How to Make the Classic Hot Toddy

You shouldn’t look to alcohol to solve your problems. Unless that alcohol is a hot toddy.

Chase Pellerin

Caring for a sick partner is far from a thankless job. (If your experience varies, you should probably reassess a few things.) Granted, as rewarding as it can be, it can certainly suck; meek thanks is heartwarming, but it doesn’t relieve the stress of midnight robitussin runs during the first flurries of winter.

Here’s how to hack cold care: make your partner’s treatment your reward. Put on some hot water and whip up two hot toddies. The vitamin C will help you resist catching the very cold it’s helping alleviate; the ginger settles the stomach; the honey works its magic on that throat pain.

And a nip of Scotch is just what the doctor ordered for the overall headache — depending on who your doctor is and where he or she is from, since early iterations of the recipe varied by region. Rum was the spirit of choice in much of Colonial America, while Scotch took up the mantle in Scotland, naturally. Whatever your choice of spirit, it’ll be like a hearty pat on the back for your kindness, encouraging you to keep it going. Just be sure and pace yourself if that bug lingers.

1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce honey water (or simple syrup)
3 slices of fresh ginger
2 ounces blended Scotch whisky (or aged rum)
Cinnamon stick
Orange peel

Julep strainer
Mesh strainer
Hot drinks glass


1. Put a full kettle of water on medium-high heat. Separately, from your tap, fill your serving glass with hot water. (This will prevent the glass from cracking when pouring in kettle water.)

2. In a mixing glass, add lemon juice, honey water, ginger, cloves and Scotch.

3. Muddle, then stir till liquid is somewhat mixed.

4. Empty your serving glass of the tap water. Then, double strain the mixing glass through Julep and mesh strainers into your heated serving glass.

5. From the heated kettle, pour water into the serving glass till the mixture nears the rim.

6. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

7. Light a match and hold over your glass. With your other hand, carefully squeeze your orange peel over the flame and into the glass.

8. Drop the orange peel into the glass and serve.

Recommended Spirits: Cutty Sark Prohibition Blended Scotch, Auchentoshan Three Wood Single Malt, Red Breast 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey, Slow & Low Rock & Rye Whiskey, Brugal Añejo Rum, Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum

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