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What is a Hot Toddy Anyway?


You have probably heard people talk about Hot Toddies once the weather gets colder. But do you really know what they are? Have you ever tried one? I remember warming up snifters of Cognac for my customers when I first started out in this business, but that is about as close as I got.  And now that I am researching this for you, I was not too far from the true origins. According to Wikipedia, “is typically a mixed drink made of liquor (whiskey) and (hot) water with honey (or, in some recipes, sugar), herbs (such as tea) and spices, and served hot. Hot toddy recipes vary and are traditionally drunk before retiring for the night, in wet or cold weather or to relieve the symptoms of the cold and flu.” But it is not something that you would typically find on a standard bar menu. Given the popularity of fire pits and outdoor entertaining, I would think that is the perfect opportunity to offer your guests a Hot Toddy! They are easy to make and I am sure everyone can come up with their own personal recipe or variation to enjoy. Hot Buttered Rum is also a good option which blends hot water, a butter emulsion, rum and spices. Last year I had a number of colleagues that were enjoying their coffee with butter or coconut oil, so everything old is new again! Many of these drinks naturally lend themselves to the Holidays and colder weather. We are all familiar with Hot Mulled Cider or Mulled Wine, Gluhwein, Glogg or Grog. I know I get requests to serve these beverages at Holiday parties each year. People usually have just one to be social and enjoy some holiday cheer but then migrate back to their favorite libation. An interesting fact about some of the mulled wine recipes was if you enjoy Sangria in the summer, mulled wine is the sangria of the winter with similar ingredients.

Personally, what enticed me to write this piece for you were the aromatics of the drink. Partner that with people’s attention to essential oils today and their healing properties, it is not a stretch to consider the medicinal properties of a hot, aromatic beverage to soothe what ails you! Think also of TheraFlu.  Which brings me back to warming the cognac, the heat will start to release the volatile compounds in the alcohol and if you partner that with hot water, the steam from the hot beverage can soothe your sinuses. Everyone is familiar with hot water, lemon and honey and sometimes tea as a beverage to drink to soothe a cold. Think of the Hot Toddy as incorporating the benefits of Vicks Vapor Rub products for adults! (We are not suggesting a Hot Toddy in the place of medicine, of course.)


So however you enjoy your hot beverages, stay warm, stay well! But if you are feeling under the weather, a good bartender might be intrigued if you asked for a Hot Toddy to feel better! It is just tea with honey, lemon and some Whiskey after all! Why not make a thermos of something warm and enjoy while Trick or Treating!

I want to thank Michele for her inspiration and encouragement to share this information with you all. If you have your own personal favorite, feel free to reply back and share it with me! I just might have to give it a try! Our talented team would be happy to mix up a batch for you. Feel free to give us a call. We look forward to working with you soon!

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