Our corner of Montana is ready for the winter holidays. We love the winter so much, we’re celebrating it with three curated specials.
December ushers in snowshoeing treks, UTV tours and sleigh rides. In between activities, there are opportunities to enjoy our “winter warmers.” These hot drinks quench a cocktail-hour thirst, and they heat the body thoroughly, so you won’t miss a herd of migrating elk or a silvery sunset.
Montanans serve and share a variety of winter cocktails. If we had time, we’d track down our favorite holiday recipes for Alpines, Irish Coffees, Tom & Jerry’s, Spiced Mulled Wine, Hot Buttered Rum, Hot Rum Punch and more—and maybe we will. For now, we’ll start with a classic, the Homestead Hot Toddy, served for winter holidays at our bonfire cocktail hour or in the Silver Dollar Saloon.
“Homestead Hot Toddy” denotes the fact that toddy recipes are often family favorites, passed through the generations as a winter holiday drink or a cure-all for the common cold. Here’s a quick tour through this simple recipe, starting a few centuries back. Several sources say the original hot toddy came from Scotland. It may have been a way to flavor strong, smoky Scotch for drinkers who didn’t like bold spirits.
Every night at five PM, Guests are invited to gather around the fire in our Granite Lodge’s Great Room for a craft hot toddy and other inventive cocktails made by Bar Manager Ned Derosier. Montana Honey Moonshine is made with three Montana grains and a special kind of molasses—a sort of a whisky and rum hybrid. Wüstner Brothers Montana honey is harvested from beehives that are isolated in the creek drainages of the Sapphire Mountains, between The Ranch and Missoula.
Homestead Hot Toddy
1 ½ oz. Willie’s Distillery Montana Honey Moonshine
1/2 oz. Wustner Brothers honey
2 lemon wedges (approx 1/2 oz. of lemon juice)
6 oz. piping hot water
- Pour in 1 ½ ounces of Willie’s Distillery Montana Honey Moonshine into a toddy mug.
- Add in 1/2 ounce of Montana honey.
- Squeeze the juice of two lemon wedges.
- Add six oz. of piping hot water.
- Garnish with a lemon wedge. Stir with a cinnamon stick.
Like The Ranch’s winter season, the Homestead Hot Toddy is filled with exceptional ingredients, a touch of history and some local charm.