Heating Up 

The only equation you need for great winter drinking 

| National   Drinks | Kaitlyn Goalen

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See our hot toddy ratio trick in action

Four, two, one. Commit it to memory.

It's the equation that'll provide you with delicious mug-worthy cocktails all winter long.

At the simplest end of the spectrum, the ratio makes a classic hot toddy: four parts hot water, two parts whiskey, one part sugar. You can stop there and sip happily.

But intrepid drinkers will find that swapping in other spirits, sweeteners and hot liquids will result in endlessly exciting (and warm) drinking.

Drawing on an amaro-based hot drink we tried at New York's Dell' Anima, we tried our ratio using four parts cinnamon tea to two parts amaro to one part elderflower liqueur, which had enough sweetness to stand in for sugar. Spicy, flora, and bitter, it took the toddy in a dark and delicious direction.

And taking cues from Todd Thrasher's apple cider Sidecar, on the menu at Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Virginia, we made a round with hot apple cider, applejack and Cointreau.

Watch a video of our CEO and Editor in Chief getting creative with a few variants, then try a few yourself.

Watch a Hot Toddy Video
See the 2012 Best Cocktails
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