I meant to post again sooner, but, alas, life had other plans. Those plans, in no particular order, included: helping my friends make flower magic happen on 3 weddings, hosting my in-laws for 4 days, building a chicken tractor with my long-suffering husband, visiting the Biltmore estate for the first time since I was 16 and delighting in the Vanderbilt’s contribution to the establishment of the Pisgah national forest, writing 3 chapters for my “Raising Chickens” book, visiting an apple orchard with my grandmother and mom, tending to an injured chicken, making a pumpkin cake with brown butter and caramelized walnuts (thanks Martha!) for my brother, baking goodies for my friend Nicole’s fabulous birthday party (there was a 5-person accordion performance-need I say more?), buying firewood, and breaking in my new autumn coat. I also realized during this period that I am considerably less reclusive than I had imagined myself to be. I suppose I’d taken all my work-related social interactions for granted.
To that end, I decided to “take back the social” and have ramped up girlfrienderly get-togethers. Which is how I came across the best Hot Toddy ever at local watering hole The Admiral. In all honesty, it is the only hot toddy I have ever had, and so, having no others to compare it to, the odds in its favor were considerably high. Nevertheless, this drink was good. Really good. Warm your toes, your tongue, and your belly good. What separates this hot toddy from the rest, I’ve since learned, is the inclusion of apple cider. And so, in the spirit of all things local and toe-warming as the weather chills and the stock market plunges, I encourage you to pick up a jug of apple cider(preferably from a nearby orchard), select your favorite bourbon, find a source of local honey (great for sweetening things up AND for keeping seasonal allergies in check!), and hoist a glass.
Hot Apple Cider Toddy:
-3/4 c. fresh apple cider
-2 oz. bourbon or whiskey
-1 Tbsp. honey
-2 tsp. lemon juice
-pinch of ground cinnamon
*Warm the apple cider. Drizzle honey into bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add cider, bourbon, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. The top of the cocktail shaker may pop off a bit at the beginning as the contents expand from the warmed cider, so you may want to shake container over a sink. Strain contents into a glass and serve!