'Tis the season for hot toddies, hot chocolate, mulled wine, and anything else that can warm you from within. But everyone has a slightly different method. We asked 15 bartenders about their favorite hot drink—and how, exactly, they make it. Here's what they had to say.
'Hot Drinks' on Serious Eats
"I almost always find hot drinks disappointing," says Martim Smith-Mattsson, beverage director at New York's Vandaag in the East Village. "So many just taste like they've been sitting on a warmer all day. I wanted to make something fresher, more vibrant." Check out his unusual recipes for hot cocoa, hot cider, and a very loose interpretation of a hot buttered rum.
It's time to get out the crockpot, holiday spices, and cheap Cab to brew up a batch of mulled wine. Mulling wine is a set-it-and-forget-it enterprise that rewards you all day long. It's cheap, easy, and forgiving. And after mulling (and sipping) a good gallon of wine this past weekend, I have some tips to get the most out of your brew.
Grounded in the West Village is known as an especially tea-friendly coffee shop, even selling their own line of loose leaf teas. Keep an eye out for their Rose Tea Latte ($4.75), in which a strong brewed, brisk black tea replaces espresso in a silky, extra-frothy latte.
Part drink, part dessert, the Happy Jack is a well-executed latte steamed with spoonfuls of fragrant honey. A generous sprinkle of cinnamon tops it off.
A warm cup of hot cocoa is hard to beat, especially when it's homemade or one of our favorite mixes. But spiked hot cocoa is even better on a cold night. Here are three combinations we're loving right now.
For those unaccustomed to consuming alcoholic drinks that taste like, well, alcohol, the toddy can be a bit of a challenge. To those who genuinely like the taste of whisky, rum, or almost anything except vodka (I can't recall coming across a tequila toddy, but such a thing is not without potential merit), the hot toddy is the way to go.
If our Hot Chocolate/Cocoa Taste Test showed us anything, it's that most mixes are not really worth drinking. But you can't deny the convenience of simply stirring a few tablespoons of powder into a cup of hot water or milk. So I decided to try and come up with a homemade recipe that would match the convenience of a powder, and beat it in terms of price and flavor.
Since hot chocolate/cocoa is one of our favorite insides-warmers this chilly time of year, we set out to find the best. We tried 17 brands total. Find out how Swiss Miss compared to Ghirardelli and Jacques Torres, and which was like drinking pudding.
[Photo: Kathy Chan] The Hot Chocolate found at Tarallucci e Vino ($4) is the kind you can drink everyday. Neither too thin nor too thick, it comes completely unsweetened. No cream, no marshmallows. There is sugar, if you prefer,...
Let's start the weekend right--with a cocktail recipe from Paul Clarke (The Cocktail Chronicles). Need more than one? Hit up the archives. Cheers! Until very recently, I found the concept of hot-buttered rum more appealing than the reality hot-buttered rum....