I know it still seems sunny out, and you’re going to see the occasional shorts and sandal combo throughout the rest of this month, but I am here to tell you — Autumn is coming. You can feel it in the air on your way to the subway, when the early morning no longer smells like hot garbage but instead the crisp promise of crunchy leaves. Perhaps, if you’re a certain kind of person (I’m pretty sure you’re not), you’ve already imbibed a pumpkin spice latte or picked up some pumpkin beers and consumed them while watching football and eating wings. The point is, even though we might be jumping the gun a little, it’s almost fall and that means it’s hot toddy time.
For the uninitated, a hot toddy is simply whiskey, hot water, honey and some spices — cloves and cinnamon are most common, though I’m sure there are adventurous cocktail artists out there who experiement. Hot toddys are the perfect thing for pretty much any cold weather activity, including sitting in front of a fire, either outdoors or inside and watching your friends careen down mountains at ski resorts while you safely — and wisely — sit in the lodge. Yeah, we know. The leaves haven’t changed yet, but you’ll thank us for these recommendations once the sun goes down. Here’s a list of where to get a nice hot toddy in Brooklyn.
The Drink in Williamsburg specializes in punch — imagine jungle juice from your cloudy college days, but with high quality, unusual and delicious ingredients. It’s no surprise, then, that this dark, cozy joint does a nice interpretation of the hot toddy, subbing in belly-warming brandy for whiskey. 228 Manhattan Avenue
There’s an inn in the center of my hometown that claims to be the oldest inn in America. Sometimes, when we all go home for Thanksgiving, we meet in the dark and low-ceilinged back room of this place and have a couple of beers before shuffling off to our parents’ place. Walking into Reclamation gives me the same kind of vibe — dark, old-timey and vaguely Revolutionary War-era. It’s the kind of place you’d think does a killer hot toddy, and you’d be absolutely right. 817 Metropolitan Avenue
Cobble Hill staple Char No. 4 does things to pork that you really need to witness to understand in full and also happens to serve a delightful interpretation of the cold weather classic that involves maple syrup. Sit at the bar, read a book and listen to the wind whip down Smith Street. 196 Smith Street
If you find yourself wandering around Crown Heights, in desperate, aching need for a place to sit and a warm drink, take yourself to the Crown Inn, where you will find a really nice, expertly curated cocktail menu, great ambiance and a fantastic hot toddy. Treat yourself, it’s pre-fall. 724 Franklin Avenue
You can do a lot of things at Union Hall — see a show in the basement, play endless games of bocce ball — but this place will let you truly live your best hot toddy life. There are easy chairs and fireplaces(non-functioning, but still) and tall bookshelves full of dusty leather volumes, so I really can’t think of anywhere else to enjoy one of these seasonal beverages. 702 Union Street