When the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, one of the best ways to take the chill out of your bones is by sipping a warm cider hot toddy. At the Old Guard House Inn (953 Youngsford Road, Gladwyne; 610-649-9708, guardhouseinn.com), bartender Joe Belza’s version is made with Tuaca, a slightly sweet Italian liquor rich with hints of vanilla and orange. Less jarring than whiskey, Tuaca’s mellow flavors shine when combined with warm cider. But spiced rum or bourbon makes a fine substitute—or trade out the cider for a spiced tea blend. The cider should be as hot as coffee, so if you’re making a round of the stuff, be sure to keep it warm in an insulated pitcher.
Joe Belza’s Caramel Apple Pie
(Makes one cocktail)
Ingredients: 2 oz. Tuaca Italian liquor • 5-6 oz. hot apple cider • cinnamon powder
• 3/4 oz. butterscotch schnapps • whipped cream • caramel sauce
Directions: Pour Tuaca and schnapps into an Irish coffee mug. Add hot apple cider until liquid is just below the rim of the glass. Top the drink with whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of caramel sauce.