The Hot toddy has a rich and varied history, and is heavily ingrained in our winter traditions. Toddies are traditionally a liquor base, a sweetener, spice, and lemon. Whisky, brandy and rum are the most common liquors used. When the Toddy made it to the States from Scotland where whisky was the traditional base, we changed it up a bit using brandy that was made locally, or sometimes we used rum that was being imported from the Caribbean.
In Scotland Toddies were advertised as a cold cure, the association of Toddies and head colds is still strong today. While we now know that drinking alcohol while sick won’t make you better, the warm drink and spices DO help clear up congestion, and honey, the most often used sweetener, coats and helps sooth your throat.
So don’t let anyone tell you there’s a “right way” to make the drink, you make it the way YOU like it! Experiment, have fun!
Me, I just like a hot drink on a cold day, and sometimes hot tea just won’t do the trick!