Making a Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy

With the temperature dropping, curling up by the fireplace with a hot toddy is one way to ward off the winter chill. One of my first jobs was selling mens suits in Omaha. I worked with a whole bunch of retired salesmen. Most of them were former car salesmen. I learned an awful lot about sales from those old gents. It was a little bit like Glengarry Glen Ross, though that movie hadn’t come out yet. One of those salesmen was “Chis” Chisholm, a delightful storyteller. I’m sure he has passed on by now but he was the person who first introduced me to the “hot toddy.” Just like clockwork, as the day wore down to closing time, he would start talking about the hot toddy that he would make that evening. In memory of “Chis,” here are some recipes for hot toddies.

Here is an old recipe for a hot toddy that would date back to his generation:

In a standard glass mug add:

    1 lump of sugar and 1 stick of cinnamon
    3 cloves stuck into a slice of lemon
    1 jigger of rum, whisky, or brandy
    Leave a spoon in the toddy to absorb some heat.
    Add boiling water.

I canvassed a number of recipes and tried some out. You can’t go wrong if you work with two mandatory ingredients, water and a shot of alcohol and up to two additional ingredients, something sweet (honey or sugar) and something spicy. You can also substitute coffee for the water for a coffee-based hot toddy. Exactly how you put it together is up to you. Just don’t overdo the sugar.

    Boiling water and alcohol: 1 shot (1.5 ounces or 3 tablespoons) of your favorite, be it rum, whiskey, or brandy.

    Sweet: 1 lump or 1 teaspoon of sugar, or 1/2 ounce of honey (1 tablespoon)

    Spice: 2 or 3 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick.


2 thoughts on “Making a Hot Toddy

  1. Sounds delicious, especially in this weather. Can’t wait to get home and make one.

    You also had better coworkers for your first jobs than I did. Mine were ex-cons, and instead of telling me Hot Toddy recipes, they wanted to show me how to cook THC from cleaning chemicals.

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