Many people may think of the hot toddy as a bedtime cocktail to relieve symptoms of the common cold or flu, but many a barkeep thinks they are perfect any time of the day or night as a delightful way to whet your whistle in the cold winter months. The most basic hot toddy is generally whisky or brandy with hot water, lemon and honey but the Seattle cocktail crowd has become accustomed to a broader spectrum of toddy offerings from its talented mixologists. Celebrate National Hot Toddy Day on January 11 at these hot Seattle spots.
900 Madison St.
Seattle, WA 98104
When it’s dark, cold and rainy outside, there’s no better place to duck into to warm your body and soul than the Hunt Club. Tucked inside the stately Sorrento Hotel, the Hunt Club serves up an apple malt toddy where Calvados apple brandy serves as the base. Rounded out with a touch of benedictine, some maple syrup and topped off with hot apple cider, this toddy is a welcomed elixir and can be enjoyed in the comfort of the dark paneled bar or nestled in a leather club chair in front of the Sorrento’s grand fireplace.
2205 2nd Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
Located in a nondescript alley in the heart of Belltown, Bathtub Gin never fails to serve up some of the most inventive and spot-on cocktails in the city. This pint-sized speakeasy caters to those who are serious about their cocktails. The drinks may be serious but the vibe is casual and welcoming. Once you’ve ducked into this joint, you’ll find plenty of reasons to while away the hours with your cocktail-loving compatriots. Bathtub Gin is not afraid to venture away from the standard recipes to bring you the best in bevs, as evidenced by the hot toddy. This beauty is served up with the traditional brandy, but finished off with agave nectar, allspice and a dash of IPA beer. Yes, a dash of beer. As the saying goes, nothing ventured nothing gain.
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1919 Post Alley
Seattle, WA 98101
If you’re walking down Post Alley in Pike Place Market, make sure to keep an eye out for a pink door. There’s no signage above it, but once you open that door, you’ll be entering into a world of one of the most favored spots that keep locals and visitors coming back time and time again. It could be the Italian-American food that comes out of the kitchen or perhaps it’s the eclectic and always entertaining cabaret shows that are known to pop up throughout the night. But one reason for a repeat visit to The Pink Door – especially this time of year – is the hot toddy. This flavorful concoction starts with fig-infused brandy with some vanilla bean syrup to taste and served to your table with a brown sugar rim.
2328 E. Madison St.
Seattle, WA 98112
There’s nothing better than a neighborhood bar that serves them up just as you like them. The Bottleneck Lounge has become the go-to place for many regulars through the years who have come to appreciate hanging out with their friends and catching up over their favorite drink. If you are looking for a hot toddy that matches your mood, call out your favorite bourbon to the bartender and they’ll add the honey, lemon, cloves, hot water (and any other special request you might have) that will guarantee to match and elevate your current mood. If you’re not a regular, you’ll soon be after your special hot toddy.
407 Cedar St.
Seattle, WA 98121
This gem of a cafe is hidden on a side street that sits just off the hustle and bustle of the Seattle Center and the Space Needle. If you are looking to get away from the crowds, this European-style café offers up the perfect respite. Not only is the food coming out of the kitchen a savory treat, but the bar never fails to serve up the perfect complement to your day. And if your day calls out for a hot toddy, then you’ll love the Tilikum Toddy. This tasty drink is sure to calm any jangled nerves with its brandy, Barenjager honey liquor, hot water, a cinnamon stick and lemon.
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Jenise Silva is a freelance writer in Seattle who has studied culinary, visual and performing arts. She penned the financial planning guide Women & Money, and has been writing about food and the arts for a number of years. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.