If you are lucky enough to work for the New York City government, you can officially call this day a Snow Day. Either way, this is a Hot Toddy type of day — it’s the perfect quaff to drink at the windowsill, staring out at the snow-covered stoops and the lacy arms of the London Plane trees. Somehow it just seems so restorative when you lift up the whistling tea kettle, even if you’re pouring that steaming water into a mug of whiskey and clove-studded lemon instead of jasmine tea. The following lazy recipe I originally got from one of the city’s undersung great barkeeps and drinksmakers: David Moo, the owner of Quarter Bar on Fifth Avenue near the Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. From a story on hot drinks I wrote winters ago for the New York Daily News, it’s been my go-to warm-up ever since. Rest assured Moo’s recipe was much more precise.
THE HOT TODDY
Adapted from Quarter Bar, 676 5th Avenue at 20th St; Brooklyn; (718) 788-0989
Moo recommended Jameson Irish whisky, thanks to its “sweet, spicy vanilla flavors,” but we think it’d be just fine to use locally made Tuthilltown baby bourbon, and in fact, later today, we will.
1. Dissolve a drizzle of local honey — the darker and more heavily flavored, the more complex your toddy — in a big spoonful of fresh lemon juice with a spoon in a mug.
2. Add sprinkle of ground cinnamon and a shot of whisky.
3. Top the glass with boiling water, then add a cinnamon stick and a fat wedge of lemon, studded with cloves. Taste and add more lemon, honey and cinnamon, using your handy cinnamon stick to mix them in.