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How to make a top Hot Toddy

The winter-friendly cocktail you need.

By Georgie Meredith
The Hot Toddy we know today is the byproduct of tadi, an Indian drink made from fermented palm sap. Like many things, the British appropriated the recipe during their colonisation of India, claiming the tipple as their own.
In the modern formula for this warm, spiced and boozy libation, whisky is the most common choice of liquor, though almost any spirit from vodka to tequila can be used. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger bring the yuletide flavours; there's honey for a dash of something sweet, plus lemon to round it all out. We'll drink to that.

Brandy Hot Toddy recipe

Add 60ml water to a pan, along with three cloves, one cinnamon stick, a grating of nutmeg and one strip of lemon peel. Simmer over low heat. Pour 60ml of brandy into a warmed glass, then top up with hot water and spices. Stir in 2 tsp each of honey and lemon juice, top with nutmeg. Best enjoyed fireside.

Three brandies for a top Toddy

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St Agnes XO 15 Year Old Brandy
This citrus and stone-fruit forward brandy is the ultimate drop for a Hot Toddy. Aged for 15 years, it's rounded and balanced with hints of sweet oak.
$114 for 700ml, stagnesdistillery.com.au, or purchase at vintagecellars.com.au
23rd St Not Your Nanna's Brandy
Vanilla, apricot and honey are the primary notes here. Two years in a mix of French and American oak give this brandy a rich colour and nuanced flavour.
$50 for 700ml, 23rdstreetdistillery.com.au, or purchase at danmurphys.com.au
Bass and Flinders Ochre Fine Aged Brandy
Layers of orange peel and caramel give this Australian, leather-bound bottle depth and length. Touches of clove and cinnamon complement the cocktail perfectly.
$230 for 700ml, bassandflindersdistillery.com
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