It started last year: as Eric and I spent hour after hour on the couch under blankets, indulging in Downton Abbey marathons, we learned about the joys of hot toddies. Being somewhat frugal individuals (with certain things, at least) and having a relatively high tolerance for chilly temps, we decided that instead of warming ourselves with our central heating system, we'd instead sip on bourbon laced libations. A good plan, don't you think?
A pot of tea would last us an evening... refilling in between episodes, dousing our mugs with bourbon, spoonfuls of honey and a squeeze of lemon. Even as the snow lined our sidewalks and icicles formed from the tops of buildings, being there with our toddies, curled up next to my husband and dog, made me forget about all of that.
Needless to say, we're pretty happy to welcome the return of hot toddy season. And when I was recently asked by the fine folks at Harry and David to partner with them for a blog post featuring this recipe by Chef Eric Greenspan for a Hot Apple Toddy using their succulent Honey Crisp Apples (which was created for their Seasonal Chef Program, featuring seasonally inspired recipes that showcase Harry & David’s fruit)... well, there was no way I was going to refuse. Despite my love for hot toddies, though, I must admit that I was a bit skeptical at first... only 2 ounces of apple juice in each cup? That didn't seem like a whole lot (especially compared to the portions we work with in our house). Then I saw that there was a hearty dose of Laird's Applejack liquor... and I knew this would hit the spot.
For those who haven't had a hot toddy before, just beware that it will make you a little drowsy. One will certainly relax you... two, and you'll be sleeping like a baby.
Hot Apple Toddy
Yield: 4 servings
Juice of 18 Harry & David Honey Crisp Apples (about 8 oz)
1 C. Laird’s Applejack, or a comparable apple brandy
1 cinnamon stick
1⁄2 cup of honey
1⁄2 cup fine loose-leaf green tea
1. Add the Harry & David Honey Crisp Apple juice, cinnamon, clove, and tea to a small saucepot and heat until simmering. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain and return to heat until just boiling.
2. In separate coffee mugs, add 2 oz. Applejack, 1/8 cup of honey, a squeeze of 1⁄4 lemon. Slowly pour in 1 1⁄2 oz. hotapple tea, mix and serve.
Disclosure: Harry & David has provided me with monetary compensation for this post. All opinions in this post about Harry and David's products and this recipe are my own.