November 3 2016
The Hot Toddy – that most famous of winter cure-alls for coughs, colds, sore throats and cold, blustery evenings. Originally prescribed by a Dublin physician in the 1800s, the recipe spread, and was soon found gracing the glasses of dinner party guests as evenings drew to a close.
Benjamin Silliman, an American professor of Chemistry – and founder of the American Journal of Science – observed, “it may well be presumed, that the fumes of such a hot inebriating mixture, must occasionally turn the brains of parties not restrained by considerations of decorum or of religion … And indeed, among the most sober people, it is easy to perceive some exhilaration produced by the hot toddy, as they sit and sip from hour to hour.”
One of the most delightful elements of the toddy is that you can play a little fast and loose with the general ingredients and ratios – our recipe goes a little easy here on the alcohol, but you could easily bring it to a 1-to-4 or even 1-to-3 should the mood take you. All a toddy asks for is the classic combination of hot water (tea in this instance!) sugar/honey, lemon and alcohol.
Toddies make for a wonderful infusion to come home to, or share amongst friends on a cold evening – so have fun and tinker with your own concoction to warm your cockles.
For each toddy:
- 2 tsp tea – we used our Winter Spice Tea blend, but you can try using any spiced back tea – Chai would be very suitable too
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 lemon
- Stick of cinnamon
- 1 shot of whisky – we used a deep, smoky scotch, but bourbon or any other dark spirit like Brandy or Rum would taste great
1. Put the kettle on
2. Using a tea infuser or paper tea filter, get your tea leaves ready in the mug. If making more than one toddy you can use a teapot
3. Steep the leaves as you would for a normal cup. For instance, infuse Winter Spice for 3 1/2 minutes
4. Fill your mug with tea to just over 2/3 full
5. Add the lemon juice, honey, and stir well
6. Add the shot of alcohol and cinnamon stick
7. Give everything a good muddle and finish with the slice of lemon