Cocktail Hour: Apple Toddy

February is the coldest month in New York City.  Although I know that the spring thaw is just around the corner, the bitter wind that whips off the East River makes me die a little bit inside. Every day.

To keep the frigid weather at bay, I’ve been investigating winter cocktails.  Nothing beats the wintertime blues like hot water and alcohol.  I’ve been eyeing up this cocktail for awhile: the Apple Toddy.  It comes from my favorite cocktail book, the first cocktail book, Jerry Thomas’ How to Mix Drinks.

For my version of this recipe, I used delicate, little Lady Apples, which I found in my local grocery store.  Feel free to use a large baking apple, cut into slices.  Apple Brandy can be found at most liquor stores or ordered online.  Laird’s has been making apple jack and apple brandy in America since 1780.

Oh that’s good.  I feel warmer already.

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Apple Toddy
Inspired by a recipe from How to Mix Drinks, by Jerry Thomas 1862.

Baking Apples: three small apples or one large
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/8 tsp mace (or cinnamon, if you prefer)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Unsalted butter
2 ounces apple brandy
Hot water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Core apples and place in a baking dish.  Mix sugar and spices.  Fill the center of the apples with sugar mixture and sprinkle the remainder around the edges.

2. Bake apples for 30 minutes, or until tender.

3. Scoop one apple (or apple slice) into the bottom of a rocks glass or mug.  The bottom of the baking dish should be filled with sugar syrup; add one tablespoon of this syrup to your glass.

4. Add two ounces apple brandy, then fill glass to the top with hot water. Stir gently until the sugar syrup has dissolved.

5. Grate a little nutmeg on top and serve.

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