I've heard that in places where the days are very short in the winter—Alaska, Finland, Iceland—that people drink a lot more.
This makes perfect sense to me—I mean, what else are you going to do? Drinking is a good way to defend against cold and darkness, particularly if the beverages in question are hi-test and hot. We're here to report on a happy little phenomenon sweeping our freezing, fogged-in city: the resurgence of the boozy, hot drink.
Welcome to the wonderful world of hot toddys, buttered rums and the like, a veritably smorgasbord of cocktails that we believe have significant medicinal properties. We cozied up to buttered rum at Otis, sipped a toddy at Fish & Farm and got ourselves mixed up with one-too-many spiked hot chocolates—this is a trend we'll happily embrace.
Should the urge for a hot toddy hit you at home, here's a recipe, from our favorite local cocktail book, The Art of the Bar, by Absinthe bartenders Jeff Hollinger and Rob Schwartz.
For One Hot Toddy:
4 to 5 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 teaspoon honey
½ cup boiling water
1 ½ ounces brandy
Combine the cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise, and honey in a heat-proof snifter. Top with the boiling water and stir to melt the honey. Top with brandy. Squeeze the lemon wedge and drop into the snifter.