Don’t make your Hot Toddy this boring.
(And dont’ Google “Crazy Hot Toddy,” some dude’s picture just comes up.)
Just remembered that I’m judging tonight’s annual Hot Toddy competition at The Golden Bear, so I should probably try to learn a thing or two about what makes a great Toddy.
Let me text Jayson Wilde, co-owner of Bottle & Barlow on R Street. (Wait’s for response.) OK, here we go:
So, Mr. Wilde, what makes a good Hott Toddy?
“Not keeping it classic!” he texted. “A classic hot toddy from Jerry Thomas’ Bov Vivants Companion ‘calls for brandy, sugar, boiling water, and grated nutmeg.’ Sound terrible and bland? Yep. It is.”
Indeed, sounds very grandma and grandpa watching Dick Clark. Wilde says to find your own interpretation. Sweeten it up, but not with citrus—experiment with honey, maple or white sugar.
“Purists will say it has to be hot water, but you could also sub out teas, coffee, cider, etc. with great results,” Wilde added.
That helps. I think I’ve got a sense of what not to do, and how to spice that action up.
But let me email Mark Neuhauser, vice president of the Sacramento Bartenders Guild and the guy you’ll find often behind the bar at Tres Hermanas.
Neuhauser says the “dos” are to make the Toddy’s “good and boozy with no short cuts,” he texted. He also recommended to make them rad and have something accompany your Toddy, like unique glassware, or even an elf, to get you in the holiday spirit.
The “don’ts”? Don’t not have a cool garnish, he wrote. And don’t make a friggin’ hot chocolate Hot Toddy. Gross.
What: fifth annual Hot Toddy competition
Where: The Golden Bear, 2326 K Street
Details: “Our 5th Annual Hot Toddy Competition is Tuesday, December 8th, 2015. Sponsored by I.W. Harper. Festivities will include Santa’s Tavern photo booth by Unseen Heroes, drinks specials and that feel good music from DJ Crook. Join us and cheer on local bartenders competing for cash, prizes and bragging rights. Entry through the door is earned by bringing a donation item for Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services or a $5 donation.”