Hot pumpkin toddy. Hot buttered rum. Spiced latte. Mulled wine. Are you feeling toasty already?
Hot alcoholic drinks go back a long way, of course: hot toddies crop up in Charles Dickens and Jack London; hot negus (mulled wine) in Jane Austen. The hot toddy, made of sugar, spice, citrus, alcohol and hot water, is a traditional way to cure a cold or at least, cheer yourself up while youre suffering. Hot buttered rum, with its mixture of creamed butter and sugar, spices, rum and hot water, is also soothing. And theres something about frothy milk or cream that will warm up anyone.
But mixologists and bartenders have ways of spicing up the traditional recipes that will make them burn even brighter.
We add a bit of cayenne to give a bit more warmth to the experience, says Rodel Borromeo, executive chef at Social bar on Tacomas waterfront. At Social, he uses cayenne in the hot buttered rum, as well as cocoa, chai or coffee lattes.
Not into milk? Try wine. Mulling wine goes back centuries with many names around Europe: think Nordic Glogg, or German Gluhwein. You can buy mulling wine spices, but putting your own mix together is easy: The usual ingredients are whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, whole allspice and a bit of orange peel. Wrap in a cheesecloth bag or just float them in the wine and scoop them out when youre done. Boil the wine with sugar to taste.
Need something nonalcoholic? You can mull cider, too. Or try making hot buttered rum without the rum, adding cream soda instead youll get something rather like Harry Potters butterbeer, sweet and rich.
Then theres toddy. The story goes that this sweet, lemony alcoholic drink was brought to England by someone in the East India trading company from India, where people still make strong, distilled toddy from palm tree sap. A hot toddy is easy enough to make just mix a little sugar or honey, a little spice (cinnamon, or cloves), a dash of lemon juice and a shot of whisky or rum to some hot water.