[1] A Saké Hot Toddy (photo © Saké One).

Hot Toddy
[2] A Cider Hot Toddy (photo © Hella Cocktail Co.).

[3] A Whiskey Hot Toddy (photo © Ruth’s Chris Steak House).

[4] A close up on shichi hon yari label, an earthy, rustic style of saké (photo © Englewood Wine Merchants).


January 11th is National Hot Toddy Day.

A Hot Toddy is a cocktail made with whiskey or sherry, boiling water, sugar and spices.

  • When the whiskey is specified, it becomes, e.g., a Rum Toddy or a Bourbon Toddy.
  • When a pat of butter is added, it’s called Hot Buttered Rum.
    Warm alcoholic beverages such as glogg, mulled wine and toddies originated in Northern Europe, where beer, cider, wine and spirits were mulled with sugar and spices to add some cheer to cold winter days.

    Toddies can be made of any spirit—bourbon, brandy, tequila, Scotch and other whiskeys are popular.

    Hot buttered rum was a favorite in Colonial America. Distilleries in the Colonies were making rum from the molasses by the 1650s, and “hot buttered rum” joined the toddies and nogs of English tradition (a nog is a beverage made of beaten eggs).

    Here’s the recipe for a conventional Hot Toddy.

    You may see recipes for creamy toddies, which add cream or ice cream to the basic recipe. These are new interpretations, not traditional toddies, which were not cream beverages.

    But here’s a new interpretation that fuses East and West: a Saké Toddy recipe from Saké One.

    Saké is about as old as any food we can pin a date on: a 6800-year-old beverage.

    Saké-making implements have been discovered in the Yangtze River Valley in China, dating back to 4800 B.C.E.—about the time that nomadic man settled down to farm.

    According to some anthropologists, the reason for this lifestyle change was so that man could grow rice to turn into saké, ensuring he could enjoy it on a regular basis.

    It’s the same rationale for nomads settling down to farm in the Fertile Crescent: to brew barley for beer.

    Saké is made from four ingredients: rice, water, yeast and koji, an enzyme particular to saké-making.

    Saké is fermented and brewed like beer, and served like wine. It is also characterized as a wine because of its higher alcohol content.

    Here’s more about saké.

    Use whatever saké you have on hand, such as junmai or ginjo. You may want to hold back on nigori, which is sweet, cloudy saké, until you’ve tried the recipe with a dry saké.

    Even flavored saké works, such as Saké One’s Moonstone Asian Pear Infused Ginjo.

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 6 ounces saké
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Optional: Whole Cloves, Nutmeg, Fresh Ginger
  • Garnish: lemon wedge, cinnamon stick

    1. PLACE the lemon juice and honey into glass or mug. Warm saké to your liking, including the spices as desired.

    2. POUR the heated saké into glass or mug, mix until honey dissolves.

    3. GARNISH with cinnamon stick and lemon wedge. Add optional spices and ginger slices to taste. Kanpai!



    THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food

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