Cocktail Of The Week: Hot Toddy
WHAT IT IS:
Hot Toddy is a warming drink made of whisky, honey, lemon, cinnamon and cloves. It packs a punch in terms of flavour and go-to liquor for entertaining in winter. It is commonly consumed as a nightcap. It is traditionally consumed to cure symptoms of cold and flu.
WHAT IT'S MADE OF:
The hot toddy is a warming cocktail. Hence the base of this drink is warm lemon water, with a liquor such as brandy, whiskey or bourbon. Honey is added to effuse a little sweetness to the drink. While these ingredients make for a classic Hot Toddy, the drink is customisable.
HOW IT'S MADE:
One only needs to boil water in order to make the soothing winter cocktail.
There are two popular versions regarding the history of this drink.
The drink originated in 17th century India when it was colonised by the British. The British came to know about a local drink called Tadi, which was made using m fermented sugary sap from the toddy palm. By the 18th century, in the year 1786 to be precise, the British made it an official cocktail drink made using hot water, spices and sugar. Hot Toddy was perfect for English winters which tend to be cold and damp. Owing to this, adding hot water to Scotch became a common practice. The spices brought from India led to the mix of exotic ingredients in the drink. The British claimed the drink to be their own and today, it is a common sight in their pubs.
An Irish doctor, Robert Bentley Todd is believed to have prescribed his patients with a mixture of hot brandy, water, cinnamon, and sugar, to treat symptoms of cold and flu.
In no time, the drink captured the imagination of Americans. It has become a favourite in the continent and several of its variations have been created.
This warm cocktail is perfect for cold nights. Or even when you are under the weather having cold or cough. It's comforting drink to have during chilly winters.
CAN I MAKE IT NON-ALCOHOLIC?
The answer, dear friends, is always yes!
Non-alcoholic Hot Toddy
208 ml hot tea
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or a cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Lemon wedge, for garnish
In a warm coffee glass or mug, mix honey, lemon juice, and spices. Top it with hot freshly brewed tea. Stir the mixture well. Add the lemon wedge for garnish.
Recipe for classic Hot Toddy
100 ml boiling water
25 ml whisky
1.5 teaspoon honey
1/2 cinnamon stick, snapped in half
1/2 lemon, half juiced and half sliced
First, whisk the whisky and honey together and pour the mixture into a heat-proof glass. Add cinnamon stick and top up with boiling water. To this hot concoction, add lemon juice. Garnish with lemon and clove. Serve immediately.
While it is normal to learn about spirits and cocktails and enjoy them, it is key to consume alcohol moderately. It is absolutely necessary that one serves and drinks responsibly to maintain health and to stay out of any harm's way. If you know anyone who finds it difficult to control their alcohol consumption, please refer them to a professional.