When cool whether rolls around, nothing beats it like the whiskey-inspired hot toddy. It’s a winter favorite that sounds like it came straight from Great Britain and is traditionally made with whiskey and hot water mixed with honey and lemon. Some mixologists get creative with different liquors, sugars and spices, while others give it a richer flavor with caramel syrup and tea blends. Whether you like whiskey, brandy or rum, one of these L.A. hot toddy blends will surely keep you warm this winter.
1221 N. Valley Drive
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Located just minutes from The Strand, Zinc serves up a beach-infused hot toddy, affectionately called the Southern California, for only $9. It’s a local favorite winter special made with two ounces of Bulleit bourbon, six ounces of hot water, two drops of honey and two teaspoons of lemon juice. The beach infusion comes with the addition of a bag of passion tea steeped in hot water with lemon grass and ground cardamom as garnishes to give it a citrusy beach taste. Zinc Lounge is located in Manhattan Beach’s premier luxury boutique hotel and has one of the longest bars in town with a sleek, modern design, and hip indoor and outdoor seating, making it the perfect place to enjoy a warm drink as the sun sets over the ocean.
515 West 7th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90014
The hot toddy served up at Seven Grand is affectionately known as the 7th Street Tod. Seven Grand’s unique spin on the classic hot toddy is made with Mexican hot chocolate, mint tea and Glenfiddich (or Bastille French whiskey in the classic version) with a drop of honey and a lemon peel garnish. It’s a chocolatey mint drink with a major kick, making it warm and refreshing all at the same time. Seven Grand’s cozy atmosphere makes it the perfect place to enjoy this $11 cool-weather concoction.
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110 Navy St.
Venice, CA 90291
CHAYA in Venice has a fun spin on the hot toddy called the hot Teddy named after resident bartender Ted Thompson, who has been with CHAYA Venice for at least 20 years. The Teddy is described as the perfect blend of Bushmills Black Bush Irish whiskey, fresh-squeezed lemon and a touch of honey for only $12 of warm savory deliciousness. CHAYA Venice is a casual but trendy place to be for a warm cocktail surrounded by beautiful people and Asian-infusioned French cuisines. The best part about this place is that it features a great happy hour every night from 5 p.m. to closing time.
The Spare Room
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
The Spare Room boasts the most interesting take on the hot toddy. In fact, this specialty winter drink isn’t even called by its classic name. The Spare Room calls it the hot, buttered bourbon in light of its caramel syrup instead of honey, which is used in the traditional version of a hot toddy. To make your very own, just add hot water to a mixture of overproof bourbon, blood orange, smoke salted caramel syrup and blood orange with a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters with nutmeg for the finishing touch. Enjoy this warm buttery cocktail in a gaming-inspired cocktail lounge that dates back to the 1920s, when the Roosevelt Hotel was first built.
Freddy Smalls Bar + Kitchen
11520 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Inspired by a recovered stained glass bearing the name “Freddy” on it when Freddy Small’s used to be a Mexican restaurant, the hot Freddy is Freddy’s version of a hot toddy. This speciality $13 concoction is made with Amaro Nonino, wildflower honey, muddled lemon and Peychaud’s bitters infused with Earl Grey tea, cinnamon zest and a lemon twist. Freddy Small’s has quickly become one of L.A.’s newest hot spots to enjoy your winter favorite drinks. This gastropub serves up flavorful snacks at reasonable prices.
Niki Payne is a freelance writer covering all things Entertainment in Los Angeles. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.