"Oh! The weather outside is frightful. And, being lazy in the house is so delightful, there is really no place to go, so let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"
But, could you make me a Hot Toddy first?
Call me a boozer if you dare but I sure think we could all deserve a warming "grown-up" beverage this evening.
I love the history and the connotation of the Hot Toddy. Doesn't it sound like something good old Charles Dickens would be sipping as he was cranking out the rough draft of a particularly interesting little Christmas story he was working on?
To the computer to do some research!
Wiki says, " Hot toddy is a name given to a mixed drink that is served hot, believed to have originated in the 18th century to make the taste of scotch more palatable to women." Well, something tells me that the ladies ended up liking it.
Now, the hard part, to settle on a recipe. I found many, many, many; all were different but basically the same. Some used tea and others just plain water. You can use either Brandy, Whisky, Bourbon or Scotch. Lemon was a constant; although whether you use the juice, a slice or zest was up in the air. Some rather fancy recipes asked for a whole clove, cinnamon stick or a sprinkle of nutmeg. Nice idea.
I like that a Hot Toddy is a drink that can be anything. It is not thick, rich and fancy like Hot Butter Rum or Egg Nog. Therefore not super-caloric; except for the booze and the honey, of course. It's a true peasant beverage. I like that the only parameters are that it is warm, sweet with a little citrus and good dollop of booze. Cures what ails you on a cold day.
So, here is my recipe; from me to you:
Shelley's Hot Toddy
Jigger booze: Scotch, Whisky, Bourbon or Brandy - Pick your poison
Juice (and pulp, if desired) of 1 small lemon or 1/2 big lemon
Heaping spoonful of honey
Place all in nice big cup, pour hot water over it and stir. Throw a whole clove or a cinnamon stick in if you got 'em. Careful, it's hot! Sit down and enjoy.
Bonus: If you're feeling a little sick, adjust the recipe slightly by adding freshly grated ginger.
Yes, buy the Ginger root, peel the outside and grate a little bit of it, put that in a tea infuser and steep in the hot water with all the other ingredients. This will really help with head, chest colds and fevers. It's like magic!