I know that as April begins, a hot toddy does not seem particularly appropriate for cocktail hour. I apologize for this, but this week's choice was compelled by the hacking cough I have had all week. I have spent the week sipping tea, sucking on cough drops and excusing myself out of meeting after meeting to go cough. Bummer. The only kind of cocktail I could interest myself in is something hot, soothing, and with a little spice to help clear my head. And after an exhausting week something with alcohol was a must. So here is this simple hot toddy with ginger, lemon and cloves. You can really use whatever brown liquor you want, I went with bourbon. I added some honey to coat my throat and presto - instant relief.
Spiced Hot Toddy (adapted from Serious Eats)
2 cups water 1 inch of fresh ginger, pealed and sliced thinly
5 whole cloves
1 lemon, cut in half
1 shot of bourbon, more if desired
2 teaspoons honey
lemon and cloves for garnish
Directions: Combine water, ginger, cloves in a small sauce pan. Squeeze juice of lemon in and add lemon halves. Simmer until reduced, about 15 minutes. Pour bourbon and honey in glass or mug. Pour hot water through strainer into glass. Garnish with lemon and cloves.