The ultimate hot (or cold) toddy

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The ultimate hot (or cold) toddy

It’s winter. Flu is a thing. Bolster yourself against the onslaught of germs with a two-pronged approach: alcohol and citrus. Because, vitamins

Make ours a zinger!

Do the (lemon) twist

Sure, it lends a certain old-school charm to a tipple, but a citrus twist also serves the purpose of flavouring your cocktail.

This is how you do it: run a veggie peeler around a lemon at its widest point until you have a piece about 6 cm long. Neaten the edges with a paring knife, then hold an end in each hand. Twist the peel with the rind side down, so the oils are released into your cocktail, then drop the peel into the drink.

The (kindred) spirits

Sipped prophylactically, a tot or more of these classic citrus liqueurs is half the battle won.

Cointreau: The grand daddy of citrus liqueurs, Cointreau was born in the mid-nineteenth century when confectioner Adolphe Cointreau and his brother Edouard-Jean blended sweet and bitter orange peels with pure alcohol. You’ll know it as a building block of classic cocktails such as margaritas, sidecars and cosmos, but it’s satisfying in its own distinct bittersweet way, sipped neat over ice as an apéritif.

Grand Marnier: This cognac-based bitter orange spirit was created by Frenchman Louis-Alexandre Marnier- Lapostolle in 1880. It is said to have been stocked at the bar on the Titanic, chosen by legendary chef Esco er as the main ingredient in crêpes Suzette and Grand Marnier sou é, and is the most widely exported French liqueur today. We like it because sipping it feels like getting a warm hug from the inside.

Shrub’s up: The recipe

To be clear, we’re not talking about the leafy variety that requires pruning. The shrub – a blend of fruit, sugar and vinegar – is the secret weapon in the barsenal of the contemporary mixologist, adding complexity and depth of flavour to cocktails.

There are two ways to make it: hot (simmering fruit in sugar syrup) or cold (macerating chopped fruit in sugar), both requiring a tot of vinegar and a good strain at the end.

We gave the cold method a whirl and, hey zesto, we think we have a winner:

1. Mix 2 chopped medium-sized lemons and 200 g sugar. Muddle the mixture and let it stand at room temperature in a jar for 2 days – shaking it whenever you walk past.
2. Add ½ cup white wine vinegar, combining well, then strain. In a glass, combine 1 tot whisky, ½ tot lemon shrub, a dash of Angostura bitters and soda water to taste.
3. Take two and call us in the morning.

Annette Klinger Article by: Annette Klinger

Woolworths TASTE’s features writer maintains that almost any dish can be improved with butter and cream. She’s a stickler for comfort food, especially German treats that remind her of her late grandmother, such as pork schnitzel with sauerkraut and spätzlen. She is a voracious reader of food magazines and recipe books, and instinctively switches over to the cooking channel whenever she checks into a hotel or guesthouse.

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