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Tavern on the Hill

The Tavern Totty

Tavern on the Hill

900 Cathedral St., (410) 230-5400, tavernonthehillmtvernon.com

Jeff Levy, the bar manager at Tavern on the Hill, wasn't too keen on offering a standard hot toddy, but he fielded so many requests for the classic cocktail that he felt compelled to come up with something. Levy was already concocting a lavender-honey-lemon syrup for a rum drink when he thought of using the same flavor profile in the classic tea-based nightcap. "You could use rail [whiskey] and you won't taste the difference because the syrup drowns out a lot of the alcohol." You can smell the Tavern Totty ($8) from across the bar, and a sip of it might throw you back to childhood-when your mom dumped loads of lemon and sugar into the teacup to smooth over the tea's bitterness. All said and done, the drink-more warm than hot-contains unexpected cider notes, and tastes kind of like sweet tea crossed with a cough drop. The bourbon comes out in its warmth. This tweak on the hot toddy is deliberately simple, so it's user-friendly for home bartenders. "Lavender syrup-that's the only thing that will really change it; you can find that online," Levy says. He uses regular Lipton tea in the Tavern Totty, though he recommends using a floral tea for those mixing at home.

INGREDIENTS

1 ounce honey

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1/2 ounce simple syrup

1/2 ounce lemon juice

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3/4 ounce lavender syrup

1 1/2 ounces bourbon

1 tea bag hot water

lemon garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Pour honey, syrup, lemon juice, lavender syrup, and bourbon into a mug. Add hot water, then tea bag. Let tea steep. Garnish with lemon.

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