It's the first real snow of the season and I declare it hot toddy weather. It's time to rush home through the snow, time to leave the Christmas shopping in the doorway, time to slip on the cosy socks and warm pajamas, time to grab your favorite book, time to crush some spices, time to chase those shivers away.
Crush some cardamom pods and some cinnamon together. If you have some cloves lying around, you could toss in some of those as well if you like. This is really a most versatile beverage, and can handle all the warm-making spices you can think of. Some pepper maybe? Or perhaps a dash of nutmeg?
Cut some cheesecloth into squares and make little spice pouches with the crushed spices and ginger. Layer a couple of cheesecloth pieces on top of each other to make sure the more finely crushed spices don't fall through.
Tie up the pouch with an extra stick of cinnamon for a nice little festive twist.
Add in a sliver of lemon, a dash of honey, a splash of bourbon and steaming hot water and you're all set for a cosy evening at home watching the snow drift lazily past your window. Curl up, sip, relax.
Spiced hot toddies
1 oz bourbon
5-6 cardamom pods
1/2 inch ginger
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
1 sliver lemon
2-3 tsp honey
1 cinnamon stick for garnish
Crush the cardamom pods and 1/2 cinnamon stick. Meanwhile, heat up 1 cup of water.
Place the spices, along with the ginger, in a square of cheesecloth. Tie up the little bundle with a cinnamon stick and place in your toddy mug.
Pour in 1 oz of your favorite bourbon - I used Woodford Reserve here - and pop in a little sliver of fresh lemon and 2-3 tsp of honey according to whether you like your toddies on the sweeter side or not. Pour steaming hot water over the whole thing and stir to dissolve the honey. Let steep for a couple of minutes before sipping.