Rana Good is the founder of Naïra NYC. A writer for publications such as Forbes, Travel + Leisure, Coveteur, Mens Journal and others, she created her own platform celebrating women of color.
Spring is a few weeks away so we still have a few weeks of cold weather ahead of us, perfect for making hot alcoholic drinks. Armeta Sidhu of Spritz and Spice, is our go-to online cocktail maker — her videos show us how to quickly and easily create tasty cocktails at home. We especially love her Hot Toddy recipes which put an original spin on the wintertime classic. Find out how to make her unique Hot Toddies and more about Sidhu in our interview below.
How did you get started as a mixologist?
Armeta Sidhu: I’m not a bartender, I’m just a home mixologist. I got into the speakeasy scene in San Francisco and L.A. and started learning about the world of drinks and liquors. One speakeasy in San Francisco had classes, so I enrolled and learned how to make a variety of drinks. Then quarantine hit and that’s when I started posting on TikTok. I was starting a blog in January 2020 and downloaded TikTok for fun. I loved how quick the app is and how it lends itself to mixology — you can make a 30-second video and someone can learn how to make a new drink. I love making drinks for people around the world.
What’s your unique take on cocktail making?
Being able to intuitively bartend is something a lot of home bartenders need to do. We don’t have a whole bar at our disposal so we need to figure out what’s in our house. If you have two random mixers and a gin, I like to show what can you make out of that using fresh ingredients. I also love making personalized drinks. In my comments, people ask for me to create a drink for their birthdays or weddings. Someone recently asked for a cocktail for a celestial-themed wedding.
How did you come up with the name spritz and spice?
My favorite cocktails are anything spritz, for a while my favorite cocktail was an Aperol Spritz. I love anything spicy, especially spicy food. Initially, my blog was going to be about food and cocktails but I found cocktail-making to be way more fun.
What should every bar have?
A good gin, vodka, tequila, rum, whiskey, scotch, and bourbon. Also always have fresh lemon or lime on hand, anything from the bottle won’t do.
What have been some of your most popular videos and why?
My first video was a White Claw Margarita which went viral during season one of quarantine [laughs]. My four wedding cocktails post also did really, especially because of the rose lemonade, made with Empress Gin. It’s made with butterfly pea blossom and has a beautiful purple color. It’s such an easy cocktail to make, you mix rose lemonade and top it with this gin. When you’re ready to drink it you just mix it all together. It’s so easy but it looks like a $20 drink.
Why do you love hot toddies?
The cold weather, of course, but also my background. My mom is from Trinidad and Tobago and she would always make something similar to a hot toddy as a cold medicine for herself. It was a sore throat or cold remedy made with rum, honey, lemon so when I got older I made the same and it always did the trick. I wanted to put my own spin on it and that’s where the sake and early grey hot toddies came from. They all have a honey element and lemon. For the Earl Grey one, I wanted to elevate the flavors and replaced the liquor with St. Germain. The sake hot toddy was a random find. The flavor of the sake had vanilla notes and reminded me of amaretto.
When you make a hot toddy, make sure to prime your glass with hot water otherwise your glass can shatter. Use warm water in the glass before so it doesn’t crack when you add hot water or tea.
What cocktails are you doing for spring and summer?
I love doing things around holidays like Easter and refreshing cocktails for warmer weather. Stay tuned!
@spritzandspiceHappy National #hottoddy day! #cocktails #warmdrinks #winterdrinks #Wee♬ Lockdown – Koffee
@spritzandspiceEarl Grey Hot Toddy! @sunrizetea #hottoddy #cocktails #wintercocktails #earlgrey♬ Aesthetic – Xilo
@spritzandspiceLast hot toddy for now, and this sake hot toddy is amazing! #hottoddy #cocktails #warmdrinks♬ original sound – BRYANT