Drink Recipe – Simple Hot Toddy

I usually tend to be attracted to more unusual drinks just so they’re something a little more exciting and special, but sometimes basics are good. It is cold and flu season (yay :P), and I lucked out and managed to avoid most of the nastier bugs that were ripping both through my department and my family this holiday season. I don’t feel bad… I think I paid my dues for a few years by having PNEUMONIA last year. What 34-year-old, otherwise-healthy woman gets pneumonia that easily? Me, that’s who.

Anyway, I’ve got a mild headcold for the second time this year (I’ll take it over pneumonia ANY day, or the stomach bug that everyone was catching), but this time it is COLD out! This is the first time all winter it’s actually been below freezing for any more than a few hours at a time (it hasn’t gotten above freezing for like 2 days! I know this is Upstate New York, but global warming has us spoiled, like t-shirts on Christmas spoiled!), and there’s a wind advisory in effect. I can hear it WHIPPING out there! That makes it a good night for sweatpants, afghans, sleeping kitties, and…. drumroll please… Hot Toddies!

My throat is sore but itchy, and I can’t think of a better remedy for that than Hot Toddies. I have no desire to go outside, so I had to find a recipe that would work with what I have in the house. I googled Hot Toddy recipes and went through them one by one until the ingredients seemed manageable, and I found the perfect one here on Epicurious!

It called for “good bourbon”, and I was really tempted to break into the really nice bourbon I got for my brother-in-law for Christmas. It’s from a local company called Yankee Distillers that is run by one of the adjunct professors at my school, and I don’t think they have a website but their Facebook page is here. It’s really good! I think even people that typically have a hard time with straight bourbon would like it. Their vodka and rum is really good too (the only vodka I think I can drink straight since it doesn’t taste like rubbing alcohol)!

The “good” bourbon in my house!

But I behaved myself and kept the “good” bourbon for my BIL, even though we’re not exactly best friends.

The only other bourbon I had on hand is Wild Turkey 101. Don’t judge! I bought it for the bitters that I make. I’ll post that story at a later date. And I figured a slightly higher alcohol content can’t hurt when you’re trying to numb a sore/itchy throat anyway.


I’m lucky enough to always have really good, local honey, and I didn’t have FRESH lemon juice but I have delicious organic stuff so it’s good enough. …I actually had a lemon in the house until two days ago when I juiced the remaining oranges, grapefruit, and the lemon and drank it all to try to fight off this cold gunk when it was developing.

The recipe is fairly simple and uses basic ingredients. It is as follows:


  • 1 oz (2 tablespoons) bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon mild honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup boiling-hot water



Put bourbon, honey, and lemon juice in a 6-ounce mug. Top off with hot water and stir until honey is dissolved.

Action shot! Complete with motion blur.

It worked! My throat felt MUCH better, and I really enjoyed drinking it while the wind growled outside (it just SOUNDS cold, you know?). I drank it while I wrote this post, actually. It was very tasty! ….maybe I’d better have another one before bed, JUST to make sure my throat doesn’t start itching/hurting again, eh?

I recommend this for sore throats, itchy throats, cold weather, or just because it’s delicious. Cheers!

Bonus: sleeping kitty in the background! She’s very cute, but also very good at camouflage.

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