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In Praise of the Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy

With flu season still in full swing, we’d like to put on our doctor hat and single out our favorite medical remedy for all occasions.

Naturally, alcohol is involved.

Specifically, we’re thinking of the miraculous concoction known as the hot toddy. It’s seen us through countless illnesses—along with a fair number of snow days.

If you’re confused about what’s inside, we understand. The main ingredient is boiling water, with brandy, whiskey, rum, cinnamon, lemon, honey and cloves swapping in and out depending on whose recipe you believe. It’s hard to go wrong with any combination, really, although we tend to prefer the bourbon-infused variety. But in cases of illness, we swear by a certain secret ingredient that rarely makes its way into the toddy canon: ginger.

This is the template, but it’s not quite as complicated as all that. Just slice up enough ginger root to fill a tea bag, then add boiling water, bourbon and whatever fixings you happen to have on hand. (Hopefully that includes lemon.) It’s simple enough to handle while you’re making soup, and will rev up parts of your system your chicken noodle simply can’t reach.

Suddenly, a sick day doesn’t look so bad.