When the frigid chill of winter hits, there’s nothing like a warm and cozy drink to heat things up. Denise delivers with a sweet cocktail that also makes a wonderful gift for those who brave the cold. And it’s so quick to make, you could whip up a batch before your neighbor finishes shoveling your front steps … or any other good deed that deserves a little warm-up. Right? Right.
When I was younger, a mysterious white plastic tub filled with a brown sugary mixture would suddenly appear in the refrigerator around December. We watched our parents fill cups with rum, hot water, and then add a scoop of the sugary concoction. My sister and I would plead for a taste, but we were always told it was for adults only. After many nights watching them enjoy this adults-only beverage, it was finally made available to us in the kid version: warm water with brown sugar (definitely less fun than the adult version would be later in life).
Now that I am (finally) an adult, I make batches of the sweet butter mixture, but with my own spin. It has become a favorite around our home. Come winter, you’ll find the white plastic tubs replaced with small jars of hot toddy mix to share and give as gifts. I use creamy unsalted butter, dark brown sugar, and cardamom which gives the toddy mix a rich and warm flavor. It’s sweet enough to enjoy by the spoonful, the way I did as a child.
The original rum-based cocktail has evolved over time into something I like to call the Hot Apple Pie Toddy–made with spicy apple cider, a shot of rye or whiskey, and a generous scoop of the hot toddy mix. It has the essence of a warm slice of apple pie…but with an adult twist.
Buttered Hot Toddy Mix
Makes: 3 4-ounce jars
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- Using a mixer, whip together the butter with the brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the cardamom and mix to incorporate.
- Divide the mixture equally into glass jars.
- 3 four-ounce jars
- 3 tags
- Take each jar--filled with the butter mixture--and attach a tag with the instructions, "To make a Hot Apple Pie Toddy, slightly warm apple cider to a desired temperature. Pour into a heat-proof cocktail glass, add a shot of rye or whiskey, and a spoonful or two of the hot toddy mix. Cheers!"
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