Thursday, February 18, 2010

hot apple toddy

1 medium-sized Apple (Gala)
1 1/3 oz Sugar (Turbinado)
2 2/3 oz Whiskey (Old Overholt Rye)
2/3 oz Jamaican Rum (Smith & Cross)

Roast the apple (30 minutes, 400°F (*)) in a pan. Scrape the pulp and juice away from the skin, core, and seeds, and add to a heat-resistant bowl or mixing glass. Add sugar, and pulverize the apple using a muddler until the sugar is dissolved. Add spirits, stir, and warm up before serving in microwave. Serve in punch cups with an equal part of boiling water; provide small spoons. Garnish suggestions: cinnamon stick or grated cinnamon (none listed in original recipe). Recipe makes two servings.

Last night, I decided to give the Hot Apple Toddy recipe I found in 1904's The Blue Grass Cook Book a try. The other recipe I made from the book, the Xalapa Punch, was a great success, so my confidence in trying another one of the drink recipes was high. The original called for a dozen apples and I scaled it down to what would make about two servings (although the recipe claims that the 'pug' before hot water dilution will keep indefinitely) besides a few other slight modifications.
The recipe gave me a good excuse to use my new bottle of Smith & Cross Navy Strength Jamaica Rum. In the toddy, the rum had a dominant signature to my palate whereas the whiskey stood out more for Andrea. The drink would definitely have been a different beast if I had interpreted the Jamaican rum as something as rich and full-bodied as Appleton's, but a rougher rum might have been more true to the ingredients more widely available when the recipe was created. The cinnamon garnish I added complemented the spiciness of the rum quite well in addition to pairing up nicely with the apple notes. The apple and sugar functioned to mitigate the alcohol's burn when the high proof was coupled with the heat. Overall, the Hot Apple Toddy made for a delightful nightcap on a cold winter's night.

(*) The apple still seemed chunky after being muddled extensively. Perhaps a longer or hotter roast/bake is in order, or perhaps Gala apples are a bit more structurally sound than other apples. A blender would help, but seems very un-1904...

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