Copper mugs have been having a moment lately, and you've no doubt got a beautiful set reserved for your winter sangria and the requisite Moscow Mule. But there's a whole world out there of heritage drinking cups made of unique materials - think pewter, stainless steel and tin - with a rich history behind them.
Tin cups in particular have a fascinating place in American culture, a tradition that kitchen and housewares maker Jacob Bromwell has been preserving since 1819, when the company produced its first one. Created without welding, soldering and rivets, Bromwell's tin cup is the epitome of sleek, functional design made beautiful in its simplicity.
Today, the company's Heritage Collection includes a piece made in the original tin, but the design is also available in stainless steel. Add an item like this to your collection, and you'll be imbibing from the same cup that Union soldiers were given in their mess kit during the Civil War. They used it for everything from coffee to water to cider, a drink popularized by the Colonists, who quickly found a way to turn that into brandy. Today, we don't have to ferment our own apples into cider, only to distill it and then age the results in oak barrels. Brandy of all stripes is infinitely available.
And there's just nothing quite like having it in hot toddy form, a classic warm drink imported to the American Colonies from the British, who themselves appropriated the idea from India. Originally, a toddy was simply hot water poured over Scotch whiskey, but the Colonists added brandy and rum.
Now, hot toddies are as creatively crafted as any other drink. However, no matter which variation you find in your mug, the expectations are the same: the toddy must have a spirit base to which hot water is added. And there's the drink's reputation for being medicinal, a kind of cold cure-all, which is why it pops up on so many seasonal menus. Who could argue with the intoxicating fragrance of whiskey, lemon and honey when they're under the weather? Not us.
In that spirit, we give you Bon Appétit's Honey-Bourbon Toddy recipe. Serve it in your Jacob Bromwell tin cup for the full experience.
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup hot water
6 tablespoons bourbon or Apple Bourbon
2 3x1/2' strips lemon peel
2 cinnamon sticks
Stir honey and water in a 2-cup measuring cup until honey dissolves. Add bourbon (or better yet, Apple Bourbon, in which case you'll use 1 Tbsp. honey). Divide between 2 Toddy glasses. Twist a strip of lemon peel over each drink, then add to glass. Stir each with a cinnamon stick and serve.
To make Apple Bourbon, combine a 750-ml bottle of bourbon, 4 cored, sliced Fuji apples, and 4 cinnamon sticks in a pitcher. Cover; chill for 3 days. Strain and sip of use in recipe above.