The hot toddy. A simple winter pleasure. Bourbon warmed with fresh lemon juice and lots of local honey, added to a steaming mug of orange spiced tea (or something else, or all on its own- dealer’s choice). Best consumed in a hot bath or snuggled up in front of a crackling fire. Or maybe outdoors, gathered around a fire pit with a thermos of these and some of your nearest and dearest? The hot toddy pretty much lends itself to all the cozy winter cocktail scenarios.
It also soothes a scratchy throat, comforts a cold and warms your belly. I’ll take pretty much any excuse to curl up with a hot toddy, scratchy throat or no. Although, that husband of mine- the one with medical degree- introduced me to the hot toddy in its medicinal form. We had been dating maybe six months and I came down with a nasty cold. The only upside of a cold-hot baths and hot toddies on repeat. He sent me off to a hot bath with a steaming mug of “medicine”. A hot bath and a cocktail on doctor’s orders. Who am I to question? And according to this article in the Smithsonian magazine there may actually be legit medicinal benefits, so don’t take my word for it.
Therefore, any houseguest with a scratchy throat is always given one of these in our home and we have converted many a friend who thought hot toddies were only for old people at ski resorts. And for bonus points- when you hear of a friend under the weather, a basket with the makings of a good hot toddy left on the doorstep is never ill received.
Good honey is key. Bonus points if it’s local. If you are one of my Central Texas peeps, I am loving the Texas Wildflower Honey from HEB. And a note on the booze- it doesn’t need to be the super fancy stuff that you would only drink straight over a giant, fancy cube of ice, but don’t use the cheap stuff either. I honestly am not a huge bourbon person, but Alan is and the Jack Daniels that perpetually lives on our bar is perfect for this. My sister also recently introduced us to TX Whiskey, which is made is Fort Worth so if you like to keep your spirits local, it’s a quite enjoyable choice. Plus the bottle is pretty.
And it’s basically a universal truth that enjoying an adult beverage in a pretty glass elevates the experience. Stop saving the good stuff for special occasions. The truth is, pulling out the good stuff turns a random Tuesday into a special occasion.
And that is kind of the whole point behind the name of this site. Live Life, Love Food. I want to live life to the fullest, every single day, and part of that is indulging myself and my family on a daily basis. Not extravagantly, or recklessly, but by treating us in small ways that make the everyday seem special.
Hand brewing a great cup of coffee, dressing the greens with the fancy olive oil, an impulsive stop to romp around the park with my 5 year old on a pretty day. Or maybe finding 20 minutes with a good book and a hot toddy in front of a fire. As the holidays are upon us, my son frequently asks if today is a special day. And my answer is always that every day is special, we just have to make it that way.