When the weather is frightfully cold, and you do not have a fireplace around you, all you need is whiskey, lemon, tea, honey, and warm water. But that doesn’t mean the Hot Toddy is only a winter tipple. It is a mild drink, an absolute nerve soother helping you relax and get a good sleep.
The Hot Toddy is believed to have its origins in Scotland, back in 1786, when the drink was prescribed by a physician. Contrary to this belief, many argue that the cocktail derived its name from an Indian drink made by fermenting the sap of palm trees.
In its simplest form, the classic drink is a mix of whiskey shot (preferably malt), honey, and lemon mixed with boiling water or tea. But you have a good scope to play around with the spices ranging from nutmeg, fresh ginger, cinnamon, cloves, to saffron, nuts, and mace. A version of the drink in Ontario typically heats the ginger before adding it to the whisky. Few pubs in the US substitute bourbon with brandy.
The cocktail (often called the Tottie) when mixed with tea serves as a brilliant medicine when you are in the middle of a flue, or suffering from sniffles. Instead of running to the pharmacy, you may find an easier solution in a glass of Hot Toddy. For years, the drink has been used to ease pains and aches caused by flu and cold. It not only cures congestion, but also helps you get a nice sleep, just like how a paracetamol functions. Many do not prefer adding tea to their drink, and like it with hot water alone as it brings out the flavors of the spices. But those who like it with tea, may want to experiment with the varieties. A blend of black and green tea when mixed with the sweetness of honey and a tinge on lemon, makes it amazingly soothing.
Make your own Hot Toddy
Heat water in a pan or microwave oven. Once the water is warm, add a tea bag and let it brew for about three minutes. This may vary as per the instructions on your tea packet. While the tea is soaking, take an Irish coffee mug and fill with hot water. When the glass becomes warm, you can throw the water away and coat the bottom with honey. Now, add the bourbon whisky and squeeze lime into it. Pour tea into the Irish glass now and stir a bit.
The City of Dreams, with its eclectic mix of people, chawls, and high rises, the sea, churches, and pao bhaji, has an electric vibe to it. Countless faces that throng the pigeon holes of Bombay carry a myriad of untold stories within themselves. Someone somewhere said that the city never sleeps.
With a name as literal as that to boot, one can only imagine the ‘auspicious’ circumstances under which this cheeky cocktail recipe was born. Back in the 19th century, the moralists had a temporary victory over ‘societal evils’ when a ban was imposed on the production, import, and sale of alcohol.