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Essential Cocktail

Essential Cocktail




Feeling chilly? Have a hot toddy. Got the sniffles? Have a hot toddy. Celebrating the holidays? Have a hot toddy. The warm concoction has the power to soothe the soul, cure what ails and give a taste of the season. Adaptation seems to be the theme of 2020, and a classic hot toddy is highly customizable as the base is a spirit, hot water, honey and lemon juice. Riff on any or all of these ingredients, and you have a bespoke toddy. Bartenders around town stir these up to abate winter’s chill. Save their ideas and discover new ingredients to add to your family’s recipe.

Cagna Calda

Newly opened Grana pairs an all- Italian wine list with a menu of Italian specialties and wood-fired pizzas. The cocktail list focuses on spritzes— the classic with Aperol; its more bitter cousin, the Campari Spritz; and the Sbagliato, substituting the club soda for vermouth. When the weather turns cold, the mix masters add their version of a hot toddy. The Cagna Calda pairs rye whiskey with sweet and herbal Amaro Lucano and the toasted almond essence of Luxardo Amaretto. “I love that you can sip it while enjoying our rooftop fire pit,” says Chef Pat Pascarella.

1 ½ ounce rye whiskey
½ ounce Amaro Lucano
¼ ounce Luxardo Amaretto
½ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce honey syrup
3 dashes cardamom bitters
Fresh ground nutmeg
Fresh ground cinnamon

Make honey syrup as simple syrup, mixing equal parts water and honey in saucepan and cooking until dissolved. Cool. Store in glass jar and keep refrigerated.

Mix ingredients in glass. Top with hot water. Add fresh ground nutmeg and cinnamon to taste.

1835 Piedmont Ave.
Atlanta 30324

Hot Optic

ASW Distillery’s new single malt, Optic Promise, was released just in time for cold weather and hot toddies. “I love that feeling of being cold and that first sip that literally warms you from the inside out,” says Tasting Room Manager Hallie Stieber. “Sipping a hot toddy is a very comforting and cozy feeling. It makes you feel at home immediately.” Her version uses maple syrup and a citrus-spice infusion easy to make at home.

2 ounces Optic Promise Single Malt whiskey
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 ounces cranberry-orange (recipe below)
Cinnamon stick and or a lemon wheel

To make the cranberry-orange, put 3 ounces of cranberry juice into a saucepan with an orange that has been juiced; add the rinds and juice in the pan. Add fresh ginger (about a thumb size, chopped roughly), 10 peppercorns and four cloves. Stir over heat until almost a simmer (about a minute) and cut heat. Strain. Cool and store in refrigerator. Add ingredients to mug. Top with hot water. Garnish with cinnamon stick and/or lemon wheel.

ASW Distillery
199 Armour Drive N.E.
Atlanta 30324

Ron Swanson

Rum may be a cocktail with tropical connotations, but when designing a drink for winter months, Southbound’s Bar Manager Abbey Sanders sees the deeply flavored spirit as a cold weather essential. She builds her hot toddy, dubbed the Ron Swanson (a quirky character in the TV series Parks and Recreation) in a teacup.”I wanted to create a familiar cocktail that can be made at home but still has a sophisticated flavor profile,” she says. For her recipe, any aged rum will do, but she prefers Ron Zacapa. “It’s such a smooth aged rum; it helps capture your favorite traditional hot toddy flavors of caramel, vanilla and honey.” Making a simple syrup from brown sugar cuts the acidity of the lemon and is reminiscent of the dark raisin notes in aged rum. “It gives you that warm and fuzzy comfort everyone needs in 2020,” Sanders says.

1 ½ ounce Ron Zacapa 23 Rum
½ ounce brown sugar simple syrup
½ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters

To make brown sugar syrup, add equal parts brown sugar and water in a saucepan and cook until dissolved. Cool. Store in a glass jar and keep refrigerated until ready to use. Add ingredients to teacup. Top with hot water. Express lemon peel over top and add peel for garnish.

5394 Peachtree Road
Atlanta 30341

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