Oh, hi. I’m writing this while hopped up on Percocet and propped up on the couch because I just had a fairly minor but majorly annoying surgery. So if it’s full of errors or totally sucks, sorry. At least I did it, right? Anyway, onto the real reason we’re all here: A hot toddy with ginger — the perfect warm drink for this cold fucking winter.
If I can add ginger to something without making it taste like ass, there’s a very good chance I will. It’s especially great for whiskey cocktails, and because it’s a warming spice, it’s perfect for hot drinks like toddies. Now, for most of my drinking life (which we’ve already established has been a while), I thought a toddy had to be made with tea. Not sure where I got that idea, but I think it came from an Irish bartender I knew when I was 18. Fair enough. Most bars I frequent, though, serve some combination of whiskey, honey, lemon, and hot water. And honestly, this drink is not too far off from that. It just involves an extra ingredient (ginger, of course) and the added step of making a honey-ginger syrup (preferably the night before). I’ve tried making it with a ginger tea, as well as ginger liqueur in place of the whiskey, but I definitely prefer the liqueurs in cold drinks. Plus, you can use this syrup for all kinds of shit, even if it’s just club soda and lemon (in fact, I like to put it in lemon La Croix — boom!). I’m sure you could also use it for cooking, but who the fuck has time for that?
Welp. That’s about all I have in me. I need to turn on The X-Files (and fall asleep five minutes into it) now, so I’m just going to leave you with some fucking instructions already. Let me know if any of it doesn’t make sense. And stay warm out there!
Makes about 4 cups
16 ounces peeled and roughly chopped ginger root
16 ounces water
16 ounces honey
(Or, you know, just equal parts everything)
Add everything to a saucepan over medium-high heat and stir. When it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer (yes, everything) to a large mason jar or container, cover, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, strain the solids and ginger sediment (I guess it’s sediment? stuffs? wet crumbs?) through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth.
NOTE: That’s exactly how I made my syrup, but of course, my impatient ass was in a hurry and didn’t look up any recipes for a similar syrup before I started and as I was dumping the honey into the pot, realized I could have just boiled and reduced the ginger with the water, then mixed it with the honey. I don’t know if there’s any benefit doing it that way (avoiding boiling the honey), but it seems like something people who know what they’re doing would do. Mine’s still the shit, though.
2 ounces whiskey (I used rye, but whatever)
2.5 to 3 ounces ginger-honey syrup
1 cup (give or take) nearly-boiling water
A hearty squeeze of lemon juice
Another fucking squeeze of lemon juice
Lemon wheel for garnish
Add the whiskey and syrup to a mug then top it off with hot water. Add a big-old squeeze of lemon juice, then do it again (the lemon enhances all the flavors), stir, and garnish with a lemon wheel. Enjoy!
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