Holiday Cocktails

Calvados Hot ToddyThanks for the Giving

This week is the busiest week of the year for us here at the store. It is also my favorite. This is the week, despite the craziness and stress, neighbors stop to greet each other in front of the stuffing mix to ask them how their family is doing and to wish them Happy Thanksgiving. This is the week where long-time customers and even a few new ones reach across or around the counter to hug our employees and wish them a Happy Thanksgiving. And of course, the sentiment is returned.

This is the week that while we are preparing for our meals with our family, we all take a minute to give thanks for the extended family we meet in our daily lives. It is the very definition of neighborhood and community, and it is a really great thing.

To all our friends, customers, employees and neighbors, we would like to wish you all a safe and Happy Thanksgiving and a very merry holiday season!

To help with the merry, try one of these tasty concoctions guaranteed to keep you warm when it’s cold outside, baby… 

Ciderhouse Whiskey
Adapted from Saveur Magazine
Yields one drink

Two simple ingredients, whiskey and cider syrup, combine to make a powerfully good drink. A twist of lemon lends a bitter brightness without diluting the richness of the cocktail.

2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. boiled cider or cider syrup (See note below.)
A strip of lemon zest

Combine bourbon and cider syrup over ice and stir gently. Twist lemon zest and drop into drink, stir again, and serve.

Boiled cider is a substitute to maple syrup that’s found throughout Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. To make it at home, gently boil a gallon of apple cider in a heavy-bottomed pot, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced to ⅛ (making 2 cups syrup), This takes about 2 hours. Let the cider syrup cool to room temperature, and store it in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.


Honey-Bourbon Toddy
Adapted from Bon Appétit, December 2011
Yields two cocktails

This winter, two things are inevitable: I’ll receive a questionable piece of clothing from my in-laws for Christmas and I’ll catch a cold. I’m still working on how to handle the oddball socks, but I think I’ve figured out the stuffy-nose thing. My cure: the seasonal mixture of booze, water, spices, citrus, and honey, otherwise known as the Hot Toddy. It soothes, coddles, and makes you feel all is right with the world—the cocktail equivalent of Mom. And even if the classic tipple doesn’t keep your cold or Old Man Winter at bay, repeated doses will make you forget about both. My current favorite recipe comes from Matt Tanner at Houston’s Anvil Bar & Refuge, whose addition of house-made apple-infused bourbon is a spirited stroke of genius.
—Andrew Knowlton

2 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons bourbon (or better yet, Apple Bourbon, in which case you’ll use 1 tablespoon honey)
3″ x 1/2″ strip of lemon peel
1 cinnamon stick

Stir 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 cup of hot water in a 2-cup measuring cup until the honey has dissolved. Add 6 tablespoons of bourbon (or better yet, Apple Bourbon, in which case you’ll use 1 tablespoon honey; for recipe, see below). Divide between 2 Toddy glasses. Twist the strip of lemon peel over each drink, and add it to the glass. Stir each glass with a cinnamon stick and serve.

To make Apple Bourbon, combine a 750-milliliter bottle of bourbon, 4 cored, sliced Fuji apples, and 4 cinnamon sticks in a pitcher. Cover; chill for 3 days. Strain and sip or use in recipe above.


Calvados Hot Toddy
Adapted from Saveur Magazine
Makes one drink

This recipe combines calvados—French apple brandy—with hot cider for a variation on a toddy that tastes like autumn in a glass.

¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon, plus more for garnish
6 oz. apple cider, plus more for rimming glass
1½ oz. fine calvados
4 oz. heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick, for garnish

Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl wide enough to dip the rim of a double-walled glass. Pour the apple cider into a similarly-sized bowl of so it is about ¼-inch deep. First dip the rim of the glass in the apple cider and then cinnamon-sugar mixture. Whip cream and ½ oz. calvados until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use. Heat 6 oz. apple cider in a 2-qt. saucepan. Add remaining calvados. Pour into glass and top with whipped cream. Garnish with ground cinnamon and cinnamon stick.

PHOTO Laura Sant

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