Winter has officially hit Nebraska. We had our first snowfall last week and the cold has been lingering ever since.
Today’s Bottle Chronicles takes us to Scotland, for a fresh take on the classic toddy. Part cocktail, part cold remedy, toddies are revered for their ability to warm the soul on a chilly day and, some believe, relieve cold and flu symptoms. The jury’s still out on their therapeutic qualities, but they do taste great on a cold winter night.
A toddy can be any alcohol mixed with hot water, honey, citrus and spices. Keeping with the season, I decided to combine red pear with Belle de Brillet, a sweet pear-infused cognac, along with bourbon, cinnamon and star anise.
To make each bottle of Belle de Brillet, twenty pounds of fresh pears are picked at peak ripeness, macerated and combined with Brillet Cognac Eau de Vie from the French region of Cognac.
I set a kettle of water on the stove to boil, and pureed a ripe red pear with water until smooth. If you a desire a finer texture, feel free to use a juicer or strain your puree through a fine sieve or cheesecloth.
As the water comes to a boil, combine the pear puree, Belle de Brillet, bourbon, cinnamon stick and star anise in a mug. Top with boiling water and sweeten to taste with honey or agave nectar. For a little extra cold-fighting power, add a squeeze of lemon.
There’s nothing like a hot, boozy beverage to drive the winter away. Enjoy!
- 1 ripe pear, core removed and cut into chunks
- 1 Tablespoon water, if needed
- 1½ ounces Belle de Brillet
- 1½ ounces bourbon
- 4 ounces boiling water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- Honey or agave nectar, to taste
- Lemon, to taste
- Puree the pear with water (if needed) until smooth. Strain into a mug.
- Stir in Belle de Brillet and bourbon.
- Add 4 ounces boiling water and lemon and honey to taste.
- Garnish with cinnamon stick and star anise.
- Serve immediately.