If you’re lucky enough to be reading this on the sands of some gloriously hot island, do skip right over this post and get back to working on your tan lines (and hi, bottle up the Vitamin D and send my way?). Everyone else out there braving freezing rain, nipping winds, and oh, I don’t know, seventeen strains of strep and eighteen holiday get-togethers, my Scotch-Irish forefathers have a little elixir of wellness to share with you.
Known as a hot toddy in Scotland and a hot whiskey in Ireland, my very favorite winter drink is a triple threat to the cold weather ick – honey soothes the throat, warm whiskey and pepper clear congestion, and lemon adds a nice shot of Vitamin C and bioflavinoids (but by all means, if one of those seventeen strains has really caught up with you, trade out the whiskey for ginger tea).
For a bonafide toddy you’ll need:
- 1 tablespoon of honey (go local if you can)
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- 3/4 mug of water
- Half a lemon
- 1 shot of whiskey (or 2, or 3. Choose your own adventure! My favorite inexpensive toddy whiskey is Old Forester)
First coat an empty mug with your tablespoon of honey, then add the dash of cayenne pepper.
Using a second mug, heat up your water, then pour it into the first mug of honey and pepper to melt everything down.
Next, squeeze the half of a lemon into your shot (or 2, or 3) of whiskey, then pour it into the piping hot honey/pepper/water mug.
You can also make a toddy concentrate by mixing everything but the water into a thermos, then rationing it into mugs of hot water on the go. Just be sure to only heat the water – including the whiskey, honey, and lemon in your boil will break down nutrients and evaporate the alcohol. Enjoy!