Archives for posts with tag: toddy

The Grog Dog is not a sentimental type; even after lapping up one too many cocktails, I won’t be howling over texts from an ex. But everyone has their emotional weakness, and cheeky word-humor is one of mine: Post a sly pun on my Facebook feed and I’ll follow you anywhere.

It was over beers with a friend – of one of the many brands specializing in name-puns – that I was reminded of “the language of flowers”, or floriography: a means of sending silent messages to friends, enemies, and lovers using blossoms that had specific, well known meanings. While flowers had been a staple of romantic communication for centuries, their cryptographic use became wildly popular in England and the U.S. during the repressed Victorian era.

Red_Rose_Wiki commons

Strict social mores precluded young sweethearts, for example, from writing or speaking their ardor. To transmit their feelings or indicate their preferences, they would give, hold, or arrange specific blooms in accordance with floral dictionaries, so their intended recipient would know their meaning. Even the scent of certain love flowers, discreetly daubed on a handkerchief, could speak volumes to a suitor.

After imbibing a few brews chosen for their clever names rather than their flavors (I can’t resist a good pun or a bad one), I wondered whether cocktails might also be used to subtly communicate certain sentiments – specifically, cocktail names. Like stringing together an entire story with emojis, cocktail messaging could become a new bar craze among literary types… Cocktail EmojiOr introverts, who may not wish to be approached by a boozed-up barfly, but could carry on a (very) quiet conversation with that other single who has a sophisticated drink and a Kindle, and understand each other perfectly.

Let me be clear: I am not talking about the cocktails that proliferated during what the Corpse Reviver of the American cocktail, David Wondrich, called the Dark Ages: the Sex on the Beach, the Slippery Nipple, the Slow Comfortable Screw, etc. (I refuse to provide links; if you must, look them up yourself.) As he noted in an Esquire column, “those drinks resist craft”. They also resist taste, subtlety, and class.

To make the cocktail-name-conversation thought experiment a little simpler, and classier, I went back to Victorian times – or at least pre-Prohibition – to imagine a more romantic scene.

1st round: Jack Rose, Margarita

2nd round: ManhattanBrooklyn

3rd round: Tuxedo, Champagne Cocktail

blueblazer.it4th round: Hot ToddyMaiden’s Blush

5th round: Hanky Panky, Morning Glory

6th round: Old FashionedBijou

7th round: Scofflaw, White Lady

8th round: South SideTom Collins

9th round: Blue BlazerLast Word

Final round: Turf ClubMerry Widow

While the game is obviously much more fun when your cocktail companion knows you’re playing, you can amuse yourself for hours (or until you hit your limit) using your drink order to comment on life and the world in the moment. mutt-ropolitan-opera-calendar_merry-widow_operatoonityA friend of mine shakes up a Merry Widow when she’s particularly annoyed with her husband… Which may not change his habits, but fortifies her for the next round.

 

 

 

Image credits: Red Rose – Wikicommons; Martini Emoji – emojipedia.org; Blue Blazer – Blueblazer.it; The Merry Widow – Operatoonity.com

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The GrogDog believes in the healing power of alcohol – after all, it kills germs when applied topically, so why not from the inside? Earlier this winter I posted a recipe for a bourbon toddy that has several cold-busting elements: lemon juice (vitamin C), honey (soothes the throat), warming hot water (it’s important to hydrate!), and of course alcohol to induce rest and beat that cold into submission.

Another cold-fighting super-ingredient is ginger. Though it has been used for millennia as an all-purpose tonic, ginger is hot again (pun intended), for its spicy flavor and versatility as much as its medicinal properties.

Ginger is also a popular base for liqueurs and cocktail ingredient, and while it makes many delicious drinks, I consider its best use a cold-fighting toddy booster. Its flavor marries well with bourbon, rye, gin, or rum, so you can choose your base according to taste.

To double or triple the ginger mojo, layer in a slice or two of fresh ginger and/or sweeten your toddy with ginger syrup.

Image credit: TummyRumble.Hultberg.org

Image credit: TummyRumble.Hultberg.org

Ginger Toddy

2 oz bourbon, rum, rye, or gin

1 oz ginger liqueur (Domaine de Canton or other brand)

1 oz ginger syrup* (substitute honey if you’re too exhausted to make syrup, or you have a sore throat)

1 oz fresh lemon juice (if using rum, try fresh lime juice instead)

Fresh ginger slice (optional)

Boiling water

Stir all ingredients in a sturdy mug. Sip slowly while bundled up in warm pajamas and wooly socks.

Image credit: Imgur

Image credit: Imgur

*Ginger syrup: Boil 1 cup each sugar and water with a handful of slices of fresh peeled ginger. Stir to dissolve sugar; remove from heat, cover and let steep until completely cool. Strain into a clean jar; store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Note: Bundled-up dog image is for illustrative purposes only. Please do not give your dog a toddy, or any alcohol, any time, for any reason.