Warm Brown Liquor
December 27, 2010 11:39 AM   Subscribe

Looking for your favorite recipes for warm liquor beverages.

I've recently taken to sipping a slightly warmed glass of cognac to fight the cold weather. I find it especially warming and pleasing when enjoyed outside. After running out of brandy with a blizzard raging, I discovered that warmed bourbon with a little bit of water is also not so bad.

With the assumption that I am not a complete philistine and have not offended drinkers of brown liquors everywhere, I ask: what are your favorite drink recipes that build on the simple pleasure of warmed liquor? Easy is better for my day to day consumption, but complicated recipes are also welcome (perhaps something suitable for serving at New Year's Eve get together).
posted by ericost to Food & Drink (28 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
You want the hot toddy!
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:42 AM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Just about any respectable cocktail can be turned into a toddy with the addition of a few ounces of hot water. I'm partial to a minimal Manhattan toddy, which is 2 oz rye or bourbon, a splash of sweet vermouth, 3 or 4 shakes of Agnostura bitters, and 3 or 4 oz hot water.
posted by boots at 11:48 AM on December 27, 2010

Irish Coffee, Shot of Irish Whiskey in a cup of coffee plus whipped cream on top. Mellower version either replaces the whiskey, or simply adds Baileys Irish Cream - though this is non-traditional.
posted by bitdamaged at 11:55 AM on December 27, 2010

The Irish Coffee Story
posted by bitdamaged at 11:56 AM on December 27, 2010

A good bottle of port will warm you up in the best way on a cold day. There was an excellen piece on NPR about this a week or so back. I agree wholeheartedly.
posted by TheBones at 11:56 AM on December 27, 2010

Tom & Jerry (a variation of eggnog with brandy, served hot) would be great for a New Year's Eve celebration. Here's Audrey Saunder's take, it's amazing. I've had it twice at her bar (Pegu Club) in the last week. Worth the effort and can be made ahead of time except for the heated up milk part.

Also consider hot buttered rum (or for something fancier: ">rum infused with browned butter, mixed with vanilla dn tea, a great variation on the standard hot buttered rum by Jim Meehan of PDT), boozy hot chocolate, or maybe some spiked hot apple cider? I had some a few nights ago at a bar where the bartender served it mixed with Chairman's Reserve spiced rum and a touch of ginger syrup.

While not a hot beverage, coquito is a cousin of eggnog and quite lovely and festive.
posted by kathryn at 12:00 PM on December 27, 2010

Whoops, mangled that link.

Here's Jim Meehan's take on hot buttered rum: brown butter infused rum, heated up with tea and vanilla. Butter Cup.
posted by kathryn at 12:01 PM on December 27, 2010

Wassail. The way we make it (there are many variations) was three parts pineapple juice, one part apple juice, splash of orange juice, orange zest, thick orange slices spiked with whole cloves, a couple of sticks of cinnamon - let it simmer for a while. It's a warm seasonal drink that is good on it's own - but definitely benefits from the addition of vodka or rum. And - your house will smell wonderful!
posted by marimeko at 12:02 PM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

sorry! Just saw the brown liquor portion of your question - though wassail would benefit from that, too. I'm thinking dark spiced rum, brandy, cognac, or bourbon..
posted by marimeko at 12:07 PM on December 27, 2010

Also, warmed Drambuie is amazing, IMHO.
posted by TheBones at 12:16 PM on December 27, 2010

Inspired by a recent read of Kingsley Amis' Everday Drinking, I made a Hot Rum Cow the other evening. I warmed about a cup of milk, then added it to a shot of Kraken rum, a tablespoon of brown sugar, and a smidge of vanilla. Top with ground nutmeg. It was a warming, cozy treat.
posted by apricot at 12:21 PM on December 27, 2010

Hot buttered rum is ridiculously good.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 12:27 PM on December 27, 2010

I just made a hot buttered cider drink for our Christmas parties, and boy was it a hit. Of course, this is a huge recipe and makes 12 servings, but you could easily dial it down to one or two.

