In general, I am an eat, drink and be merry sort of person. I like trying new things and, with the vegan stipulation, will try anything once. The only issue I have this thing about texture. There are certain foods that I have problems with because of this, and cocktails are no exception. Most of the time, I don’t do hot alcohol. I’ll do the occasional neat whiskey at room temperature, but I prefer my alcoholic beverages cold. Very, very cold. Arctic, if you will. Somewhere in my brain is a roadblock that says “booze = cold” and I can’t get around it. I need ice floes in my beverages. Period.
Except! Except for when I’m sick. Except for being stuck in bed with a sore throat, swimming in tissue boxes and bottles of echinacea and forced to watch The Chronicles of Riddick because nothing else is on at 10am on a weekday. In that case, hot liquor doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. In fact, given that one more cup of tea might cause it to run out of my tear ducts, whiskey seems like a delightful alternative to drowning in jasmine green or English Breakfast. It seems rather brilliant, actually.
1½ oz bourbon
2 oz hot water
Add the sugar cube and hot water to a pre-heated old-fashioned glass and stir to dissolve. Add bourbon, give a quick stir, then garnish with lemon and grate some fresh nutmeg over the top. Enjoy while it’s hot.
One of the nice things about this hot toddy thing is that you can put pretty much any spirit in it and it will work. Bourbon, scotch, Canadian, rye, Irish—hell, go crazy and use some cognac. In this case I wanted something lively, so I pulled the Bulleit off the shelf. Being not quite well enough to tackle the rather feisty Rittenhouse bonded, I chose Bulleit because it has the pleasant sweet characteristics of bourbon plus a really pronounced spicy rye flavor. It turned out to be a great choice, particularly with the addition of nutmeg. It was warm, soothing and a kick in the pants, all of which combined to get me back on my feet and give me some semblance of humanity. It just goes to show that whiskey really is the best medicine—though I can say that a desperate need to get away from daytime TV programming helped.