Back to Liquid

Where to find a Hot Toddy in Tacoma and Olympia

Including where to warm up in a dark little pocket of the bar

Sailor Jerry and housemade hot buttered rum mix meet at Quality Burrito in downtown Olympia. Photo credit: Nikki McCoy

Recommend Article
Total Recommendations (0)
Clip Article Email Article Print Article Share Article

Ah, winter in the South Sound, when the wet and cold finally get to us, cutting through layers of rain gear and wool socks to spore viruses and respiratory infections into the lungs and sinuses of even the hardiest of souls.

So on an especially congested night, when your chest is rattling with the promise of a cough explosion at any time, with a groggy voice and sinus-induced headache, when you probably should be in bed, but already have been for four days, when a cup of gypsy cold care tea and another re-run of Modern Family just won't cut it, may we suggest exploring another remedy.

Drink a Hot Toddy.

Believed to have evolved from the toddy drink in India, the Hot Toddy is created through a process of fermenting sap from palm trees and has been revered for its healing properties for centuries. The Hot Toddy is typically made from boiling water, sugars like honey or brown sugar, spices like cinnamon, clove or ginger, fresh lemon and brandy or whiskey.

In How to Drink, Victoria Moore describes the healing properties of the Hot Toddy as "the vitamin C for health, the honey to soothe, the alcohol to numb."

"The first thing that happens is that it warms your hands, and when you bring the drink to your face, that alcohol and citrus oil steam through your sinuses, seeming to clear your head," said craft bartender Bradford Knutson in a Facebook conversation. "The warm liquid with the honey soothes your throat, and finally the warmed alcohol seems to absorb quickly and help you sleep."

And across the world, many cold sufferers describe it as "damn good."

In the South Sound, there are plenty of bars happy to offer up the medicine of a Hot Toddy.

In Olympia, Cryptatropa (421 Fourth Ave.) offers a ginger version. Not only can you heal in hiding, in a dark little pocket of the bar nestled into a crook of a wooden booth, you can do so with a remedy that includes Old Crow bourbon, muddled lemon, steaming hot water and house-made ginger syrup.

And oh, the ginger syrup is good. It's strong and sweet and spicy and bold and warming all at once, without overbearing the booze and lemon. Plus, it aids in circulation and combats inflammation, coughs and sore throats. And rumor has it that this version is made with a little black magic.

While the Cryptatropa drink is amazing, there are many bars across the South Sound willing to whip up a healing Hot Toddy. Here's a quick list to get you started:

Quality Burrito, 113 Fourth Ave., Olympia, 360.352.7292

4th Ave Tavern, 210 Fourth Ave., Olympia, 360.786.1444

Dirty Oscar's Annex, 2309 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.572.0588

Social Bar and Grill, 1715 Dock St., Tacoma, 253.301.3835

comments powered by Disqus

Site Search