The Hot Toddy: a classic tipple, perfect for a cold winter’s eve
A hot toddy is the perfect winter drink. It’s got citrus, it’s got honey, but most importantly – it’s got whisky. It’s basically that honey/lemon concoction your mom used to make when you were sick, if it decided to let its hair down and have a little fun.
Scarves and jackets are out in full force, heaters are working overtime, ginger shots and flu juices are on display in every grocery store, and even the sun is heading to bed as early as possible. Yes, winter is in full swing. But it isn’t all bad news. Cold winter nights provide the perfect excuse to start a toasty fire, dim the lights, grab a fuzzy blanket, maybe turn on some jazz, and arm yourself with a warm drink. While some folks turn to a good ol’ cup of earl grey, or a decadent hot chocolate, the bolder hibernator might prefer a night cap with a bit of a kick.
What exactly is a “toddy”?
Don’t worry, we’re all thinking it. A “toddy” is a drink made of spirits, hot water, sugar, and sometimes spices. The word is supposedly borrowed from the toddy drink in India, which is produced by fermenting the sap of palm trees. The alcoholic element to this definition seems only to have been added in around 1786.
To make matters more confusing, some sources credit Robert Bentley Todd as the inspiration behind the name. This is because he allegedly used to prescribe a hot drink of brandy, canella (white cinnamon), sugar syrup, and water to help cure colds, which went on to inspire the hot toddy we know and love today. Sometimes, this drink is even referred to as a “Hot Toady” – but that’s a discussion for another day.
However the drink got its name – and despite the identity crisis it seems to be having– it’s definitely the most exciting “flu” juice we know of!
Sip on a classic hot toddy
50ml hot water
1 tbsp honey
50ml Laphroaig 10 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 lemon twist, to garnish (optional)
- Pour the hot water into a jug, add the honey, and stir until dissolved.
- Combine the scotch, lemon juice, and bitters in a hot toddy glass (a mug is just as good).
- Top the scotch mixture with the honeyed hot water and stir gently.
- Garnish the drink with the lemon twist and serve hot.
Turn up the heat on your winter nights with a classic night cap, regardless of whether or not your immune system needs the boost.
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