the year of LIVING UNOFFICIALLY

365 days of celebration

11
January

National Hot Toddy Day

Posted by Brittany

Hot Brittany on Hot Toddy DayI’ve never been much of a drinker, so it’s no surprise that I was 29 before I even heard of a Hot Toddy. Until today, the only time I’d had one was at the celebration dinner following one of my best friend’s wedding rehearsals. Just in time for the wedding I’d come down with a horrible headache and cold, so one of the other bridesmaids suggested I try the magical drink to see if it improved my condition. Already a tea lover, I ordered one Hot Toddy and it proved to be both delicious and restorative. I’ve been very lucky to suffer fewer and fewer colds since a tonsillectomy a few years ago, and I usually won’t leave my bed if I’m sick, so I haven’t had the occasion to order one since. But I am told that this is a great drink not only for the ailing, but for anyone who winters in a cold climate and enjoys a little spirit to warm the soul.

To partake in National Hot Toddy Day we decided to whip up our own Hot Toddies at home. There is a great deal of debate surrounding not only the origins of this drink, but also the proper way to make it.  We decided to go with a basic tea and brandy version. We used Earl Grey tea and, not being the type of connoisseurs that can tell the cheap stuff from the expensive, a tiny little handle of E&J brandy. Chris brewed up the tea while I prepared the mugs with honey and possibly a little too much lemon. My parents joined us to sample the drinks, and after only a few minutes of preparation we were all sipping our Hot Toddies.

The reviews among the group varied. I personally enjoyed my drink. I thought Chris was dead on with his assessment that it tasted like a heated Arnold Palmer. He liked his drink alright but the joke he’s been telling all day — that he was going to drink seven Hot Toddies tonight and still make it to work tomorrow unphased — abruptly stopped. “If I drank seven of these,” he said solemnly, “I’d throw up.” My dad did not care for his drink at all, though he agreed with Chris that it improved with the addition of a little extra brandy. My mom liked her drink least of all, setting it aside after a few sips, saying “it’s just not my cup of tea. No pun intended.”

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