Toddy [TOD-ee]

"...a hot-water based drink, generally spiced and liberally laced with alcohol."-The Food Lover's Companion, fourth edition

Illustration: Atsuhiro Saisho

Sipped as a catchall curative in prepenicillin Scotland, the early hot toddy consisted of hot water and Scotch sweetened with sugar. Doctors may not prescribe liquor anymore, but there’s still something restorative about a toddy on a cold night, and plenty of New York bars serve the remedial quaffs come winter. Our favorite is Shoolbred’s (197 Second Ave between 12th and 13th Sts, 212-529-0340) Lung Ching green tea and Chivas Regal Scotch, combined with honey, fresh lemon juice and a hint of fresh-squeezed orange ($10). Harefield Road (769 Metropolitan Ave between Graham Ave and Humboldt St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-388-6870) warms the Williamsburg kids right out of their vintage hunting coats with its close-to-traditional toddy ($7): hot water, Jameson, cinnamon sticks and a lemon wedge with a few cloves poked through. At PDT (113 St. Marks Pl between First Ave and Ave A, 212-614-0386), Jim Meehan’s hot-drink menu includes “Le Pere Bis” ($13), a smoky, herbal stew of Ardbeg 10 Year Single Malt Scotch, elderflower liqueur, clover honey and chamomile tea. Bourbon, cognac and Scotch toddies ($8) are all available at The Jakewalk (282 Smith St between Degraw and Sackett Sts, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn; 347-599-0294), but go for its tropical rum cousin, a mix of simple syrup, El Dorado rum, pimento dram—an allspice liqueur—and a twist.

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