It was right around 1996 and my grandmother, living in Onawa, Iowa, rang my apartment in Covington, Ky., to see how I was doing. I had a cold like the one I'm nursing right now and, because my decongestant didn't seem to be wokring, she suggested I try a Hot Toddy. She was surprised I didn't know the ingredients. I mean, come on, here I was living in the land of Jim Beam, made in Frankfort, Ky. She instructed that it was a touch of bourbon added to warm water and lemon. Of course there was nothing my place, except for water. Today was a different story, sort of.
With the help of my husband (read: a trip to the liquor store) and a recently purchased cookbook "In the Land of Cocktails" (William Morrow $19.95), I whipped up my first hot Toddy. In their book, cousins Adelaide Martin and Lally Brennan, proprietors of the New Orleans' famed Commander's Palace, offer their version of a Bourbon Hot Toddy, a drink their parents gave them when, as children, they were under the weather. In small sips, of course. The nutmeg, in this version, is a nice touch. Cuts the edge.
The single serving recipe follows.
2 ounces bourbon
1 teaspon honey
6 ounces hot water
1 cinnamon stick
3 dashes of nutmeg
Directions: combine bourbon and honey in a brandy snifter. Add the hot water and stir with a cinnamon stick. Garnish with nutmeg and serve immediately.