A Hot Toddy (and a last minute Holiday Gift Guide)

I’ve always loved the idea of a hot toddy, but until last week I’d never had one.

hot toddy

I first read about (and was intrigued by) Amanda Hesser’s Hot Toddy with Dried Cherries and Lime almost a year ago. It sounded so warming and delightful…I’ve no idea why I didn’t make it right away.

When I spied it once again in my recently acquired food52 Holiday Recipe and Survival Guide, it was the first recipe I tried from the app.

I changed up the toddy a tad: I used apple cider for 1/2 of the water, Meyer lemon zest instead of lime zest, and unsulphured dried apricots instead of dried cherries. And instead of rye whiskey, I used Tuthilltown Spirits Baby Bourbon Whiskey; I am not a big drinker, but I absolutely LOVE Tuthilltown’s bourbon. And talk about local- the Tuthilltown distillery is less than 5 minutes from my house :)

I can’t say with absolute certainty if this or any toddy will chase a cold or flu away, but I do know that it’s a great winter treat. Note that you can also make this toddy with brandy or rum, and that you could use brewed herbal or black tea instead of the water and/or cider. Adding a cinnamon stick is a nice touch if you use the cider; you could also grate some nutmeg on top.

cider toddy

I love that this toddy was included in the food52 holiday app, and I really love the app as a whole. If you have an iPad, you should treat yourself to it. The app is beautifully photographed, and filled with “low-stress” recipes that are perfect not just for entertaining, but for any meal during the holiday season. I was honestly a little skeptical about the app at first. I hesitated to buy it because I use the food52 website all the time and have the new cookbook: I wasn’t sure what more the app would offer. But having spent some time with the app over the last few weeks, I can honestly say that using it is a completely different experience. In addition to the recipes, there are numerous helpful tips and holiday cooking strategies, as well as slideshows and fun video tutorials. At $9.99 it’s a pretty great deal, and would make a sweet gift for the cooks on your list and/or for yourself.

Now, if you’ve been following along, you know that I’ve posted some homemade holiday gift ideas recently. If you’ve missed them, however, please check out my Spiced Pumpkin Granola, Chocolate Mint Sugar Scrub, and Thai Inspired Cashew Brittle. And, from last year, how about Homemade Crystallized Ginger, Candied Kumquats, and/or Sweet and Spicy Pecans?

And if you are still looking, here are 30 more ideas for gifts that are perfect for giving someone special (or yourself):

Apps, Ebooks, and Books I Love:

Dorie Greenspan’s Baking App
Guilty Kitchen’s beautiful Holiday Recipes Ebook
In Conversation with Exceptional Women Ebook by Monica Bhide
An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler
Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
Good Food To Share by Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan
Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck
Homemade by Clodagh McKenna
Design Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney
The Beekeeper’s Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses by Richard A. Jones and Sharon Sweeney-Lynch

Homemade Gift Ideas:

Moonshine Spiked Hot Chocolate from V. Krees Photography
Dark Chocolate Bark with Pistachios and Sea Salt from With Style and Grace
Sugar Drop Cookies with Cornmeal and Olive Oil from What Julia Ate
Pate de Fruit from Playin With My Food
Gingerbread Cookie Mix in a Jar from Food For My Family
Preserved Lemons from Not Without Salt
Christmas Chutney from Cook Almost Anything At Least Once
Maple Honey Pumpkin Butter from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Citrus Sea Salt from For the Love of Food
Candy Cane Sugar Scrub from Craftinomicon

Artisanal Gifts, Green and Fair-Trade Gifts, and Gifts That Give Back:

Organic, Fair Trade, Artisanal Chocolate from Lagusta’s Luscious
Artisanal Jams from Sunchowder’s Emporia
Handmade Soaps by DeShawn Marie
Beautiful ceramic pieces by Peter Barrett
Heirloom Seed Art Packs from Hudson Valley Seed Library
Eco-Friendly Gifts Made by Woman from Global Girlfriend
Green Gifts from Viva Terra
Eco Friendly Treasures from Novica
Gifts that give back from Women for Women
Gifts that make a difference from Equal Exchange
Fair Trade Holiday Gift Guide from Fair Trade USA

Leave a Comment

9 thoughts on “A Hot Toddy (and a last minute Holiday Gift Guide)”

  1. I haven’t tried a hot toddy, but I’m sure I’d love it… Need to make some for Christmas Eve w/ the hubby!

    Love your gift guide, too… Lots of great ideas!

  2. This looks like a perfect way to nurture the body and soul on a cold winter day. This will be coming up for me in a couple days when I can sit back and relax. Thanks for the reminder of this great recipe, and thanks so much for the mention in your roundup of Homemade Gift Ideas!! Just got back from the east coast last night and saw it. Happy holidays to you and your family!

  3. Winnie, so glad to find another toddy lover! I do variations on that recipe as well — lately I’ve had some lemon and orange sugar around so I use that to sweeten it. And I like a nice plump prune in it. Thanks so much for reviewing our community-built app! Happy holidays!

  4. I’ve never had a hot toddy, now I can see what I’m missing and it looks lovely. Just what we all need at this time of year. Sit back, feet up and sip slowly while listening to some soothing music.

    What a great gift idea list…very extensive.

  5. I’ve only had a hot toddy once in my life. While sailing alone with my grandfather. Late one night, while anchored at some godforsaken dark cove in the middle of nowhere, he busted out the oldest jar of hot toddy mix I’ve ever seen and a giant bottle Appleton Rum. He mixed up two large mug fulls and we sat there and silently drank, staring out into the endless dark. It was glorious and I will never forget it, even if it wasn’t the highest quality stuff.

    I think I could make equally good memories from this recipe. Sounds so delicious! Now, if only I could try that bourbon!