3 cups apple brandy (apple cognac)
7 T brown sugar
6 T butter

Heat the above ingredients to a simmer. Then, add:

12 cups apple cider
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
12 cinnamon sticks

Bring to a boil. Enjoy. We kept ours warm in the crock pot, so people were able to sip on it all night.
posted by elisebeth at 12:27 PM on December 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

My Guy makes a hot toddy by warming orange juice and adding lots of bourbon. I expected this to be nasty (I was used to the more conventional hot water with a little lemon and honey and lots of bourbon) but it is really quite tasty.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:28 PM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Make a big mug of good hot chocolate. Mix in a shot or two of whiskey. Add cayenne or habanero powder to taste. Enjoy.
posted by vorfeed at 12:36 PM on December 27, 2010

Also, warmed Drambuie is amazing, IMHO.

Mmmm...add a shot of Scotch and you've got yourself a delicious warm rusty nail.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:40 PM on December 27, 2010

Do as I lazily do: microwave a mug that's 3/4 full of water. Spoon in a generous dollop of honey and stir to dissolve. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and 2 oz bourbon. Stir again. Drink.

I also like muddling half a lemon and half a satsuma with a sugar cube or two, using 1 oz aquavit, 1 oz. gold rum, and hot water. With a splash of pimento dram, if you have it. Maybe a clovey bitters like Fee's Old Fashioned if you don't.

Important: if not heating the water in the mug (a la microwave), you must heat your mug first. Then, pour out the water and build the drink with fresh hot water. Otherwise your cold ceramic mug will be sucking the heat from your drink, even as you suck on your drink. Not awesome.

Also: 'tis the season for Meyer lemons. They're nice in a lot of things, but I think toddies want the sharper, more lemony lemonness of a real lemon.
posted by mumkin at 12:41 PM on December 27, 2010

  • one teaspoon of honey
  • one tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • three tablespoons dark rum
Fill cup with hot water and stir. Garnish with a bit of lemon peel and/or grate on a little nutmeg.

(Based on the grog recipe in the 1974 Joy of Cooking, which calls for sugar syrup or maple syrup instead of honey.)

I think this is better with Meyer lemon juice than regular lemon juice. An extremely good substitute for Meyer lemon juice is a mixture of equal parts of regular lemon juice and tangerine juice, both freshly squeezed.
posted by Ery at 12:47 PM on December 27, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks all! Lots to try here. In my own searching I came across brandy milk punch which I'm also looking forward to trying (I love milk and I love brandy, so it may just be the perfect drink for me). Interestingly, the linked article claims it is one of the first mixed drinks on record.
posted by ericost at 12:53 PM on December 27, 2010

This is what I do:

1 mug of hot water, generous dollops of any quality vanilla ice cream, brown sugar to taste, and about a shot of rum. Maybe some cinnamon or nutmeg. Adjust proportions as desired.

(I don't like the idea of drinking melted butter, so that's why the ice cream is in there.)
posted by shinyshiny at 12:55 PM on December 27, 2010

I've been making hot cocoa with (dark, spiced) rum. Recipe: make hot cocoa as usual. Add rum.
posted by madcaptenor at 1:20 PM on December 27, 2010

Hot cocoa with Frangelico.

posted by Madamina at 1:27 PM on December 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

rose hip tea with a bit of sugar and a shot of whiskey.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:41 PM on December 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

Bishop is another cool option that's been forgotten amongst the hot toddy craze.
posted by tmcw at 2:22 PM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Hot port. 1 part ruby port, 2 parts boiling water, and a lemon wedge. Fix a big glass tumbler - like 1/2 c port and 1 c water. So great!
posted by ErikaB at 7:50 PM on December 27, 2010

Canadian coffee:
One shot whiskey
One shot maple syrup
Fill cup with hot coffee
Top with whipped cream.
posted by Oriole Adams at 8:09 PM on December 27, 2010

Apple cider in a crock pot, with a liberal pour of Goldschlagger.
posted by honeybee413 at 9:48 PM on December 27, 2010

We've made this Wassail a couple of times and just loved it. I made it on the stove instead of a Crock Pot (barely simmered it for an hour, as Cook's Illustrated recommends when making mulled wine) and omitted the eggs. We also liked the sweetness of the apples, so the second time I made it, I simmered 1/2 the apples in it and added the rest at the end. Also, I used port--couldn't find Madeira--and Newcastle Brown Ale. The leftovers went into the fridge and I enjoyed a microwaved mug of it in the evening for some time after. Just delicious and very festive and unusual for a pre-Xmas party.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 10:19 PM on December 28, 2010

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