I heard someone talking about an apple hot toddy. I have made regular hot toddies, but I’ve never made an apple version. Would I add cider, apple brandy, or something else? I would like to try making these on a cold evening in the near future.
If you want to make something that would strictly be a hot toddy, I think you need to use apple brandy. A hot toddy is “normally” just liquor and water with some flavorings (sugar or honey, lemon, and maybe some spices.) With your apple brandy hot toddy, I’d maybe add some baking spices to the sugar (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice) before adding the hot water and whiskey (in that order, to help the sugar dissolve) and finishing the drink with a lemon. You’ll want to use a fairly nice apple brandy, since hot water would make the harsher elements of lower-grade hooch much more evident. (Laird’s has a bonded version that would work, but otherwise I’d go with a Calvados.)
If you wanted to make a hot apple cider drink, you’d be going more for a mulled cider. I’ve done that in batches for Thanksgiving and other holiday parties. Wrap up a tablespoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves in a cheesecloth, steep that package in a pot full of apple cider over low heat over the stove, and then serve 4 oz. of that with a shot of either rum or brandy. Tons of bars have a crock pot behind them with just that sort of mulled cider bubbling away all day waiting for customers, and they sell tons of it. A pot of that would make your house smell great during a holiday or just a snow day at home.