Ruga’s Hot Toddy at Memphis Cafe, Our Drink of (Last) Week!

Newsflash from Memphis Cafe: Their whiskey collection now tops 100. Huzzah! Our own Dave Mau showed me some of the goods, from the standard (Evan Williams, the Prince of the Bourbon Paupers) to some Texas jewel distilled somewhere next to bluebonnets in the Hill Country or something. But when Dave showed me around the collection, I was nursing a cold and needed something hot.

“Ruga!” Dave bellowed to Memphis bartender Paul Ruga, the latest in the restaurant’s coaching tree of fabulous boozeslingers. “Get my boss one of your Hot Toddys!”

A Ruga’s Hot Toddy it was.

I wish I could tell you the ingredients, but I was near-death and I needed about four of them to bring me back to the land of the living, at which point I walked over to the Land of Nod. But I remember it came to me near-boiling. I remembered it had a fragrant bouquet and a lemon wedge. I remember that, instead of Scotch or whiskey, Ruga went with brandy—a great switch that made his Hot Toddy taste like a tart NyQuil. And then I remember the beautiful release I felt upon finishing each one. You still suffering from that damn flu going around this season? Overload on pho, then take your medicine from Ruga at Memphis—Dr. Mau’s orders!

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