As I write this, about one third of my friends are sick with a terrible flu that’s been going around this year. As most of my friends are bartenders, you might think it would be enough to keep me out of the bars. Maybe a little.
Hot Toddies don’t do anything to heal sickness, but they do make you feel better while you endure it. Today’s cocktail, a fancy version of a toddy, reminded me a little bit of a particular hot flu medicine with its vanilla and lemon notes.
A basic Hot Toddy is just lemon juice, honey (or sugar), hot water, and a splash of whisky. The Espadin Tea, created by Houston Eaves of Esquire Tavern in San Antonio, replaces the water with strong tea, the honey with Licor 43 (a Spanish liqueur with strong vanilla notes), and the whisky with mezcal.
The drink would probably still work with whisky or tequila instead of mezcal, but I enjoyed the smokiness of the mezcal in the drink. Do make sure the tea is quite strong to counter the big dose of liqueur.
I’m not sick at all, but this drink made me feel better nonetheless.
Adapted from a recipe by Houston Eaves
.75 fl. oz. Licor 43
1.25 fl. oz. Mezcal (or tequila)
.5 fl. oz. Lemon Juice
4 fl. oz. Strong-Brewed Black Tea or Hibiscus Tea
Lemon wheel, for garnish
In a mug or other heat-resistant glass, add the liquid ingredients. Stir, then add the hot tea. Garnish with the lemon wheel and serve.