If you have children, brace yourself for two weeks of sugared-up hyperactivity, toy mahem and general upheaval. To get your zen on in a hurry amid the chaos, try a Hot Toddy on an empty stomach. The nearly 3 0z of booze will immediately go to your head, and you won’t care that your kid is trying out his new Christmas gift marker set on the wall.
The Hot Toddy recipe I like is from Mount Gay Rum. It’s an undeniably festive holiday cocktail that tastes rather like a hot Sidecar, with just a subtle hit of Earl Grey tea. The cinnamon stick garnish is a nice touch. I guarantee that drinking one will bring your back to your Christmas happy place, where sugar plum fairies cavort with magical snowmen. If the holiday hijinks continue, sip another. You deserve it Mrs. Claus (you too, Santa)!
Christmas stressing you out? Bliss out with a Hot Toddy.
1 oz Cointreau
1-3/4 oz Mount Gay Rum
1/2 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Blue agave nectar to taste
4 oz hot Earl Grey tea
Cinnamon stick garnish
Combine all ingredients in an Irish coffee glass, stirring briefly.
Sours have been on my radar lately. Whiskey, tequila, and now this delish apricot sour using rum as its base. I love sours because they’re tart and because I love the way the egg white renders them foamy and smooth.
This sophisticated cocktail shakes rum with lemon juice and apricot liqueur.
I came across the recipe for this Apricot Lady Sour while paging through Cocktails Made Easy by Simon Difford. The ingredients looked like they would shake up nicely and they did. Difford uses Bacardi Superior rum, but since my husband just came back from Cuba I subbed in Havana Club rum. I also used North American-style simple syrup (1:1 ratio sugar to water) instead of the sweeter U.K. style.
This drink’s subtle apricot flavour is complemented by the rum, and the lemon’s pucker is lessened by the simple syrup. It’s nicely balanced, and light, but substantial enough — thanks to the egg white and apricot brandy — to drink on a December night close to Christmas. Enjoy.
Apricot Lady Sour
1-1/2 oz Havana Club light rum
1 oz Bols apricot brandy liqueur
1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup (1 sugar to 1 water)
1 fresh egg white
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.
— Recipe modified from Cocktails Made Easy
Grab some rum, apricot liqueur and lemon juice and get ready to pucker those lips.
The tree is decorated, the kids are in bed, so it’s time to kick back and enjoy some holiday cheer: a Hot Buttered Rum. I like this one from Appleton Estate. It’s strong in a good, I’m-so-done-with-Christmas-decorating kind of way. It takes a bit of time to prepare the cocktail base, but it’s worth the effort.
Appleton Estate makes a mean Hot Buttered Rum. Photo courtesy Appleton Estate Reserve.
Reserve Jamaican Hot Buttered Rum
Large batch recipe for cocktail base:
2-1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 lb. butter
Pinch of Salt
4 oz fresh apple cider
1/2 oz fresh extracted ginger juice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
In a sauce pan over low heat, blend the above ingredients and bring to a boil before removing from the heat. Let cool and store in refrigerator. The base will last four days in the fridge or one month in the freezer.
Individual cocktail recipe:
Using this above prepared cocktail base, select an appropriate mug. Then add:
2 heaping tbsp. of the cocktail base
2 oz AppletonEstate Reserve rum
Approximately 6 oz hot water, stir
Garnish: Cinnamon Stick
Mmmmm … I toast you, fake tree.