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National Hot Toddy Day (January 11)

Check out the weird holiday National Hot Toddy Day on January 11. Learn the history of National Hot Toddy Day & get ideas on how to celebrate.

One weird holiday on January 11 is National Hot Toddy Day. Check out the other weird January holidays!

History of National Hot Toddy Day

The hot toddy was created in the 1700s in Scotland by physicians as a homemade remedy for sore throats and congestion. The Irish doctor Robert Bentley Todd often prescribed a hot drink of brandy with Canella (a white cinnamon), water, and sugar syrup.

The word “toddy” is taken from the Hindi word tārī, which is a drink that comes from a tree native to India called the toddy palm. The tārī is made from the fermented sap of that tree.

This warm drink is cooked up in a kettle with some type of alcohol (usually rum, whiskey, or brandy), along with honey, water, lemon, and a cinnamon stick.

In the American Revolutionary War, soldiers began using it with rum or brandy (instead of the traditional Scottish whiskey) as a way to stay warm and give them liquid courage for the battles ahead.

In 1837, an article was published in “The Burlington Free Press” that claimed the hot toddy was a “cure-all beverage.” Then later in the 1860s, an official hot toddy recipe was published in Jerry Thomas’s book “The Bartender’s Guide.”

Today’s recipes call for a shot of alcohol with some honey, lemon, water, and cinnamon (as described above), but often with a wide variety of adaptations, which we have listed below.

We’re not sure why this drink became the focus of a holiday, but it definitely fits in with the harsh, cold January weather!

Ideas for National Hot Toddy Day

Make your own hot toddy to celebrate! Here are several recipes and variations of the hot toddy for you to try.

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