The Perfect Hot Toddy for What We Hope is a Lazy City Snow Day

Quarter's Hot Toddy is served in a rocks glass, which is nice, if you have them. Note that this photo, originally taken in 2007-2008 for the NY Daily News, is by Steven Sunshine, who also takes beautiful photographs for Edible, too.

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.

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Rachel Wharton is the editor of Edible Brooklyn. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.