already have in your cupboard! I'll be honest, some combinations just don't work together at all, so don't be discouraged if it doesn't taste all that great. I've made plenty that I knew was terrible after one little sip. There's aways room for trial and error. But when you've found that right balance, you'll be so happy. And then you can name it after yourself!
For this recipe, I am using one of my all-time FAVORITE black teas - Himalayan Gold. Making its way into my home tea collection all the way from Nepal, this is always my go to when I need a little caffeine in the morning. While a lot of black teas will often leave an astringent taste in your mouth, there is a significant lack of that with this tea. It is smooth, slightly sweet and so refreshing. I always have this tea on hand at home so what better tea to use for a hot toddy?!
Ok, let's get to brewing!
(See? I named it after myself...)
~ 2 tsp Himalayan Gold black tea
~ 5 oz boiling water
~ 1.5 oz shot whiskey
~ 2 tsp honey
~ 1 lemon round
~ Brew the tea in boiling water for 2 minutes
- - - (Time varies between different teas so be sure to stick to your tea's brewing instructions!)
~ After the 2 minutes, strain tea leaves into your glass
~ Add your shot of whiskey and honey
~ Garnish with a lemon round floating on top
~ Sip and enjoy!
Ok, I must admit...this is the first time I've ever made this particular hot toddy with Himalayan Gold (I am making this right along with you!)
Guys...It did NOT disappoint. I took one sip and looked at my cup with sheer delight at the amazing creation I had just blessed my tastebuds with.
Dramatic? Maybe. True? Absolutely!
Get creative! Now that you know our magic ratio, play around with different flavors. Use your favorite black tea or try it with an oolong! Add some other spices, or use a different sweetener. Just rummage through your cupboard and see what inspires you!
So there you have it!
The Hot Toddy.
Don't forget to share your creation with us so we can see you making your own tea cocktails at home!
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Next week, we'll switch gears a bit and I'll show you how to infuse tea directly into beer and Champagne!