The first time I remember having a hot toddy—a warm alcoholic beverage used to warm and heal, what’s better than that—was at an Irish pub in Amsterdam. For my whole trip there, I had a massive head cold. During the day I wandered the city, using what little brain power I had to not get lost, and at night my ex-pat friend and host Collins took me to his local, Mulligan’s, where his bartender friend made me the best medicine I’d ever had; only then would I felt human. I drank hot toddies while sick in Ireland, in the friendly village pub, Connolly’s, in Scotshouse, County Monaghan.
I’ve tried to recreate these, when I’m sick at home. Here’s my current recipe.
(Note: Hot toddies are traditionally made with sugar. But if you’re trying to feel better, to strengthen your immune system, that’s the last thing you want. I make mine with honey, which soothes the throat.)
- Irish whisky (1 shot; to taste)
- lemon wedge (to taste)
- cloves (3–5, to taste)
- honey (1–2 teaspoons; to taste)
- Boil a mugful of water. Into a mug, pour whiskey and spoon honey. (It is said that local honey is the best honey, for purposes of wellness. I have also heard that this is bullshit. Which is true?)
- When the water has boiled, add it to the mug, and stir until honey has dissolved. Add lemon and cloves. (In Amsterdam, my toddies were served with clove-studded lemon wedges. Every time I make them, I get a little closer to getting it right, so they don’t fall out so quickly.)
- Serve and enjoy. You may need to drink several of these.
STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only ever endorse products that are in alignment with my ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers.