Apple Ginger Tea Toddy

“Say there Erik, all these non-alcoholic drinks and beverages are awesome, but have you noticed the weather outside? It is F-ing C.O.L.D.”

(Or, well, as cold as it ever gets in San Francisco, which is to say, not very cold.)

“How about a seasonally appropriate drink?”

OK, then, here’s a spiced cider toddy, enlivened with a little smoky Lapsang Souchong tea.

(Sorry for the sloppy pour, you might want to remove the peels before straining into a glass.)

Apple Ginger Tea Toddy
(for two)

1 Cup Apple Juice.
1 Cup Ginger People GingerGizer (An extra spicy Ginger, Lemon, and Honey Beverage.)
1 Whole Star Anise.
1 Cinnamon Stick, plus extra for garnish.
2 Whole Cloves, plus a few extra reserved for garnishes.
3 Whole Green Cardamom Pods, Crushed.
Peel 1/2 Orange (or other citrus, I used tangerine.)
1 Lemon Peel, plus an extra reserved for each garnish.
1 teaspoon Lapsang Souchong Tea (Lapsang Souchong is kind of the Islay Scotch or Mezcal of tea. It is smoke dried over burning pinewood fires, giving it a distinct ‘campfire’ flavor. Like Islay Malt and Mezcal, it tends to provoke a strong positive or negative response among people who try it.)

METHOD:
To create garnish, stud a lemon peel with whole cloves for each serving.
Bring all Apple Juice, GingerGizer, and spices to a simmer on stove or in the microwave. Turn off heat and add Tea. Cover and brew for 4 minutes. Strain into a warmed glasses and garnish with clove studded lemon peels and cinnamon sticks.

You could add booze, but with the heat from the ginger and astringency from the tea, you might be happy with this virgin Toddy without any booze at all.

AppleGingerTeaToddy

Why A Toddy

A question from AK: “General toddy question: Is there ever, in your opinion, a reason to make a cold toddy such as these rather than immediately reaching for the Ango and a twist?”

Well, if we put ourselves back in the pre-cocktail era, someone from that time might ask you the exact opposite question: “Why on earth are you putting bitters in perfectly good booze?”

Bitters were originally created as medicinal elixirs, things to put your stomach, or other organs, on the path to recovery.

You added sugar, (and maybe a little booze,) to your bitters to make them more palatable, not the other way around.

In those days, if you were going to modify your booze, you’d probably make a punch, a cobbler, a toddy, or if you were particularly forward thinking, a julep.

I sometimes wonder, if we are indeed in a golden age of quality spirits, why are we doing so much to disguise the character of these wonderful products of the distillers craft?

Apple Toddy

Apple Toddy
1 Teaspoonful of Powdered sugar. (1 teaspoon caster sugar)
1/4 Baked Apple. (1/4 Baked Apple and a little of the juice from baking)
1 Glass Calvados or Applejack. (2 oz Calvados Montreuil Reserve)
Use stem glass and fill with Boiling water (about 2 oz). Grate nutmeg on top.

In case you hadn’t noticed, a lot of the recipes at the back of the Savoy Cocktail Book are really old. Punches, Toddies, Daisies, Rickeys, these are mostly cocktails which would date to the 19th Century or before.

I assume, many of these were not made with any particular regularity at the Savoy Bar, as they had long since gone out of fashion by the early 20th Century.

I will also be referring rather frequently to David Wondrich’s Imbibe! From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar, as it is pretty much THE source for information about the cocktails and drinks of that age.

According to Mr. Wondrich, the Apple Toddy, before the Cock-tail or Mint Julep ascended to primacy, was among the most quintessentially American drinks. Appearing well before the cocktail, it was also one of the most popular drinks right up until prohibition. However, unlike the cocktail, after Prohibition, it did not return to popular drinking culture.

Which really is too bad, as it a truly fantastic warming tipple for an autumnal day.

