A Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy Day

Jan 11

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"Whisky (or Whiskey), lemon juice, spices, honey - It's good for what ails you!"

~ Traditional

The classic cure for a winter cold, the Hot Toddy's origins are unknown but by the 1700s, it was a popular drink in Scotland! Some attribute the drink's name to a reference in Allan Ramsay's 1781 poem, “The Morning Interview”, which mentions Edinburgh's Todian Spring (also called Tod’s Well). Another theory suggests that the cocktail may have been named for toddy, an Indian drink made from fermented palm tree sap, and reinvented by British traders on their return to Scotland by mixing tea, scotch and sweetener. Yet another theory attributes the term to 19th century British physician, Richard Bentley Todd, who promoted the concoction for medicinal use. Regardless, even doctors today concede that the ingredients may both help you feel better and have actual medicinal value via the honey, lemon, spices, and even the whisky, which contains the antioxidant ellagic acid, which has antiviral and antibacterial properties! 🥃 🍋 🍯 🐝

A Hot Toddy

A hot toddy, also known as a hot totty, hot tottie, or hot whisky, is typically a mixed drink made of liquor and water with honey (or, in some recipes, sugar), herbs or spices (such as tea, cinnamon, cloves, anise or other spices) and served hot.


Hot toddy recipes vary and are traditionally imbibed before retiring for the night, or in wet or cold weather.

 

Some believe the drink relieves (or makes you forget) the symptoms of the cold and flu.

 

Theories about as to the origin of the name.  One contender is Dublin-born physician, Robert Bentley Todd (1809–1860), known for his prescription of a hot drink of brandy, canella (white cinnamon), sugar syrup and water, gave the "hot toddy" its name.   

Other Scottish-origin theories attribute the name to Allan Ramsay's 1781 poem, “The Morning Interview”, which mentions Todian Spring, also called Tod’s Well.  This well was the main water supply to Edinburgh, Scotland.  Yet another theory suggests that the cocktail may have been named for toddy, an Indian drink made from fermented palm tree sap, reimagined by British traders on their return to Scotland, who replicated the drink with scotch and sugar or honey (for the palm tree syrup).  

 

Whatever the case, even doctors concede that the ingredients may both help you feel better have medicinal value in the honey, lemon, spices, and even the whisky, which contains the antioxidant ellagic acid, which studies suggest may help treat viral and bacterial infections!


For a list of hot toddy recipes to chase away that winter cold or blues, click the toddy graphic below. 

A Hot Toddy
A Hot Toddy

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