Rich maple syrup, bright muddled lemons, warming bourbon and spicy cinnamon. This Muddled Maple Hot Toddy is going to put a nice warm fire in your belly on a cold winter day.
After a fairly warm November here in the West, it’s beginning to look a lot more like winter these past few weeks. Granted, it’s not officially winter yet, and while I dread the cold months ahead (I’m a bit of a cold weather wimp who grew up in the tropics), I feel a bit of relief knowing that the weather is behaving the way it should this time of year.
To keep warm during the day as I sit for hours on my computer, I drink a lot of herbal tea, but as soon as 5 o’clock hits and it’s “acceptable” to have a little nip, I often head for the old liquor cabinet and make myself a Muddled Maple Hot Toddy. Don’t judge.
To give credit where credit is due, I have to mention that my husband Troy came up with this version of this delightful winter cocktail. Well, to be fair, it’s a collaboration. I once substituted maple syrup for honey in my hot toddy and right there and then we both decided it was one of my all-time best decisions…EVER! Well, that and marrying Troy, the love of my life who also happens to be quite the talented cocktail mixer. Troytails, anyone? (A little insight: the term Troytails was coined by a good friend of ours who always gets super excited when Troy puts on his bartending hat. Said friend has been known to exclaim, “Yay, Troytails!” Corny, but cute. Amiright?)
Muddling the lemons is definitely Troy’s brilliant contribution to this cocktail. The process of muddling releases the oils from the lemon skin giving the cocktail a much welcome brightness. Additionally, the muddled lemons and skins provide texture, body and a rich citrus flavor. We’re big fans of muddling around here, and for this drink we like to keep the muddled lemons in the drink rather than filtering them out. If you’re adverse to lemon pulp and skins in your drink, it’s easy enough to strain them out, but I encourage you to first try this version as is.
If you don’t already own a muddler, I strongly recommend adding one to your barkeeping tools. Ours is by OXO and I love that it has a nice, comfortable grip and a substantial rubber base that makes an easy task of squeezing and extracting the juice from your fruit. If you don’t have a muddler handy and you’re just aching for a Muddled Maple Hot Toddy, I urge you to just improvise until you can get your hot hands on one. Use the back of a wooden spoon, the end of a broomstick (just kidding, for the record, that’s eww, but necessity…) or something, but for crying out loud, don’t go skipping this drink just because you don’t own a muddler. Make it happen, stat.
Okay, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, as they say, and I need to check my supply of lemons before I find myself in a predicament. Nobody wants that! I suggest you check your supply of lemons, bourbon (we always have Bulleit Bourbon on hand around here), maple syrup and cinnamon sticks. Get muddling, friends, and keep warm and cozy with a nice hot Muddled Maple Hot Toddy.
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As always, thanks for stopping in!
Muddled Maple Hot Toddy
- 1/2 of a lemon cut into quarters
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 1/2 ounces of good quality bourbon
- 3 ounces of hot boiled water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Place the lemon quarters and maple syrup into a glass and muddle gently to release juice from the lemons. Add the bourbon and the hot water. Stir the ingredients, garnish with a cinnamon stick and serve.
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