The Hot Toddy is one of winter’s most perfect, and yet under-appreciated cocktails. Typically a mix of bourbon, lemon juice, honey and hot water, it soothes your heart and soul from the inside out. Some say it is the ultimate cure-all for winter: be it a cold or just the winter blues, or for when you just want something warming but also a little boozy too.
We took the soothing qualities of the traditional Toddy and upped the flavor level, using a fragrant herbal chamomile tea instead of water and making a spiced honey syrup infused with cinnamon and star anise.
It’s everything you love about wintertime in one heart-warming cup.
This recipe was created using the KitchenAid® Glass Tea Kettle, a must-have for any tea lover. The Glass Tea Kettle comes complete with a gorgeous glass kettle design that allows you to see your tea as it brews, and an ingenious stainless steel tea steeper that comes with a rubber stopper to prevent any drips from ever touching your counter top. It really is a brilliantly designed appliance that any serious tea drinker can appreciate.
What kind of tea should you use in this recipe? Well, the sky is the limit, really! We used the Days of Heaven chamomile blend from August Uncommon Tea, infused with lemon verbena and rhubarb. The slight fruitiness may seem summery, but paired with the spiced honey syrup and bourbon it becomes a sultry blend that’s perfect for winter. Plus, the fact that it is an herbal tea, or tisane, and not a true tea, means it is naturally caffeine free and perfect for evening sipping and savoring.
If you are not a fan of chamomile, you can also try rooibos, a red tea that is more robust and less grassy in flavor than chamomile. It’s also caffeine free.
Traditional green and black teas, while delicious, do contain significant amounts of caffeine, so you may want to avoid them if you’ll be enjoying this tea-based cocktail in the evening. For brunch, however, where mid-morning drinking is perfectly acceptable, I can envision a robust black tea, like English Breakfast or Earl Gray, working beautifully in this recipe.
The spiced honey syrup is simply honey and water simmered with whole spices. The smallest saucepan from the KitchenAid® Stainless Steel 10-Piece Set is perfect for simmering a small quantity of syrup, and comes with a tight fitting glass lid for a perfect steeping environment.
You can easily make the syrup ahead of time by simply storing it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Rewarm before serving (as you want your hot toddy to stay hot).
So next time you’re cold, have a cold or simply need something soothing, this Spiced Chamomile Hot Toddy is sure to warm you up from the inside out, more so than just a shot of bourbon or a cup of hot tea on their own. It makes you wonder why hot cocktails aren’t more common!
It’s pure boozy comfort, through and through.
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Spiced Chamomile Hot Toddy
Makes 8 servings
1/2 cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
14 grams chamomile tea
8 ounces bourbon
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Combine honey with 1/2 cup filtered or spring water in the smallest saucepan from the KitchenAid® Stainless Steel 10-Piece Set over medium-high heat. Add a whole cinnamon stick and star anise and bring to a simmer. Cover and remove from heat; let steep for 10 minutes, then remove the cinnamon stick and star anise.
Meanwhile, brew a batch of chamomile tea. Fill your KitchenAid® Glass Tea Kettle with 40 ounces of filtered or spring water. Pack 14 ounces of tea (or whatever quantity your particular tea recommends for 8 cups) into the tea steeper. Set the Glass Tea Kettle to the herbal tea setting and press start. Once the chime sounds and your water is up to temperature, insert the tea steeper and set your timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the tea steeper and set aside.
To prepare toddies, measure 2 tablespoons of warm honey syrup into each cup. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) bourbon to each. Pour in 4 ounces (1/2 cup) tea into each cup, and stir until syrup is incorporated. Garnish with a lemon slice, cinnamon stick and/or star anise, as desired.
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*