labeled cocktail

Sunday is the Superbowl and this year it’s in Arizona where the current temperature is a rainy 61 degrees. But by Sunday the skies will clear and the temperature should be a nice, mild 72. In other words completely and totally not cold. But unlike Arizona and California, the rest of the country will be watching the big game in chilly if not down right cold weather, making it the perfect occasion for a nice warm drink.

Of course most people drink beer during the big game, so why am I talking about warm cocktails? Well, because back in the 30’s there was a cocktail that was not only warm, but was also made with beer, making it the ideal choice for Sunday’s big game. It’s called a Copenhagen or Beer Toddy.

I know it doesn’t sound like it will work, I mean warm beer mixed with sugar and (gulp) an egg yolk? Blech! But let me tell you, it’s actually pretty, damn good. And I. Don’t. Drink. Beer. But it’s warm and soothing and makes you want to curl up under a blanket. It actually reminds me of one of those wonderful after-dinner coffee drinks you’d find at a nice restaurant or in an Alpine ski lodge.

It’s so tasty in fact, frankly I’m surprised I’d never heard of the drink before. But Charles H. Baker’s Gentleman’s Companion changed that. Although Baker doesn’t mention when or how the cocktail was created, he does refer to the cocktail as a “Hot Helper” because “when a man is wet and chilled through… (this cocktail) will in 5 short minutes recall him from being a sorry and useless thing into restoration as a warm-hearted homebody, kind to dogs, children, wives and even landlords.”

Speaking as someone who can be a bit bitchy crabby when she’s freezing cold and forced to drink beer, this cocktail brought a smile to my face; so much so that even Deflategate couldn’t get me down.

close up



  • 1 (12 oz.) bottle of dark Bavarian beer
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • nutmeg (optional)


  1. Pour the beer into a small sauce pan and simmer over low heat until nice and toasty.
  2. While the beer is warming, whisk together the yolk and sugar. Pour the yolk mixture into a mug.
  3. Add the warm beer, dust with nutmeg (if you’re using it) and serve.