Best Places To Get A Hot Toddy In The Peninsula

January 9, 2013 5:00 AM
January 11 is National Hot Toddy Day. If you have never had a hot toddy, the holidays are a natural time to introduce yourself to the drink’s warm aromas. The story goes that the drink was created in Scotland in the 18th century as a way to make the taste of Scotch whiskey more palatable to women. Evidently it worked, and the drink caught on well enough to be enjoyed ever since.

The hot toddy is a popular drink at ski resorts and inns and is often prepared at home. Here is a classic hot toddy recipe to try at home and enjoy with friends.

  • 1 ounce brandy, whiskey or rum
  • 1 ounce honey
  • 1/2 lemon slice with 2 cloves
  • Hot water
  • Cinnamon stick (optional)

Combine the alcohol, honey and lemon slice in a 10-ounce mug and add hot water to fill. Stir with a cinnamon stick if desired and enjoy. In spite of its name, a hot toddy is best served warm, not hot.

First and Main Sports Lounge
397 Main St.
Los Altos, CA 94022
(650) 949-1380

First and Main Sports Lounge offers a top-notch hot toddy made with Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, a touch of Grand Marnier and a squeeze of lime. The drink is one of several seasonal favorites at this popular bar and restaurant, where all cocktails are $8.50. First and Main is a true sports bar at heart that presents high-quality American cuisine for lunch and dinner weekdays, and brunch on weekends.

Related: Best Craft Beer Bars In The Peninsula

Barrelhouse Bar
305 California Drive
Burlingame, CA 94010
(650) 340-8642

Barrelhouse Bar is the sleek new spot in town that gets kudos for its very “city” feel, while being on the Peninsula. The hot toddy here, made with Bulleit Bourbon, is a popular cool-weather drink with a twist – a bit of ginger liqueur. The bar also adds honey water, lemon juice, a splash of Angostura orange bitters and finishes with a dash of cinnamon. A varied appetizer menu is available and brought in from Straits restaurant next door. A beautiful, cozy outdoor patio rounds out the ambiance here.

Martins West Gastropub
831 Main St.
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 366-4366

Martins West is a classic pub and restaurant, just as the title gastropub implies. This popular pub has a changing dinner menu and a late-night menu offered Thursday through Saturday. Its hot toddy is not on the seasonal cocktail list, but is made to order to a customer’s alcohol specifications, and the price depends on ingredients used. Check the pub website for extensive “grub & grog” details.

Menlo Grill Bistro & Bar
100 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
(650) 330-2790

This neighborhood restaurant, located in the Stanford Park Hotel, is close to Stanford University and a popular stop for both business travelers and tourists. The restaurant is known for its well-prepared American dishes; everything served is made with fresh, sustainable and healthy ingredients. The restaurant offers a full bar with cocktail specials that vary seasonally. The Menlo Grill hot toddy is made with scotch whiskey and is a classic cold-season presentation at $11.

Related: Best Singles Bars In The Peninsula

Melanie Graysmith is a freelance writer and artist based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. Melanie is a member of an independent filmmaking group and aims to spin her stories into film. Her work can be found at

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