This apple brandy hot toddy is a wonderfully comforting autumnal drink. It's really easy to make and with a lovely combination of flavors. Perfect as a nightcap on a cool evening, or whatever excuse.
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I have long been a fan of warm cocktails in the cooler months, whether the more traditional like German Gluhwein (mulled wine) to less so like my warm spiced cranberry cocktail. There's something incredibly comforting about the warm drink with a little kick.
Hot toddies are another classic hot alcoholic drink that most people are familiar with. This is a less typical variation, but I have to say probably my preferred version. I find the flavors work so well, and it's full of autumnal vibes.
What is a hot toddy?
A hot toddy is simply a combination of a spirit with hot water, honey and lemon juice. Most typically you make it with whisky but you can use other spirits as well, as here.
It's the kind of drink that's perfect for sipping on a cold day to really warm you through, or as a nightcap. It's really easy to play around with the proportions to suit your tastes as well.
Is a hot toddy good for a cold?
Traditionally, this is a drink that has been seen as a cure for colds and coughs, and while it's not exactly guaranteed, it is likely to help. Both hot drinks and honey can be soothing and lemon gives a little vitamin C, too.
If you want an extra boost, while it's not traditional for a hot toddy, ginger is always good in there for colds, too. Hot lemon, ginger and honey has always been a go-to in our house for colds and coughs (with or without some whisky, depending on the mood and who is getting it!)
What is apple brandy?
Apple brandy is a spirit made from apples (or in the case of some calvados, also pears). Brandy in general is made by distilling juice, which can include grapes or other fruits, while apple brandy is specifically made from apples.
Calvados is one of the best known kinds which is only made in Normandy in France from cider apples and aged in oak barrels. It has AOC, Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, status and strict rules on how and where it's made as a result.
You will also find American apple brandies made with other kinds of apples and some variation in the process. The flavors and sweetness level can vary between them. Calvados tends to have spice notes and be slightly woodsy, while many American apple brandies have a more floral apple flavor. But they do also vary.
Should you use calvados or American apple brandy for this?
For this drink, you can use either depending on what you have and for a slightly different flavor. I tend to use calvados as I like the relative complexity of flavors.
You may find you want to adjust the amount of honey you use depending on the spirit. Some are definitely sweeter than others, so maybe try part of the amount first and adjust from there.
Whichever you use, though, you should get a lovely mix from the complementary flavors of the brandy, lemon and honey.
This apple brandy hot toddy is a lovely twist on the classic, with all the comfort factor you'd expect along with some great autumnal flavors. It's smooth, warming and perfect for a chilly day.
Try these other seasonal cocktails:
- Spiked mulled apple cider
- Cranberry whisky sour
- Pomegranate mojito
- Plus get more cocktail recipes in the archives.
Apple brandy hot toddy
- 2 oz hot water 60ml (recommend boiling hot)
- 1 tablespoon honey 15ml
- 2 oz calvados 60ml (or other apple brandy, see note)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice 15ml
- Place the hot water in a heat-resistant glass and add the honey. Stir well to dissolve.
- Add the calvados/apple brandy and lemon juice and stir to mix then serve. If you like, garnish with a slice or two of apple and a lemon slice.
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Oh my goodness how delicious!! Its wonderful!
Glad to hear!
I am also a big fan of a warm drink during the winter months. This drink had all of the flavors I was looking for in a hot toddy.
So glad to hear you enjoyed, it's a lovely flavor mix for this time of year.