The Hot Toddy

by Steve

Yesterday I advocated feasting, not fasting this chilly January. And I thought I’d continue on my crusade to make my readers a little more cosy by discussing the King of all hot drinks…the hot toddy.

Last week my Significant Other was feeling a little poorly, and so the kind man that I am, I offered to fix her drink to soothe her throat and fight off the cold. To make sure she was fully at ease with the concoction, I made myself one too. I’m good like that.

What a drink. So good, it’s probably worth catching a cold for. The perfect warming, calming drink when you retreat from the cold outside. And that is a key element – this is very much a drink for when you return, not for when you head out. Mainly because, if made right, you’ll be in no state of mind to venture out to brave the elements.

There are a multitude of recipes for a hot toddy, of course, but I try to keep it simple. Cinnamon and cloves are fantastic if you get it right, horrid if not. So, let’s play it safe. Here’s the quick and easy toddy recipe. In fact, calling it a recipe is a little grand. It’s just stuff to make a drink. Ready?


  • A big slug of bad whisky. It’s no good wasting the good stuff on this. A cheap blend will work just as well, and be a lot easier on the pocket. It’s not there to dominate the drink anyway, it’s there to make you feel all warm and contented.
  • Half a lemon. Let’s keep it fresh, if only so we can kid ourselves that the drink is doing us some good. If the hot water kills the vitamin C, don’t tell me.
  • A spoonful of honey. What spoon? Depends how sweet you like your drinks, but I wouldn’t recommend overdoing it.
  • Hot water, freshly boiled. And then breathe in those lovely lemon and whisky fumes. That’ll right ya.


Er, stick all the ingredients in, hot water last, and give it a good stir. Drink. Repeat as necessary. Or until you fall asleep. Sleep is good if you’ve got a cold, multiplying the benefits of this drink further. Hell, it’s good to sleep anyway. I don’t buy all that “eight hours a night will kill you” bunk. It’s cold out. I want a good night’s sleep.

Anyway, give it a try. Any alternatives for a good drink on a cold night most welcome!