The evenings are getting darker, the mornings are getting colder, and winter is well on its way. For mixologists, the changing of the seasons is always an exciting time, with a new repertoire of drinks just waiting to be created! When it comes to chilly days, what better way to warm yourself than with a hot toddy? Learn how to create your own as well as the benefits of this hearty cocktail in this guide.
A hot toddy is a whisky-based cocktail. But, this drink has a little spin on it that most other cocktails don’t…it’s hot! Forget ice cubes and chilled glasses, a hot toddy is all about warming up the spirits and providing the drinker with respite from the cold winter weather. Spicy and with plenty of body, it’s a popular choice for drinking by a lit fireplace with your cosiest socks on.
Aside from warming you up, a hot toddy is also a fantastic cure for the common cold! The alcohol helps to burn away bacteria, the honey is soothing for sore throats, and cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties to kickstart your recovery.
The hot toddy recipe is fairly straightforward, with only a few ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboard. All you need is:
3 tsp honey
1 cinnamon stick
Simmer the water and spices together over a low heat, adding your whisky to a warmed glass. Pour over the hot water and spices, before adding your honey and 1-2 tsp of fresh lemon juice. Sprinkle with a little grated nutmeg and garnish with a peel of lemon for a picture-perfect finish.
There isn’t one singular whisky used for a hot toddy. Instead, choose yours based on your personal preference. A bourbon makes for a rich, hearty drink, a scotch is a slightly lighter, more elegant option, whilst a spiced whisky adds another element of flavour to your already spiced hot toddy.
Many people make the mistake of opting for a cheap whisky in their hot toddy. We definitely wouldn’t recommend this! Though there are plenty of other flavours in your drink, a traditional hot toddy that really packs a punch should be made with a whisky that’s up to the challenge.
The exact origins of the hot toddy are unknown. What we do know is that it was likely to be invented sometime in the 1700s, likely in Scotland. Some think it was made to be a sweeter alternative to Scotch for women, who weren’t as keen on the strong, full-bodied flavour of the country’s most famous alcoholic drink. There are also links to India, where they were drinking toddys at the time - a drink created from palm sap.
Wherever the hot toddy was invented and however it began, there’s one thing we know for sure: it’s delicious!
At UrbanBar, we’re experts in all things mixology. If you’d like to become a cocktail connoisseur, be sure to check out our Educational Spirit Courses today. Or, start browsing through our Cocktail Bitters and Spirits to create your own warming inventions!#
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