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A Hot Toddy to Chase Away the Winter Blues

Jan 04, 2018 11:33AM ● Published by Linda Ditch

It’s cold and snowy—the perfect weather for a hot toddy. This warming beverage is one I’ve known about my whole life, usually from novels where a ski lodge is the setting. I also think of it as a feel-better drink when you have a cold or are dealing with the winter blahs.

Where did the hot toddy originate? The story goes it came from Scotland. Pubs there mixed hot water with Scotch whiskey to fight the winter chill. Some say they started blending in spices and sweeteners to reduce the bitter Scotch flavor so the ladies would like it. However, others believe that the idea for the hot toddy came from ancient India, where a hot beverage was made from tree sap. In Hindi, the drink was called Tari.

A hot toddy is traditionally made with hot water, honey, lemon, woody spices (like cinnamon and cloves), and spirits (typically whiskey, rum, or brandy). No two people make it the same way. Some recipes also include tea, which is how I like it. It’s a comforting drink sure to take the chill off the most dismal winter evening and lift one’s spirits.


Hot Toddy

Serves 1

1 cup hot water
1 tea bag
1 cinnamon stick
1 oz brandy
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 of a large lemon
Lemon slices, for garnish or even Apple

Bring the water to a boil., Place tea bag and cinnamon stick in a mug or cup. Add the boiling water and allow the tea to steep until it reaches your desired strength. Remove the tea bag and add the liquor and honey. Squeeze in the lemon juice, add a lemon slice, and serve.

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