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.