Cranberry Whiskey Hot Toddie


Toddies, as a class, are simple: spirit and hot (not boiling!) water, usually with complementary flavors.

Honey is most common, but you should play with your sugars: plain sugar, Demarara, even agave or molasses.

This weekend, around the campfire, we made hot toddies with the cranberry whiskey from Still Hollow. Corn whiskey makes an excellent neutral spirit, and Still Hollow uses an heirloom corn called Bloody Butcher. It's got a little sweetness to it, and is preferable to other grain vodkas.

Remember the rule: there is no reason to drink vodka, a spirit that by definition should be entirely without flavor. Nearly even vodka drink can be done with good gin. Moonshine - unaged corn whiskey - is, in a sense, vodka, but good corn whiskey should have some sweetness and other flavors, like some earthyness.

Anyway, this stuff is cranberries soaked in corn whiskey, pressed, and bottled. On its own, it's not a sipper, but as a base, it's amazing.

We added a good blob (maybe a tablespoon) of good honey, a big slice of lemon, and a cinnamon stick. Add hot water to fill the cup (a HydroFlask, since we were camping), stir, and sip.

2 ideas for what else to do with this stuff. One, a mimosa: some OJ and prosecco, with some sort of garnish (sugared fresh cranberries? rosemary or thyme?). Second, I'm thinking that a dinner cocktail with orange bitters and some walnut liqueur (lately from these guys).