A cinnamon and spice infused version of the classic hot toddy with a recipe for a gingerbread simple syrup.
December is not yet the time to hunker down for the winter. Instead, we’re all busying about, running here and there and filling our social calendars. The weather (hopefully) is not quite too cold to be inhospitable, and there’s a sort of merriment in the air as we bustle to and fro.
I suppose it makes sense, then, that as we sit cozy-ed together, that hot drinks are often on the menu. They are the perfect way to settle down in the evening, clutching your steaming cup, legs tucked up underneath you. They fill the cups of carolers and warm you from the inside out before you say goodnight.
In the warm drink repertoire there’s the wassail of hot mulled cider, and there’s glögg (mulled wine), hot buttered rum, and, of course, the hot toddy. While the hot toddy might not be the first drink you think of when preparing for holiday parties, as it’s often associated with curing the cold or the flu, a simple swap of the syrup for a festive spiced variety makes this drink perfect for entertaining and hosting on cold, wet nights. The comforting scents of cinnamon and citrus will soothe all that ails you, while putting you in the mood for a bit of merriment, too.
Gingerbread Hot Toddy with Gingerbread Simple Syrup
Prep Time: 20 minutes
For the gingerbread simple syrup:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice or star anise
For the gingerbread hot toddy:
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 2 ounces whisky
- 2 tablespoons gingerbread simple syrup
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- Cinnamon stick, for garnish
- Orange slice, for garnish
- To make the simple syrup, add the water, brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice to a pan. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until all the sugar dissolves. Continue to cook, stirring continuously, until the syrup thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- To prepare the hot toddy, pour the boiling water into a mug. Stir in the whisky, gingerbread simple syrup, and orange juice until the syrup dissolves. Garnish with orange slices and cinnamon sticks.
Recipe notes: The simple syrup may be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Photo credit: Shaina Olmanson