Destination: Cocktail

Wintertime is hot toddy time, when the nighttime chill leads us to long for steaming whiskey, a warm blanket and a good book. Justin Pike of the Tasting Kitchen, who recently won the title of L.A.'s best bartender, has just the thing. It's called Beginner's Luck, and it won't take much more than that to whip up this refined but simple cocktail of bourbon, tart lemon juice, fragrant spices and fresh-pressed ginger juice. We won't go as far as to say this drink will cure the common cold, but we think it just might.

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Beginner's Luck by Justin Pike

2 ounces Buffalo Trace Bourbon

3/4 ounce lemon juice

1/4 ounce Allspice blend

1/8 ounce ginger juice

3 ounces hot water

Honey to taste

Warm a pint glass, then combine ingredients to build drink. Serve in warmed toddy glass, garnish with a lemon twist. You can also keep a batch warmed in a crock pot until ready to serve.

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The Tasting Kitchen, 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. (310) 392-6644; http://www.thetastingkitchen.com.

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—Jessica Gelt

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