Food and Drinks Lifestyle

Hot Toddy – the ultimate winter bev

July 18, 2022

Still in the thick of winter as evidenced by the scarves and jackets we continue to pile on. The heaters continue to work overtime, ginger shots are the order of the day and even the sun heads to bed sooner than usual. The good thing is it isn’t all bad news. 

Winter is a wonderland in that it allows us the opportunity to do what we otherwise wouldn’t be able to during the hotter days. Take advantage of this time by creating a whole mood by snuggling up by a toasty fire and lounging to some jazz music while sipping on a hot beverage.

While some may opt for ye ol’ cup of earl grey or hot cocoa, the bolder hibernator might prefer a nightcap with a bit of a kick. For the latter, a Hot Toddy could just be the thing you are looking for.

A Hot Toddy is to winter what spaghetti is to mince. It has the citrus and honey you need to ward off any sniffles. With the added whiskey, it is exactly what Ouma ordered for the coldest season of the year.

What exactly is a “toddy”?

A “toddy” is a drink made of spirits, hot water, sugar and sometimes spices. The word is supposedly borrowed from the toddy drink in India, which is produced by fermenting the sap of palm trees. The alcoholic element to this definition seems only to have been added around 1786.

Some sources credit Robert Bentley Todd as the inspiration behind the name to make matters more confusing. This is because he allegedly used to prescribe a hot drink of brandy, canella (white cinnamon), sugar syrup and water to help cure colds. It went on to inspire the hot toddy we know and love today. Sometimes, this drink is even referred to as a “Hot Toady” – but that’s a discussion for another day.

However the drink got its name – and despite the identity crisis it seems to be having– it’s definitely the most exciting “flu” juice we know of!

Hot Toddy
Image: Realfood Tesco

Sip on a classic Hot Toddy


  • 50ml hot water
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 50ml Laphroaig 10-Year-Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • 25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 lemon twist, to garnish (optional)


  1. Pour the hot water into a jug, add the honey, and stir until dissolved.
  2. Combine the Scotch, lemon juice, and bitters in a hot toddy glass (a mug is just as good).
  3. Top the scotch mixture with the honeyed hot water and stir gently.
  4. Garnish the drink with the lemon twist and serve hot.

Turn up the heat on your winter nights with a classic nightcap, regardless of whether or not your immune system needs the boost.

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