Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Day 2881 - Wellness Wednesday - Remedy a cold with a hot toddy

Got a head cold?

Try a "Hot Toddy".

Back in the day I used to work for a Scotsman and if I ever dared wander into the office with a head cold his instant reaction would be "go make yourself a hot toddy".  (When you read that, make sure you're using your best "Go Go Mobile" Scottish accent.)  

What the hell is a hot toddy?

Basically it's hot water, lemon, honey and whisky. Or in his case, Scotch whisky.  He would also suggest I throw in an asprin for good measure.

I tried to look into its origins and there are two possibilities.  (1) it could have come from India where the word "toddy" relates to a fermented drink made of sap of palm trees which, when distilled, turns into something a bit like brandy; or (2) it could have come from Scotland where it seems that "toddy" may have been street talk for whiskey.

Personally, I'm going to go with the Scottish theory given it was a Scotsman who introduced me to this remedy.

I'm not sure it ever cured one of my colds, but it does provide some comfort.

Since then I have discovered some variations of the recipe. Here's one you might like to try:

  • Add a squeeze of lemon to boiling water
  • Add two cloves
  • A teaspoon of honey
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Shot of whisky

So as spring does its best to arrive, let's get rid of those annoying wintery sniffles once and for all.  Hot cocktails anyone?

Ever had a "hot toddy"? 

What are your thoughts on its origins?

Got any good hot toddy recipes?  


  1. While I'm not a whiskey person, I am aware of the wonders warm lemon and a spot of honey can do when you're not feeling your best - a good go-to for winter months!

  2. i really need to keep this remedy handy as i always catch cold easily, is that okay if i dont add whiskey as i dont drink. i will wait for the reply thanks.

  3. A hot toddy was the secret recipe for dealing with agonising period pain in my family, handed down from my grandmother to my mother and then me. Our version though is a cap full of whisky, rum, even gin (whatever you have in the house), a teaspoon of sugar and enough hot water to dissolve it. Worked a treat - I could be doubled up in bed with cramps and half an hour later would be right as rain!


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