Old wives' tales are usually things I like to take note of. You can scoff and roll your eyes, but many times, an old home remedy may be the just what the doctor ordered.
And by doctor, I mean mixologist.
As a Southern belle, I'm no stranger to the odd shot of whiskey or bourbon administered when one has the sniffles (or any other time for that matter). And since childhood, I have heard a good Hot Toddy will always, without a doubt, cure what ails you.
It's a well-loved piece of Southern folklore. Many families have their own special recipes, some stronger and some better than others.
Along the lines of Hot Buttered Rum, the Toddy can be made with bourbon, whiskey, rum or brandy. It really depends on where you are from and personal preference.
My version is a riff off the Hot Toddy recipe of one of the South's literary icons, William Faulkner. His father's recipe is a strong example. As a doctor, he routinely served it to his patients – perfectly poised and delivered on a silver platter – as a "cure" for the common cold.
Even though there isn't any real science to back up the claims, the Hot Toddy is still a soothing, delicious cocktail perfect for wintry months. It's a wonderfully warm sipper, laced with spice and chock full of Vitamin C.
Twinkle's Hot Toddy
- 4 tea bags, preferably black tea
- 3 cups of water
- 2 tbs. honey
- 1 tbs. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbs. fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1 tsp. citrus zest
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground clove
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 10 oz. Booker's Bourbon
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 4 pieces of orange peel for decoration
Bring water to a boil, adding spices and honey slowly. Boil about 5-7 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
Set out four 8 oz. mugs.
Place one tea bag in each mug.
Place a cinnamon stick in each mug and evenly distribute the fresh-squeezed juice.
Pour two and half ounces of bourbon in each glass, then top with the hot water mixture.
Float some citrus zest and peel on top of the drink for a garnish.
Let cool a bit if too hot to drink, then bottoms up! Cheers!
Twinkle VanWinkle was born in a small town in Mississippi. A life-long lover of music, media and food, she grew up following those three things along her path. She has almost 20 years of professional cooking under her apron strings, feeding thousands of friends, family and other folks while working in restaurants and bakeries in Oxford, Miss. She baked 300 apple pies for the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and appeared on "The Best Of..." in the same year. Along with producing dynamic entertainment content for LIN Media, she is a mother, musician and social media fanatic.
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