As I worked alongside volunteers in New Orleans four years ago for post-Katrina relief, I felt the symptoms of a cold creeping up on me. “Oh, are you feeling sick?” several locals asked. Their suggestion was universal: “Let me make you a hot toddy.” Though the American Lung Association recommends avoiding alcohol when combating a cold, the drink is said to have originated in 18th century Scotland, where people used the alcoholic beverage as a medicinal elixir.
Today, the hot toddy is a popular cocktail — a warm drink during the cold winter months. The recipe calls for tea, whiskey (typically bourbon in Southwest Indiana), honey, and lemon. I kick my hot toddy in a different direction, given the recent popularity of Dumante Verdenoce, an Italian-made pistachio liqueur that was created by Louisville entrepreneur Howard Sturm. In place of honey, Dumante adds sweetness and a roundness that you only taste from this type of nut character. Try an Elijah Craig 12 Year as the Bourbon whiskey for this “Dumantoddy;” it expresses the cooperage so well that it allows drinkers to taste the oak barrels it was aged in.
6 ounces of water
1 black tea bag
1/2 ounce Dumante Verdenoce
1 ounce Elijah Craig 12 Year Bourbon whiskey
Bring water to boil and allow tea to steep for five to seven minutes. Add Dumante and Elijah Craig. Then, add juice of a quarter lemon. Rub the zest of lemon around the rim of the teacup.