Jan. 11 is National Hot Toddy Day, as though winter weather and scrumptious variations weren’t enough of a reason to hunt down these delicious drinks. Warm yourself when you’re chilled to the bone with a glass mug of some combination of honey, brandy, whiskey or rum, lemon and hot water. Whether they offer a traditional recipe or a variation, these are some of the best places in Orange County to celebrate National Hot Toddy Day and to take the chill out of winter.
The Daily Dose
2963 Michelson Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
Maybe you don’t think of a sports lounge when you think of a hot toddy, but rest assured you’ll be served a great one at The Daily Dose. The place has a decent selection of brandys and whiskeys to choose from, and the bartenders generally give a pretty generous pour perfect for warming you up. The drink is served in a cappuccino mug and garnished with a slice of lemon. Ask for a splash of apple cider to make it even better.
1287 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Traditionally, a hot toddy is made with either brandy or whiskey. The hot toddy at K’ya in Laguna Beach is a little different. This one is made with unfiltered apple cider, butterscotch schnapps and dark rum. It is served in a glass coffee mug rimmed with cinnamon and sugar, and garnished with a cinnamon stick. Don’t worry, it is just as good as it sounds. If this drink doesn’t take the chill off, there probably isn’t a drink that will.
Patsy’s Irish Pub
28971 Golden Lantern St.
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
Watch any football game you want and sing karaoke as you enjoy your hot toddy at Patsy’s. It is also a place where you can get a hot toddy. Expect expert bartenders who know Jack Daniels Honey was tailor made for drinks like this. For a little extra spice, Fireball, also offered here, is a great option for increasing the warmth factor. Bartenders here otherwise use a traditional recipe with a very generous pour.
34683 Golden Lantern St.
Dana Point CA 92629
If you want atmosphere while you sip your hot toddy, Turk’s is the place to go. It faces Dana Point Harbor, so the view is perfect for toddies. Expect pretty standard fare at reasonable prices here. The bartender gave about a five-second pour of brandy into a glass coffee mug and topped it with hot water and a twist of lemon. What really makes the hot toddy here ideal is the healthy dose of honey. If you’re starting to feel a cold coming on, head to Turk’s for a hot toddy.
The Swinging Door
355 El Camino Real
Tustin, CA 92780
If a hot toddy is good, then a hot toddy served by a bartender in a skimpy bikini has to be better. Enjoy a traditional recipe with about a six-second pour of whiskey into a glass half full with hot water. Pretty standard as well, this toddy comes with honey and a slice of lemon. Expect a casual atmosphere perfect for a few beers with the boys. The hot toddy and the setting in which you drink it will definitely take the edge off of your day.
Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.