A Hot Toddy
It’s that time of year again. As mentioned in my few days in Speyside where I made a visit to Angel’s Share pop-up shop, we bought a jar of Hot Toddy jelly (has a wee nip) and it got me thinking about years gone by when mothers would dispense a Hot Toddy to relieve a sore throat or bad cold. Giving children today a hot drink with alcohol in it would definitely be frowned upon but perhaps this is what started my love of all things Whisky. The definition of a Hot Toddy typically is a mixture of Whisky, hot water, and honey. Yes, such things as sugar, dates, saffron, cinnamon, and nuts were added to improve flavour.
I have to say that if you are feeling poorly with shivers and snivels, a wee Hot Toddy prior to turning into bed to assist with a good night’s sleep might just be the job – perhaps. Many to this day stand by this remedy to relieve ailments.
It has been suggested that this style of drink evolved in India around 1786 where the sap of palm trees was used. Needless to say, the resourceful Celts soon adopted it and the drink was popular in Ireland and Scotland, although has been known to be drunk elsewhere. It has been suggested by some that historically this drink was invented to disguise the flavour of raw poor quality Whisky and sometimes all those mothers of yesterday knew a thing or two.
In my opinion, the best Whisky to use in your toddy would be a blended dram. You can also use any blended Irish Whiskey or even a bourbon or rye. It has also been known that in some cases, you can use a cognac (but not an expensive one).