The hot toddy

Last night I was reminded of something that is very Scottish and wasn’t on my extensive list of Scottish icons; the hot toddy.

One of my Latvian friends had just finished a shift working in a busy city centre bar when she decided to join me for a drink. She ordered up a Laphroaig whisky which kind of surprised me as she didn’t give me the impression of being a hardened whisky drinker let alone being a connoisseur of excellent Scottish malts. A discussion evolved and I soon discovered that she was in fact suffering from a sore throat and was hoping that the whisky was going to do the trick and ease away her ailment. It was at this point I suggested to try a “hot toddy” an old Scottish remedy that my ageing Mother still believes in to this day as a cure for any of the winter ills that range from the sniffles to a full raging cold.
The recipe is simple and most bars are likely to accommodate your needs; a measure of house whisky (any blend will do – I don’t recommend wasting a malt) freshly boiled water that has been allowed to cool for a couple of minutes add two parts water to the measure of whisky 70mls in a standard 35mls measure. Now the important part; a couple of slices of lemon and a spoonful or two of either sugar or if available honey. Stir it in and sip slowly; a tip is to squeeze or crush the lemon into the water and whisky mix.
Now you can sit back relax and enjoy your hot toddy. My friend certainly did although I’m not sure whether it soothed her sore throat or whether it was just a case of the effect of the alcohol meant that she didn’t care whether her throat was sore or not.

My lovely Dutch friend has written about an apple & cinnamon drink which you can add rum to as possible alternative for those of you who can stand the taste of whisky; I will add the link to her blog later.

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