I know the holidays are over but it’s still cold outside. When I’m cold I like drinking (or eating) something hot, something comforting; and nothing is more comforting than a hot cocktail. Okay, maybe mac & cheese.
I used to think that once the holidays were over there was no need for hot cocktails anymore. But then I remembered all the times I went skiing, which was usually in January and February, well after the menorahs and Christmas trees were packed away, and at the end of a long day on the slopes, I’d always order something hot with a shot (or two) of alcohol. So, I figured if I did it then, why not do it now? While I usually prefer an Irish Coffee or hot chocolate with Bailey’s, I’m always willing to try a new hot beverage, especially if citrus juice is an ingredient. So you can imagine my joy when I discovered Esky’s Hot Spot.
No, it’s not a happenin’ club. It’s actually a hot cocktail from 1935. Evidently a couple guys decided to put out a cocktail book comprised of some of the famous elite’s favorite beverages. So, they sent a questionnaire out to well known writers of the time and asked what they chose to drink when they went out. The Hot Spot was Arnold Gingrich’s contribution. (He was Esquire Magazine‘s founder.) While I’m not sure if Gingrich came up with the beverage’s moniker, I can tell you he probably didn’t create the cocktail. See, back in the late 1890’s Finley Peter Dunne was quoted as saying that while whiskey “doesn’t sustain life, when taken hot with water, a lump of sugar, a piece of lemon peel, and just the dustin’ of a nutmeg-grater, it makes life sustainable”. Sounds pretty close to the Hot Spot, no?
Whoever came up with the cocktail, one thing’s for sure: it’s warm, comforting and the perfect way to end a bone-chilling day in front of the fire.
Esky’s Hot Spot
- 2 oz. Irish whiskey
- 1 sugar cube
- lemon peel
- 4 oz. hot water
- nutmeg (optional)
- Combine the whiskey, sugar cube and lemon peel in a mug.
- Add the boiling water and stir.
- Dust with nutmeg, if using, and serve.