I recently had a chat with my co-workers at the Hot Stove Society and lamented the poor selection of hot drinks for cold weather entertaining. Many are too sweet, or too intense, and just not good. Tyler, our bartender came up with the idea of using Ancho Reyes, a delicious liqueur made in Puebla, Mexico, that uses poblano chilies grown in the rich soil of that region. Those chilies are then dried and become “ancho” chilies, which have a smoky and spicy quality.
The raisin-like chilies are then hand cut and macerated in a cane spirit for six months before being bottled. This liqueur has a spicy warming quality and a sweetness that is nice with rum for a toddy. You could go so many directions with this toddy, and I give you a base recipe which you can adjust and add to, depending upon your desired level of sweetness. Orange bitters are a nice addition, but are optional. Play around with the mixture, a nice bourbon can be substituted instead of rum.
Ancho Toddy Caliente
Directions: In a large mug, add the rum, Ancho Reyes, honey, bitters, and lemon juice. Stir to blend, then add some of the hot water to melt the honey and stir again. Top the drink with the water, garnish with a lemon wedge, and a stick of cinnamon. Warm your toes and take the toddy to the next level!