January is the perfect time for a fresh start. After the excitement and buildup of the holidays, flu season and the inevitable barrage of bills, it’s no surprise that many of can feel walloped. So, what better time for heated cocktails to restore warmth, equilibrium, and healing power?It brings to mind the classics: Hot Buttered Rum, and whiskey- and brandy-based warmers.
Here’s an interesting spin on Hot Buttered Rum created by Aidan Moreau-MacLeod of Chabrol, one of Toronto’s top restos, using Calvados - an apple brandy from Normandy, France:
Hot Buttered Calvados
2 oz Calvados Boulard
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla ice cream
1 dash angostura bitters
5 oz boiling water
Combine butter, sugar, bitters, and ice cream in a mug. Add 2oz boiling water to dissolve all ingredients. Once sugar has dissolved, add 2oz Calvados Boulard, stir, and top with remaining 3oz boiling water.
I always enjoy a fuller flavored, smooth rum, like the latest Jamaican rum to make it to the LCBO. Monymusk Rum is non-chill filtered, a production technique used by many top single malt whiskies. (Chill filtering, while not inherently bad, leaves the spirit with a brilliant color, among other things, yet removes some of the essential oils that lend more depth of flavor to spirits.) Here's my take on the classic:
Classic Hot Buttered Rum
1.5 oz Monymusk Rum
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon brown sugar
0.5 teaspoon ground cloves
4 oz boiling water
Combine butter, sugar, and cloves in a mug. Top with boiling water, stir in rum and mix with a cinnamon stick.
Toddies can be made with any dark spirit, from brandy to rum and whiskies. This version was created by Dave Mitton, Global Canadian Whisky Ambassador, Corby Spirit & Wine.
Town of York Toddy
1½ oz Gooderham & Worts
1 cinnamon stick
½ oz winter warmth syrup** (recipe below)
½ oz fresh lemon
½ cup boiling water
Put all ingredients into glass and stir until syrup dissolves. Garnish with cinnamon stick.
**Winter Warmth Syrup
1 ½ cups water
1 cup raw sugar
½ apple peeled and diced
½ pear peeled and diced
1 ½ cinnamon sticks (broken up)
Pinch of grated nutmeg
½ vanilla bean (split and scraped)
Combine water, sugar, fruit, walnuts, cinnamon and other spices in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Continue simmering for 10 to 20 minutes, remove from the heat and let cool. Strain it through a sieve to remove all fruit, nuts, and spices. Transfer into a bottle and refrigerate for up to two weeks.
Here's to staying warm this winter. Cheers!