Toddy’s Cocktail

Toddy’s Cocktail
Dissolve 1 lump of Sugar in water (1 tsp. Small Hand Foods Gum Syrup). Use 1 glass of any Spirit desired (2 oz Old Forester Birthday Bourbon), 1 lump of ice. Use medium size glass and stir well.

If you believe David Wondrich in his book, “Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar,” formulations similar to this, Spirit, Sugar, Water, and maybe a garnish, were one of the most popular drinks in the early years of this country.

Interestingly, as he puts it, even though Toddies and Slings are pretty much synonymous, it has certainly become more common to think of Toddies as hot drinks, and Slings as cold drinks. But it wasn’t at all uncommon, as here, for Toddies to be cold, or Slings Hot.

As I am a bit lazy, and here we are in the 21st Century, I have skipped a step by using Gum Syrup, instead of the whole muddling a sugar cube business. I discarded that during February’s Sazerac exercise and just am not going back.  I was also a bit lazy about choice of spirits.  I was down in the basement, thinking of “any spirit desired”.  What a hard question! Initially I thought I would make the Toddy with Mezcal or Tequila, then this little bottle of Old Forester called out to me. A friend gave it to me a few years ago, and I so rarely have an excuse to drink Bourbon…

A little nutmeg or a lemon peel wouldn’t kill anyone, but it is perfectly satisfactory without.

Whether you call this a Sling or a Toddy, it is quite tasty, and perhaps my new favorite drink. Try it with some other spirits or sweeteners, and let me know how it comes out.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

2 thoughts on “Toddy’s Cocktail

  1. Seems simple but effective. I find it kind of funny that you’ve made three or four hundred cocktails now, and your “new favorite” is bourbon on the rocks with a bit of syrup. (Not that that sounds bad!)

    Back in the day, were simple cocktails like this frequently tarted up in some way, either by use of the famous “garnish with fruits in season” or by using flavored syrups (or curacao, maraschino, etc) instead of plain sugar? Or would that have been un-manly?

    • More like 700+ Savoy Cocktails by now, not counting variations.

      Well, my other favorite “cocktail” at the moment is whiskey and soda, no ice…

      Slings certainly saw a bit more variation and garnish, check the Savoy Hotel Sling. But I’ve always thought of Toddies as fairly spare, maybe a lemon and some spices in the hot version. Grate of nutmeg or a lemon peel in the cold one.

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