When it gets cold out and my nose gets sniffly, I happily turn to the curing power of a hot toddy. My standby recipe is from a friend for hot buttered rum that combines lemon juice, maple sugar, rum, boiling water and is dotted with a pat of butter.
But I wanted to add a spicy element to the mix. Inspired by a post by this post on The Kitchn, I made a ginger tea and doctored it up with rum. What's good about using a ginger tea as a base for the hot toddy is that you can make it as mild or spicy as you desire.
If you want just a slight ginger flavor, only boil the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes. But for me, who is addicted to that tiny ginger burn at the back of the throat that a large hit of ginger can provide, I boil the ginger tea for up to 20 minutes. Add in rum or bourbon, and you have a wintry holiday treat to warm you up or clear the congestion of a cold.
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2-inch ginger root, thinly sliced
- 4 to 6 cloves
- 1 lemon, halved
- Honey, as needed
- Rum or bourbon, as needed
- Lemon slices, as garnish
In a medium saucepan, add water, gingerroot slices and cloves. Squeeze lemon juice into the saucepan, adding lemon halves into the liquid. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce to medium heat, so the liquid is bubbling. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes, until the mixture has reduced and has enough of a gingery taste to your liking. Strain, removing cloves, lemon halves and ginger from the liquid. Pour into two mugs. Add enough honey and rum or bourbon to your tastes. Garnish with lemon slices, and serve.