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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Hot Toddies

With the recent flu pandemic, I've heard the term "hot toddy" mentioned as a treatment. I'm not sure a hot toddy has any medicinal properties other than if you drink enough of them, you'll feel no pain. This is from a chapter entitled "Molecule as Medicine" in the book Alcohol: The World's Favorite Drug by Griffith Edwards [641.2 EDW], "Whisky is a popular remedy for the common cold, and who would dare question the strictly medical motivations which cause the poor sniffing sufferer to pour a hot toddy?"

There is a brief history of hot toddies found in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America [R 641.3 OXF]
The hot toddy hails from eighteenth-century Scotland, where a similar mixture of spirits (namely malt whiskey), hot water, sugar or honey, and lemon, plus spices, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, cloved, or mace, was touted as a cure for colds--although it's application was, not surprisingly, far more general.
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America lists Christopher B. O'Hara's book, Hot Toddies: Mulled Wine, Buttered Rum, Spiced Cider, and Other Soul-Warming Winter Drinks [641.87 OHA], as a reference and calls it a "definitive collection of recipes."

The author of Hot Toddies suggests that,
Taking the time to make an old-fashioned punch, or making eggnog from scratch rather than purchasing it at the supermarket, can bring warmth and fun to a casual get-together or make a holiday party truly special.
Not only will it make your party festive, it'll make the cold or flu season a little less miserable!

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