One of the few alcoholic drinks that you can drink when ill without any feeling of guilt, the hot toddy is a soothing classic that will make nights with a rough cold or the flu pass easier.
An old remedy
Imagine you’re ill. You’ve got a pounding headache, your throat feels like sandpaper, and your nose is so blocked you can hardly breathe. By this point, a person has probably taken as many painkillers, anti-inflammatories and decongestants as they can, but they just aren’t doing the trick. This is where the hot toddy comes in. A drink that is a divine combination of whisky, honey, hot water, lemon and some herbs, the hot toddy soothes the heart and soul while, essentially, numbing your pain with booze.
A drink with Scottish roots
There is no definite answer as to where the hot toddy comes from. Given its use of whisky, it’s probably from Scotland, and there is a somewhat dubious story that claims that the name comes from the drink’s use of heated water from ‘Tod’s Well’, once the main water supply of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital.
Simple to make and easy to drink
A hot toddy is extremely easy to make – which is good, given that people usually need to make it when they are feeling ill. Usually, some water is brought to the boil and then mixed with a few teaspoons of the following: whisky, honey and lemon juice. Some people then add some spices like a stick of cinnamon or some cloves to add an extra level of flavour, although obviously if your taste buds are knackered you’ll need to add an extra hit of flavour for it to get through!
How to drink, and other classic foods for a cold
Hot toddies should be drunk hot, which will have the advantage of both warming the drinker up if they are cold and clearing out the sinuses. Although a hot toddy is a good way to close off a day of being ill, there are actually a few other foods you might want to try if you’re feeling under the weather. Chicken soup, for example, is an excellent source of minerals, vitamins and calories. Soup is also a lot easier to eat than solids if you’ve got a sore throat. Tea more generally, especially with ginger in it, is great too.
So next time you’re ill, get yourself a hot toddy. But, just one word of warning. Given when you’re ill you’ve probably got a fair few painkillers in your system, it’s not a good idea to combine that with a lot of alcohol, so keep it to one or two hot toddies a day.