Cocktail Corner: National Hot Toddy Day

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic!  By Leslie Dinaberg

Jack Daniel Hot Tennessee Toddy (courtesy photo)

Jack Daniel Hot Tennessee Toddy (courtesy photo)

Today (January 11) is National Hot Toddy Day. How cool is that? FYI, a “hot toddy” is a warmth-inducing yummy drink made with honey, lemon, hot water, and the spirit of your choice (usually whiskey, brandy, or rum). Hot Toddies are a perfect way to warm up on a cold winter day (particularly when catching up on the latest episode of Downton Abbey). Rumor has it that a nice stiff Hot Toddy can also relieve cold or flu symptoms.

According to Wikipedia, “Traditional Northern British preparation of a hot toddy involves the mixture of whisky, boiling water or warm milk, and sugar or honey. Additional ingredients such as cloves, a lemon slice or cinnamon (in stick or ground form) may be added.”

Wikipedia also says “A common version in the Midwestern United States uses Vernors Ginger Ale, lemon, honey and Bourbon whiskey. In Wisconsin, brandy is often used instead of bourbon. In Southern California the version includes tequila.”

Personally I prefer Jack Daniels, although I have to admit I haven’t tried tequila. Good old Jose Cuervo definitely has some belly-warming possibilities.

There doesn’t seem to be much agreement on the origin of the term. Some suggest that “Hot Toddy” comes from the Toddy drink in India, which is produced by fermenting the sap of palm trees. Others say that Hot toddies originated in Scotland sometime during the 18th century. Some historians believe that the recipe was developed to make the taste of Scotch whiskey more palatable to women, while still others posit that the word “Toddy” evolved from “Tod’s well” (also known as Todian Spring), which is the water supply for Edinburgh.

Whatever the origin, it’s supposed to be cold one, which is a good reason to warm up a Toddy tonight! Cheers

P.S: January 11, 2013 is also Milk Day. Go figure!

Photo by Derek Johnson.

Photo by Derek Johnson.

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on January 11, 2013.