The Perfect Hot Toddy Cocktail With a Saké Twist

Hot Toddy with a twist
"Hot Tadashi", hot toddy Credit. / Photo by: Tom Arena

Courtesy of Graham Fuze, for Two Ten Jack, Nashvillethis drink appears in Barantined: Recipes, Tips & Stories to Enjoy at Home, by Mike Wolf (Turner, 2021)

This play on the hot toddy created for a Nashville izakaya and ramen house came about as a clever way to use the restaurant’s hot saké machine.

“We’d never done anything with [hot saké] other than putting it into a cup,” says Graham Fuze, the bartender who invented it. “Building a hot toddy with the hot saké was surprisingly awesome. It popped in a nice way when the bitters and lemon were added to it. ”

As a dividend, Fuze would also leave a carafe of saké in front of guests, so they could replenish the drink as they sipped or build a second, lower-alcohol version with just the lemon peel steeped in the hot saké. “It creates an incredibly bright citrus flavor that’s so nice,” says Fuze.

Across the U.S., Traditional Saké Gets a Craft Spin


1½ ounces bourbon or Japanese whiskey
¼ ounce demerara simple syrup (1:1 demerara sugar to hot water)
¼ ounce lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Strip of lemon peel
3 ounces hot saké


Heat mug by filling with hot water then pouring water out.

To the warmed mug, add bourbon, simple syrup, lemon juice and bitters.

Twist lemon peel over the top to express oils, then drop it in glass.

Add hot saké.


How to Heat Saké

Few have access to a saké machine at home, so follow the advice of Wine Enthusiast Contributing Editor Anna Lee C. Iijima:

Warm saké gently yet swiftly, but don’t boil it.

“The best and most traditional method is to place a heat-safe vessel filled with saké in a hot-water bath,” she says.

“As a shortcut, microwave saké in 30-second intervals to avoid cooking it.”

Published on December 4, 2021