I’ve always been a hot cocoa gal in winter. But last winter, I had a particularly nasty cold. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. The biting chill outside chased me into John Dory Oyster Bar, where I ordered Sasha Petraske’s anise-scented hot toddy, with bourbon, lemon and a hit of cinnamon. Bliss. My head cleared, my throat, which felt like I had swallowed barbed wire, was soothed and the flavors were both comforting and bold enough to cut through the fact that my nose had gone on strike.
So when I was testing out my new iPad App, the Food52 Holiday Recipe and Survival Guide, and saw that there was a recipe for a Hot Toddy (rye, raw sugar, hot water, lime zest and dried cherries), I was sold. Food52‘s version is rye-based, and based on the handy step-by-step photo gallery, they used Tuthilltown Spirits’ rye. Good for them, that’s my favorite brand too. Normally I’m more into bourbon but I decided to try it out anyway and I’m glad I did. In place of lemon and cinnamon, Food52 chose lime zest and dried cherries as the aromatics. It still had a cheery holiday feel thanks to the aroma of the lime zest and booze-soaked cherries, and since I made it after coming in from the cold (admittedly not from shoveling snow but from holiday shopping), it really warmed me up. Next time I think I’ll try soaking the dried cherries in the rye before making the drink since their flavor didn’t quite come through like I thought it would. Bonus, though? It’s Christmas colored.
Fair warning? If you have more than one of these, it may increase your napping stamina.
As with all of Food52’s recipes, the editing is top-notch and makes it several thousand steps above most commercial apps in that the dishes are hard to mess up since they’ve been so thoroughly tested. I think what makes them so special is that they are at the same time very, very thorough in their recipe testing, and great at breaking recipes down into basic steps. The stunning photography doesn’t hurt, either. For an excerpt from the app, in which they walk you through a basic 3-minute gravy click here. You can buy the app here for $3.99.