Stirred and Shaken

Following the smell of wood smoke, I come upon an old Persian carpet spread out under wooden chairs in front of a fireplace. I select a rickety table not too close and not too far from the fire. A blond in a cable-knit sweater is complaining about how crowded Aspen is this time of year. The Black Labrador [4100 Montrose, (713)529-1199] is a little fancier than the pubs where I usually hang out, but it was highly recommended for a hot toddy. And tonight I need a hot toddy. Call me a hypochondriac, but I think this little cold I have is turning into walking pneumonia.

Black Lab's hot toddy: A couple of shots of Bushmills and a splash of hot water with a lemon wedge garnish, this is a purist's hot toddy. No cinnamon sticks, no orange rinds, just a shot of honey in a cordial glass, served on the side. The word "toddy" is said to have been coined by British sailors as a corruption of the Hindi word tari, which means palm tree sap, the source of an Asian alcoholic beverage.

2 shots Bushmills Irish Whiskey
Hot water
Lemon wedge

Pour the shots into an Irish coffee glass or mug. Add the water, and garnish with a lemon wedge. Serve the honey on the side in a cordial glass. Yields one.

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The Black Labrador Pub

4100 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006


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