Cocktail Hacker

    Hack What You Drink

Archive for December, 2010

Hot Toddy – Deeply Warming

Posted by Reese On December - 5 - 2010

After mixing up Hot Toddies for three weeks I’d like to share with you some life changing epiphanies I’ve had.  Problem is, I haven’t had any.  I’m still not head over heals in love with hot drinks, though the Hot Toddy definitely got me another baby step closer to liking them.  Nothing earth moving there.  I can’t share any incredible recipes that I’ve found, either.  My main take away from my experiments is a really simple one.  Next time it’s cold out and I’m looking for a nice relaxer I’m going to make myself a toddy, sit in front of the fire and decompress.  I can hear a not small subset of you saying “well, duh”.

Hot Toddy

As for the myriad toddy recipes out there, I again have some plain yet I hope good advice.  You know that toddy recipe you’ve been mixing up for years and really love?  That’s the one you should keep mixing up.  Not because there aren’t possibly different, super interesting options out there.  No, it’s not that at all.  You should keep mixing that tried and true recipe because of all the relaxation and warming it’s brought you in the past.  It’s those good memories that will make your recipe awesome every time you make it.

Some tips?  Okay, here you go.  As for brown liquor, pick whatever you’re partial to at the time.  I’ve tried brandy, rum and whiskey and can say they’re all good.  They each have their own strengths and whichever you’re partial to in other cocktails will likely be the one you’ll enjoy most in a toddy.  In the realm of spices the sky truly is the limit.  That said, here are the ones I find particularly good: allspice (2-3 berries), cinnamon (a stick), cloves (3-4), nutmeg (a couple grates on top), and, as Greg suggested on my intro, a star anise adds nice flavor and looks really stunning in the glass.  For sweetening I’d stick with honey.  I contemplated maple syrup and agave nectar and while both would probably be pretty tasty I felt that their flavors might contrast the spices too much.  Finally a bit of citrus is essential.  I like both lemon and orange.  The lemon is going to add a brighter note to the drink where orange will add a smoother, warmer note.  Go with what you have on hand and make sure to zest them right over the drink to get those oils mixed in as well.

So, there you have it.  As I said at the start, no incredible new discoveries here.  Just an introduction to a relaxing drink as we descend into the depths of winter.  Stay warm my friends.

Review – Avión Silver Tequila

Posted by Reese On December - 2 - 2010

Avion Silver TequilaIt seems the time is coming for premium vodka to step aside as the hip alcohol of choice.  I’ve received a few top shelf tequilas in the preceding months and they’ve been good, really good.  Tequila Avión, the newest sample to cross my doorstep, is no different.  Avión is a highland tequila from the high mountains of Jalisco.  After a long slow roasting process the agave is distilled in a hybrid stainless steel and copper pot still.  The distillate is then passed through a filtration process that the makers have deemed “ultra slow filtration”.  After the filtration process, which is said to take 10 times as long as traditional filtration, the result is Avión Silver Tequila.

But enough with the marketing spiel; how about we discuss what the tequila’s really like.  In a word, it’s great.  The aroma is of crisp agave.  The flavor follows suit with agave, subtle vegetal notes and a light sweetness.  Finally, in the finish you get more of that nice agave.  Overall the tequila is tremendously smooth but maintains its agave character throughout.  Very much looking forward to sampling this one in a Margarita.  If you’re looking for a super premium tequila this holiday season you definitely won’t go wrong with a bottle of Avión.

† The product reviewed here was provided to me as a free sample. If you’re wondering what that means check out my sample policy.

Hot Toddy on Raising the Bar

Posted by Reese On December - 1 - 2010

Serendipitous timing, I should think.  There is a video on Raising the Bar with Jamie Boudreau over at Small Screen Network right now featuring a Blue Blazer Style Hot Toddy.  Pretty cool technique.  I’ve not mustered the courage to give it a go yet.  Fiery hands sound bad.  Any of you brave enough?