The ‘Hot Toddy’, in its most basic form, is essentially a cocktail composed of alcohol, sweetener, hot water and a citrus. Therefore, due to the sheer simplicity of the drink, its history is a commonly disputed topic. Three prominent stories are frequently referred to relating to its origin.
Robert Bentley Todd - 19th century Irish doctor
The final story of the Hot Toddy’s origin states that it was invented in Scotland during the 18th century. Consequently, some Scots today argue a cocktail is not a ‘real Hot Toddy’ unless it is made with water from Tod’s Well in Edinburgh.
An unquestionable history of the Hot Toddy is its regular use throughout history as a remedy for colds and flu. This is due to the natural vitamin C found in the citrus fruit used (which supports the immune system), the numbing effects caused by the alcohol and the natural soothing effects of the honey. All of these effects can significantly reduce symptoms, hence the common medicinal use of the drink. However, today doctors are more likely to prescribe hot honey and lemon beverages without the alcohol as it is a slightly less necessary ingredient!
There are now numerous variations of the ‘Hot Toddy’ which exist and most bars/ pubs serve it slightly differently. Some mixologists use rum or brandy instead of whisky. In addition, in Canada, maple syrup is often used as the sweetener as opposed to honey. There is also a vast array of spices which can be added to the drink such as cloves, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. All of these bring out slightly different notes from the spirit used.
We like to make our ‘Hot Toddy’ using a Christmas selection of spices, which complement the Beeble Honey Whisky perfectly.
Hot Toddy Recipe:
Prep time: 7 mins
Total time: 7 mins
Serving size: 1
· 50ml Beeble Honey Whisky
· 150ml boiling water
· Juice of half a lemon, squeezed
· ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
· ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
· 1 cinnamon stick
· 2 cloves (slightly ground using pestel and mortar)
Fill a heat-proof glass with boiling water and let it stand for 1-2 mins to warm
Empty mug and half-fill with the 150ml of fresh boiling water
Add all other ingredients to glass and stir
Garnish with a slice of lemon and a cinnamon stick
Beeble’s Top Tip: If you have the time, gently heat the whisky, lemon juice and spices before adding the hot water to ensure the drink is piping hot to serve!
Perfect for a cold winter’s evening curled up next to the fire : )
Written by Hester