The other day, I was talking to a friend about a recent trip to a new-ish bar. I’d enjoyed the drinks I’d had, but after a couple found they were just too intensely flavored to be savored over the long term. Lots of flavored syrups, bitters, spices, and even more, were being used. In wine, they call red wines that are rather too intense for their own good “over extracted”, there was a certain similarness to these cocktails. They were so packed with elements and flavors that they were somewhat exhausting to the palate. After a couple, I just had a kind of sour feeling in my stomach, and wished for a beer or Whiskey on the rocks.

The Apple Toddy, and drinks like it, is rather the opposite.

Initially, it seems too simple to be enjoyable, just Apple Flavored Booze, Sugar, Hot Water, an Apple and Spice. But after a couple sips, you realize it is a warming antidote to those over driven modern cocktails. Give it a try and see what you think.

Though, first, you are going to have to bake some apples.

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Quarter and core a few apples. Tablespoon of sugar in the center of each apple. Spices to your preference. Cover and cook until the apples are soft.

On the plus, side, the apples also make an excellent dessert served with vanilla ice cream or make a great addition to your morning porridge.

Regarding execution, you have two choices, you can either smash up the apple quarter into the drink, making kind of a big mess, or you can skewer it and leave it whole. I lean towards skewering it and leaving it whole, that way you have a nifty booze soaked apple piece to enjoy after drinking your toddy.

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

Brandy Toddy

First, just a reminder that Sunday, April 24, 2011, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails, (they also have a great beer selection,) on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders, (and me,) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Brandy Toddy
Dissolve 1 Lump of Sugar. (1 tsp Caster Sugar)
1 Lump of ice. (1 Big Ice Cube)
1 Glass of Brandy. (2 oz Cognac Dudognon Reserve) Use medium size glass (…and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg).

Coming from the land of Brandy Old-Fashioneds, Wisconsin, it is interesting to make an even older drink and probably its mixological forefather, the Brandy Toddy.

Again, all we’re doing here is making an old-fashioned and leaving out the bitters.

Given my Wisconsin heritage, I figured I should bypass my usual California Brandy, for something a bit more celebratory, maybe a Cognac. The Cognac Dudognon Reserve is about as celebratory as I get, that is, on a state employee’s wages.

The music in the video this week is somewhat unfamiliar to me, something Mrs. Flannestad brought home, a Dubstep entity named Mount Kimbie.

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

Whisky Toddy

First, just a reminder that Sunday, April 24, 2011, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails, (they also have a great beer selection,) on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders, (and me,) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Toddies.



Whisky Toddy

1 Teaspoonful of Sugar. (1 teaspoon caster sugar)
1/2 Wineglass of water. (Well, that should be 1 oz of water, I might have used a little less)
1 Wineglass of Whisky. (2 oz Four Roses K&L Single Barrel OBSO Cask Strength Kentucky Bourbon)
1 Small Lump of Ice.
(Muddle sugar into water until dissolved, add ice and…) Stir with a spoon (until chilled), (garnish with freshly grated nutmeg) and serve.

Such is the primacy of the “Hot Toddy” these days, that the idea of making one cold often perplexes my fellow Savoy bartenders when we get an order at Alembic Bar. However, when reading David Wondrich’s awesome book, “Imbibe!From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to “Professor” Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar.” he notes that the toddy and the sling were essentially the same drink: Spirits, sugar, water, maybe ice, and maybe a garnish. Over time, the name “Toddy” became primarily associated with the hot version of the drink, while the name “Sling” went on to pepper pink, cherry flavored, gin based abominations in the areas near Indonesia. But more about Slings later. What we primarily concern ourselves with today is the “Toddy”.

If a “Cock-tail” is a “Bittered Sling” a “Toddy” (or “Sling”) is, essentially, an Old-Fashioned without Bitters.

Dissolve some sugar in water, add ice cube(s), pour over a tasty measure of spirit, stir until chilled, and garnish as fancy takes you.

It’s not rocket science, and if you, as I have instructed, use a particularly Tasty Spirit, you may find yourself omitting the sugar altogether, though I am not sure if that is still a Toddy.

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