How to make the perfect hot toddy

There are some new ways to stir up this classic winter drink.

A frigid Minnesota day invites a cocktail that heats you from within. A hot toddy is the ultimate in comfort, according to Trish Gavin, bar program manager at the North Loop’s Hewing Hotel.

Traditionally, you start with your favorite brandy or whiskey (or whatever spirit you like best) and blend with lemon, honey, and hot water. They’ve gone rogue at the Hewing, and blended two signature toddies featuring spirits from local spirits company Crooked Water. The L’eau Grand Vodka toddy is blended with sweet potato syrup, and the Sundog Gin is a more citrus-forward toddy.

When the weather isn’t too frightful, consider the Hewing’s rooftop bar, open to the public on Tuesdays. There, a crackling fire, warm blankets, and even an open year-round hot tub provide the backdrop for your toddy – itself wrapped in a warm blanket by Faribault Woolen Mill Co.

Recipe: The Perfect Hot Toddy

1. Obtain 1 mug, or another vessel for hot drinks.

2. Add 2 oz of booze.

3. Add 1 oz honey or simple syrup

Note: The Hewing has a sweet potato syrup as well as a spiced version with warm cabinet spices like cinnamon, allspice and clove. To make your own simple syrup, obtain equal parts – by weight – water and sugar. Boil for about 10 minutes until the two parts come together in a clear syrup, strain, and chill.

4. Add fresh lemon juice; one half lemon per cocktail should be plenty.

5. Add 1 dash bitters – try Cherry Bark Vanilla or Blackstrap by Bittercube.

6. Fill the rest of the mug with hot water.

3 more cold-weather drinks also available at the Hewing:

Hot Buttered Rum - “It’s like drinking cake.”

Bobby Burns - “Like a Manhattan with scotch.”

Sidecar - “If summer is for tequila and agave, then winter is for orange curaçao and cognac.”

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