The hot toddy is a quintessential winter drink. For me, the simple combination of tea, lemon juice, whisk(e)y, and honey is comforting. When you’re sick, or just trying to warm up on a cold winter’s night, this drink often hits the spot.
The history of the Hot Toddy comes from the 1610’s. The drink came to be in India. The root of the word “toddy” comes from the Hindi word, “taddy”, which meant “beverage made from fermented palm sap”. By the late 1700’s, the beverage evolved and became known as “a beverage made of alcohol with hot water, sugar, and spices.” As a result of their appropriation of the Indian culture, the British created the their own version of the Hot Toddy. The pubs were adding whisk(e)y or scotch to hot water, the trade routes for spices made the availability of tea and exotic spices convenient, and so pubs started adding more ingredients to their hot toddies.
There is also another story on the history. In the other version, an Irish doctor would prescribe a combination of “hot brandy, cinnamon, and sugar water” to patients. Therefore, it is thought that the actual history, just like a lot of truths, lies somewhere in the middle of these two stories.
Let The Creativity Flow
Currently, the hot toddy is one drink that gives the mixologist a lot of leeway. If you do a Google search for “hot toddy”, you will find multiple different recipes. There are variations that include grapefruit juice, cranberry liqueur, and even gin. My hot toddy recipe leans toward the version that the British created. I love to use teas such as Bigelow Lemon Ginger Tea or Tazo Tea Wild Sweet Orange. Equally important is the whiskey. For this, I prefer to lean towards an uncomplicated, affordable American whiskey, such as Jack Daniels.
I have talked about the quality of Tazo Teas before on this blog. For that post, please click here.
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A Winter Warmer – The Hot Toddy
A warm, comforting drink for these cold winter days.
Combine ingredients in a heat-proof mug. Let steep to desired strength.
Serving Size 1