I find it easy to match foods with wine and with beer, but harder to do so with cocktails. My big favorite pairing is a nice Martini with sushi or sashimi, particularly if one skips the traditional olive or lemon garnish for the drink and drops in a little pickled ginger instead.
But today I’m fighting a head cold. I did some air traveling the last week or so, and breathing the same air as hundreds of other weary humans almost always causes me to pick up a bug or two. I’m shocked to realize it, but gin plus raw fish sounds all wrong to me in this state. I need something soothing and sweet and altogether comforting.
Fortunately, this suggests a particular cocktail: the Hot Toddy. Toddies are my saviors when I’m under the weather, as the warmth soothes my throat and loosens nasty phlegm, the lemon revives my senses, and the whiskey numbs the pain. They are also perfect for cold, damp weather, like a rainy fall or winter afternoon.
2oz. bourbon or whiskey
squeeze of lemon juice
teaspoon of sugar
dash or two of orange bitters
Put the sugar, lemon, bitters, and bourbon in a 12 ounce mug or Irish coffee mug. Add boiling water to fill. Stir to combine, breathe in the healing vapors, and enjoy.
With my toddy, I’d love a fresh-from-the-oven oatmeal cookie. I often use the recipe below, which makes a flourless and super-chewy cookie that tastes slightly of cinnamon. The flavors go nicely with a warm, lemony toddy too.
Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
4T butter, softened
3/4 c firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 ts vanilla extract
2 1/2 c old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 ts baking powder
1 ts cinnamon
1/4 ts salt
Beat butter, borwn sugar, and granulated sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low, until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until thick and light.
In another medium bowl, mix oats, baking powder, and salt. Stir into butter mixture, blending thoroughly. IMPORTANT: Refrigerate batter for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Drop batter by measuring tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets.
Bake for 8 minutes or until edges are browned. cool on baking sheets for about 5 mintues. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 36 to 40 cookies.
Recipe adapted from Comfort Food by Holly Garrison (Dell Trade Paperback: New York, 1988).
Find more delicious food and cocktail pairings at Natalie’s Mixology Monday post.