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Cocktail 101: 3 Simple Hot Toddy Variations

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Apple toddy. [Photograph: Jennifer Hess]

Personally, I like to keep my hot toddies simple, and I don't like a lot of spice powder floating around in them, so I usually stud a lemon wedge with three or four cloves, put that into a mug, add two ounces of whiskey, and top it all off with boiling water. If I have a sore throat, I'll add some soothing honey. So simple, it doesn't even require a formal recipe.

But for those of you like a little more zest, a little more complexity, here are three delicious possibilities.

Spicy Ginger Hot Toddy

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For this toddy, you begin by making a spicy ginger tea. Divvy that up between two mugs and top with rum, bourbon, or your tipple of choice. A rich, dark rum would be amazing in this.

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Scotch Hot Toddy

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[Photograph: Alice Gao]

This one uses single malt Scotch as a base. The recipe calls for AnCnoc 12-year-old, which is a well-balanced whisky that tastes of spice, light smoke, and dried fruit. If you can't find AnCnoc, try whichever Scotch is on your shelf. Any of the better blends would work in this, too.

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Apple Toddy

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[Photo: Robyn Lee]

Okay, this one requires a teeny bit more work and some advance planning. Don't be a slugabed! It's worth every minute you spend, and the hardest part is turning on your oven! Here's the way it goes: roast an apple, add half of it to a mug. Muddle the apple to a pulp. Add apple brandy and hot water. I said earlier I don't like a lot of stuff floating around in a toddy; this one's the exception. I love the apple pulp in this. It allows me to pretend I'm drinking something healthy.

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Your turn! What's your favorite toddy preparation?

About the author: Michael Dietsch approaches life with a hefty dash of bitters. He lives with wife, son, and cats in Brooklyn. You can touch him on twitter at @dietsch.

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