Hot Whiskey Sling

Mixology Monday 11: Winter WarmersYou say “winter warmer,” I think “hot toddy.” I should probably think “hot whiskey sling,” if I’m not mistaken, since I favor them with lemon juice, but “toddy” is the term I’m accustomed to using and bedad if winter warmers aren’t about personal comfort. I’ll call it a sling this once, though, since other people are watching; I recommend executing it thusly:

Remove your shoes and don slippers. If it’s the right time of day, consider pajamas and a robe, too. Take your most favorite mug — chipped and coffee-stained though it may be, it’s the faithful friend that’s seen you through many a nerve-jangling morning — and fill it with water. Fill a measuring cup of similar capacity and microwave it, along with your mug, until the water boils. Empty your now-heated mug and pour a 2-ounceish slug of whiskey into the bottom. If it’s a bonded whiskey, so much the better. Swirl your trusty honey dipper around in its pot until you’ve worked up a nice, thick ball of honey, stick it in the mug, and pour in the scalding hot water, swizzling until the honey is dissolved. Finally squeeze the juice of half a lemon on top of it all, give a final stir or two, and breathe deeply.

Terribly imprecise, I know, but this one’s a drink to feel your way around. Did I say microwave? I did, and unapologetically. Feel free to put the kettle on for a more satisfying auditory experience, but it’ll just take longer. How sweet should it be? Depends on how you like your coffee or tea. How much booze should it contain? Depends on whether you’re fighting off a cold or just the cold (less, if the former). What kind of booze should it contain? Whiskey, certainly, if you’re going to call it a hot whiskey sling, but you can use whatever base spirit you like. I wouldn’t do gin myself, but there are those who do. How much water? I’d hope you’re drinking out of a thick-walled large-capacity ceramic mug — the kind you can wrap both hands around — and not one of those wee 8 oz. affairs or a poncy glass job, but everyone has their own thing. Go with it, and fill it with as much water as seems right. Personally I like to leave a decent collar to allow easy insertion of a snoot to inhale the fumes. Properly speaking, there should be a dash or two of Angostura bitters on top of it all, but this is one drink that I leave ’em out of. You’ll do what seems right.

I could cite a few official recipes here, but what’s the point of that? You’d likely just adjust the ratios to suit your choice of vessel, alcohol, mood, whathaveyou. I don’t think it’s possible to make a bad hot whiskey sling, unless you make it weak and watery. Avoid that cardinal transgression and you’re home free. Ms. Thirsty complains that hers are never as satisfying as the ones I make her, but I suspect that’s less about execution and more down to the final instruction for a really good winter warmer: have someone else serve it to you. You’re too busy being cold and wanting warming to be shuffling about in the kitchen or bar.

Look for more precise, well-reasoned Winter Warmers from this Mixology Monday to be catalogued shortly at Imbibe Unfiltered, the electronic arm of our liver’s favorite organ.

Update: All told there were 22 entries this month. Read ’em and mix.

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17 Responses to “Hot Whiskey Sling”

  1. c says:

    Incidentally, I tried making a hot variation of the CocktailDB’s Danish Bull, thinking it might be pho-like, but it failed to please. You can’t go wrong with a hot whiskey sling.

  2. Jimmy says:

    Sounds good to me!

    I heard the cold winter is going to be a problem for California Citrus. It’s time for your post on acarapous(?) drinks!


  3. JerseyRED says:

    That recipe looks perfect to me. Actually, it sounds as if you’ve been looking in our kitchen window!

    I recommend trying this with applejack as well. Tastes AND smells great!


  4. Deb says:

    It is early October now and where I am the weather is starting to change and we are feeling the need for a warmer for the first time of the fall. What a perfect drink to stumble on today. Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. How much booze should it contain? Depends on whether you’re fighting off a cold or just the cold, among other things

    Like a good cure for a hangover on a cold day.

    This recipe looks great, I live in Florida so I will probably wait until january to try it, seeing thats the only time that florida get cold 🙂

  6. Tom says:

    Between allergies, weather changes and leaves in the air I’m down for the count with a cold so this definitely sounds good to me.

  7. Jeff says:

    I think something is going around lately, a hot toddy works wonders for it.

  8. Dan says:

    I dont have the balls to use the gin with this, I will stick with good old Jack Daniels, this is an excellent drink to get rid of hangovers on a cold football sunday 🙂

  9. Charles says:

    It sounds great, I’ll have to try one. I’ve always been a big fan of Irish Coffees as well. They warm you up nicely.

  10. Tim Penny says:

    Nothing better than a Hot Toddy on a cold winters night to warm a soul. Particularly nice when you have touch of a cold!

  11. tea kettles says:

    I had one—my partner made it—where he put Jamaican rum, honey, a bit of cinnamon and lemon juice which he heated over the fire. It tasted yucky, but I felt very warm afterwards.

  12. Cordless Kettle says:

    Its never failed to cure me of colds and flu. I always use orange honey from Australia. That way it has a hint of citrus anyway so no need for the lemon!

  13. jigger says:

    i tried this once when I had the cold and boy what a treat! It beats going to the doctor and drinking different kinds of medicines. And to think it is in the comfort of your own home.And it is cheaper

  14. Jeffery says:

    I love drinks like these, but pictures would be nicer 😉

  15. I agree with Jeffery, some pics would be nice 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!