Hot Toddy

It's a sophisticated St. Paddy's Day sip

St. Patrick’s Day might be a reason to drink, but it’s no excuse to drink badly. Green cocktails are usually a poor choice (crème de menthe and Chartreuse, anyone?), and why gulp green beer when you can drink Guinness and Smithwick’s instead?

That’s Peter McElvanna’s take, anyway. A native of Ireland, McElvanna moved to the U.S. twenty years ago and opened The Coopers Tavern in 2010. Although he insists Coopers isn’t an Irish bar—“That’s across the Square,” he says, referring to Brocach—McElvanna does stock eighteen Irish whiskeys, including Connemara, Michael Collins and Tullamore Dew.

The latter is what shows up in Coopers’s Hot Toddy, a blend of Wisconsin honey, peaty whiskey, a little lemon, hot water and cloves. It’s perfect in cold, wet weather—e.g., early spring in Ireland or Wisconsin—and beats a green cocktail any day. If you make one on St. Patrick’s Day, resist the urge to add food coloring. Or don’t; it’ll still taste delicious.

RECIPE: Hot Toddy

Hot water
1 tsp. honey
1 1/2 oz. Irish whiskey, such as Tullamore Dew
Lemon wedge studded with whole cloves

Warm a glass mug by filling it with hot water; dump out after thirty seconds. Add honey and whiskey to glass, stir, and top with more hot water. Garnish with lemon wedge.

Recipe courtesy of The Coopers Tavern, 20 W. Mifflin St., 256-1600,

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