Hot Buttered Fernet

Admittedly, I'm not much for enduring cold, winter nights - I'm a Southern girl and we like it hot. But I do love the idea of warming up with a "hot toddy". And by that I simply mean a hot cocktail, not the original Hot Toddy that usually involves some kind of whiskey and tales of miraculous powers for fending off cold and flu - at least that's what my grandmother said.

Drinking something that is both hot and imbibed has an immediately comforting effect when you're literally chilled to the bone in my opinion.

However, when it comes to actual drink recipes I realize I only have a few. Well, one really - hot buttered rum. The other "recipes" entail adding something alcoholic to something piping hot - like Baileys in coffee, or brandy in hot apple cider or Kahlúa in hot chocolate.

While all of these will get the job done, I still think my hot toddy repertoire needs a little lift - I need something a bit more complex, more sophisticated.

I am thrilled to stumble upon this article in SFGate which fits the bill perfectly, and it gives me another excuse to crack open that bottle of Fernet-Branca I bought for another recipe a few weeks ago.

Hot Buttered Fernet

Adapted from a recipe by Bradford Scott Knutson, Swing Wine Bar in Olympia, Wash.

  • 3/4 ounce Fernet Branca
  • 3/4 ounce Laird's Applejack
  • 1/2 ounce apricot liqueur
  • 6 ounces apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon spiced butter (see below)

Instructions: Combine all the ingredients, except the butter, in a saucepan; heat. Pour into a coffee cup, add the spiced butter, and stir well.

Spiced butter: Blend together 1/4 pound (1 cube) butter, 4 teaspoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and a pinch salt. Wrap in plastic and store in the refrigerator.

Still feeling chilly and need a few more ideas? Try these.