Scotch Hot Toddy


By Richard Thomas

Scotch Hot Toddy

Ingredients for a Hot Toddy
(Credit: Richard Thomas)

Seeing as how it’s mid-winter, what could be more appropriate than a look at the classic hot whiskey cocktail, the Hot Toddy? A traditional drink in Scotland and northern England, the Hot Toddy has been around for centuries, and is sometimes thought of as a cold and flu symptom reliever, making it one of the oldest twists on “medicinal alcohol.”

1.5 oz (50 ml) of boiling water
1.5 oz (50 ml) of scotch whiskey
2 lemon slices
1 spoonful of honey

Combine all of the above ingredients in a cup, and stir thoroughly. A good bit of stirring will be necessary to dissolve the honey, since the 50-50 mix of scotch and hot water will result in a drink that is warm, but not piping hot.

The result is a pleasant, warm, and refreshing hot drink. The Hot Toddy’s flavor is both tart and sweet, and with a mild honey note and lingering aftertaste. Despite having an alcohol content that must be in the high teens, you barely notice that the drink has any alcohol at all.

In the ingredients depicted, you can see the whiskey I used for this article was Famous Grouse Portwood, the cheapest port-finish whiskey I’m aware of. The important thing in your choice of whiskey is to avoid the peaty, smoky stuff. The last thing you want to do is mix lemon and honey flavors with ashy creosote.

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