… from the California Kitchen Happy Hour Bar
How you doin’? The hot toddy is a classic winter warmer. In its simplest form a Hot Toddy is a mixture of liquor, hot water, honey, lemon and cinnamon. There is no one definitive recipe for the hot toddy.
The purists insist on using only hot water while others prefer a cider, black tea, or herbal tea, citing the healing properties of the herbs. Even the type of liquor—rum, brandy, whiskey or bourbon—is a personal preference.
Traditionally prepared to warm a body on a cold and blustery night, Hot Toddies developed a reputation for relieving the aches and pains that are associated with the common cold, flu and even old age. The steam from the warm liquid helps you breath better (particularly if you use an herbal tea), the honey and lemon soothe the throat, and the little nip or two of alcohol in the toddy helps one relax, fall asleep, and get a good night’s rest. While a Hot Toddy can provide some temporary relief from a cold, it can't really cure or prevent illness. So go easy on the toddies and be sure to seek out a doctor’s advice when you're sick.
There are conflicting theories as to where the Hot Toddy was invented and by whom. Some believe it originated in Scotland in the 1700s and others believe the drink was named after Dr. Robert Bentley Todd, an Irish physician who prescribed hot drinks of brandy, cinnamon and sugar water to his patients. Another popular theory is that the toddy has its roots in the colonial era, when the British soldiers became fans of a drink they discovered while stationed on the Indian continent.
Regardless of its origin and whether served hot or cold, the Toddy eventually made its way across the ocean to the colonies where plantation owners created their own version of the drink using rum, spices and hot water sweetened with sugar. Cooled and served in large quantities as a punch, this drink, or bumbo, was offered to guests at social events, business dealings, and even political rallies.
Truth be told, it's good any time of year and works particularly well if you're got a sore throat or the sniffles.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 cocktail
3/4 cup hot water (to warm the glass)
1 tablespoon honey
2 ounces American bourbon
3/4 cup hot water
1 twist lemon peel or slice
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
ChefSecret: This toddy also works well with an equal amount of rum in place of the Bourbon.
Quip of the Day: “There are two kinds of people in this world: the workers and the hustlers. The hustlers never work and the workers never hustle.” …from the movie Cocktail
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To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind. Have a wonderful safe and healthy holiday season. If you have a little extra in your pockets to share with others at this difficult time, please consider donating to Feeding America.
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©Perspectives/The Consulting Group, Inc., 2021
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