There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a hot drink on a cool winter day. I had my first-of-the-season hot chocolate with marshmallows last week and I just loved the way the melted marshmallows oozed down my throat…mmm. As we’re starting to have colder, rainier days in our midst, it’s nice to cozy up with a mug or thermos full of a soothing hot toddy.
I met up with veteran mixologist Miriam Widenham from The Landmark, and she showed me some hot toddy recipes that you can make yourself or order at the bar. My challenge to her was: what drinks might one take to Christmas Tree Lane, on a winter picnic or simply to entertain guests? (Reminder: today and December 10 are the two walking dates for Christmas Tree Lane!) Miriam was up to challenge and shared her three most popular hot toddies (below).
1. Hot Apple Pie
This might be my fave of the three. It’s a twist on buttered rum, in that you use a cinnamon apple Irish whiskey instead of Salior Jerry (which you could still totally do with this recipe). I tried this out for some friends and had to play with my batter to hot water ratio a little, but after a few drinks, it all worked out (doesn’t everything?). I made the batter ahead of time to make sure it was at room temperature and stored the unused portion in the fridge.
One of my friends, as he sipped and nodded and sipped and nodded again, said, “this is everything an apple pie should be.”
Hot Apple Pie
(makes 10-12 servings)
1 1/2 – 2 oz Paddy Devil’s Apple
1-2 T. Hot Hot Buttered Rum Batter
6 oz. Hot Water (give or take)
Hot Buttered Rum Batter Ingredients
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter, softened – cream the butter in a mixer, get a lot of air into it to make it fluffy.
1/4 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
Sprinkle of of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg (1 tsp of each)
Directions: Mix all batter ingredients, set aside. Boil water in a tea kettle. Place batter, whiskey in heat-safe glass, pour hot water over mixture, stir.
2. Miriam’s Traditional Hot Toddy
They say hot toddies are the cure to all ills. Miriam recommends getting a little R&R at home when you’re under the weather. However, when she has customers ask for something to sooth their sore throats, this is what she makes. Traditionally, a hot toddy is black tea, whiskey or brandy, honey and lemon. Miriam prefers to switch it up a little with a sweet honey liqueur: Bärenjäger, and Earl Grey tea.
(makes 1 serving)
Earl Grey tea (hot water & tea bag)
1 1/2 to 2 oz Bärenjäger
Directions: Pour hot tea over Bärenjäger, serve with lemon.
My friend Lucia loved this one and said it felt like a warm hug.
3. Kioki Coffee
This is Miriam’s all-time fave. Read the ingredients and it’s easy to see that this is one of those drinks where you really can’t go wrong. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a morning stroll with a friend (on private property, I suppose).
(makes 1 serving)
1 oz Kahlua
1 oz Brandy
Splash of Dark Creme de Cacao
Coffee, to taste
Directions: Mix first ingredients then top with as much whipped cream as your glass can handle.
Miriam’s been at Landmark since 2002 and became interested in craft cocktails about five years ago. She loves creating cocktails on the spot based on people’s preferences, and she’s built a reputation for making damn good drinks.
Her #1 cocktail-making tip: Be exact with your alcohol measurements. Sometimes alcohol can distort the taste. If you want more alcohol, don’t make it a double; just have another cocktail!
The Landmark is a famiy-style Basque restaurant with live music Wednesday through Saturdays. Order a hot toddy from Miriam the next time you go in, or ask her to get creative and make you something new!
In midst of all this, a girl has gotta eat, right? Alisa is loves chatting with chefs behind the scenes and exploring the rich food culture of the Central Valley.