When the weather outside is frightful, you need something delightful. Just stop into one of Connecticut’s many pubs, bars and taverns, ask for a hot toddy and then warm up from the inside out. While there are many variations on the recipe for a hot toddy, the most popular calls for black or green tea with honey, lemon and a splash or two of whiskey, brandy or rum. Try it on January 11, National Hot Toddy Day!
105 Greenmanville Ave.
Mystic, CT 06355
If anyone knows about good hot toddies, it would be the men who sail the seas and come to port on a winter’s eve. It’s no surprise, therefore, that others will followed their lead, which takes people directly to Latitude 41 in Mystic. Set in a tavern that has the feel of an English pub, this warm mahogany-polished tavern welcomes one and all to taste the hot toddies made famous by Anthony, the beverage guru at Latitude 41. He has two special hot toddies. One is the Trick or Treacle and the other is The Morrigan. His secret in the Halloween-inspired recipes is that he uses hot apple cider instead of water and then adds the rum. Mystic has been famous for its use of rum since revolutionary times. The Morrigan will really warm your heart with its clove honey, Glenfiddich scotch, hot apple cider, limoncello and fused whipped cream.
84 Main St.
Torrington, CT 06790
When people are hot in a desert, they look for an oasis. When they’re cold, wet and thirsty, they head to Backstage in Torrington. Not only is the bar warm and welcoming, the hot toddies are so delicious that people linger long and don’t want to leave. Zach the bartender said hot toddies with whiskey are his most-ordered variety. This restaurant and bar is aptly named because it is connected to the Warner Theater. It is almost literally backstage.
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53 N. Main Street
Kent, CT 06757
With the fire burning brightly in the fireplace and a piano playing in the background, you know you’ve come to a toasty warm refuge when you enter the Fife ‘n Drum in Kent. While everyone loves to come in from the cold and order a nice hot toddy, at this fully equipped bar, the bartender prepares the hot toddy to order. “I make it the way people want it,” said Lucy who tends bar at the locale. “Some people want it with tea, some people want it with a little tea and some want it with no tea,” she said with a laugh. While there is no gender restrictions with a hot toddy, according to Lucy, tea-toting ladies outnumber the men who drink up the warm brew.
50 Trumbull St.
Hartford, CT 06103
If you want your toddy hot and your bar hip, then head on over to Trumbull Kitchen. This is an upscale place where warm conversation with bartender Tara melts over you with the first sip of her warm concoction. “We use an ounce and a half of Jameson, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and then whatever brew the customer wants,” said Tara, who added that hot toddies are ordered more often when someone is fighting off a cold or feeling under the weather.
539 Broad St.
Hartford, CT 06106
Nothing gets around faster than the reputation of a mean hot toddy. Word on the street is that Sam at the Firebox mixes up one heck of hot toddy. Also just to clarify, Sam is a she. Spiro, the general manager of the restaurant and tavern, revealed the bar’s hot toddy secret. He said, “We use fresh-grown local products in the restaurant as well as in the tavern. Therefore our hot toddies are made with local honey. We’re at the forefront of artisan cocktail hours. Our mixologists base their hot toddies on classic recipes, which include the honey, the hand-squeezed lemon, cloves, cinnamon, hot water and a nice dark bourbon or whiskey. Customers know Sam and all our mixologists by name because they have great personalities.“