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Hot Scotch

Cocktail Hour with Lentine Alexis

The Hot Toddy isn’t the only cozy cocktail in town. This ginger-maple warmer made with whiskey and scotch will warm you right up after a day in the snow or the trail. It’s super simple to make it on your tailgate (you’ll want to simmer your water with the infusions,) but you could also batch it up and carry it to the trail to sip under the stars (or, in the sunshine.) The directions below tell you how!


makes two cocktails

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1” knob fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced crosswise OR ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 4 oz. whisky
  • Juice of one very juicy lemon (or two less-juicy lemons)
  • 1 oz. single malt Scotch (optional)
  • 2 pieces candied ginger or lemon slices, to serve (optional)
  • 2 slices of lemon, for serving


  1. Bring maple syrup, sliced ginger, and 2.5 cups water to a simmer in a medium saucepan on the stovetop or portable stove over medium heat. Reduce heat and cook at a bare simmer, until the water has reduced by roughly ¾ cup – 10-15 minutes depending on your altitude and ambient temperature. Remove the pot from the heat (or turn the heat off,) then remove the ginger and set the water aside.
  2. Divide the whisky, lemon juice and single malt scotch between two mugs. Divide the warm maple-ginger mixture between the mugs and garnish with a lemon slice. If you’re feeling fancy, top with a piece of candied ginger.


To make your syrup and assemble cocktails on-site

Proceed with step 1, then transfer your maple-ginger mixture to a portable container to rewarm on-site, or in a thermos to simply divide and assemble on site. Don’t forget to pack your mugs, whisky, scotch, a lemon, and a pocket knife!


To batch your cocktails and take them to the trail

Proceed with step 1 but instead of dividing the cocktail ingredients in step 2, place all of the whisky, scotch, and lemon in the saucepan. Warm very gently over low heat just until the mixture is slightly warmer than body temperature  (don’t simmer as the lemon will change flavors!) Then transfer the entire mixture to a thermos. Drop the lemon slices in there too, if you wish. Don’t forget to pack your mugs!

Lentine Alexis is a former professional endurance athlete & classically trained chef. The former Culinary Director at Skratch Labs, she uses a real-food philosophy to create recipes for athletes and everyone looking to eat well and adventure better. Find more recipes and info on her upcoming cookbook for athletes at lentinealexis.com, or follow her @lentinealexis.