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.
This amazing non alcoholic hot toddy recipe is going to help you stay healthy and recover from any illness that crosses your path. It's also a great way for kids (and adults who don't drink) to celebrate National Hot Toddy Day.
This Fireball Hot Toddy is an exceptionally delicious update to the classic cocktail. It’s spicy, sweet, and cozy, making it perfect for sipping by the fire, especially in the winter on National Hot Toddy Day.
Winter calls for soothing warm cocktails brimming with flavors of the season. A Cranberry Apple Hot Toddy is just such a sipper. Steaming hot with boozy flavors of apple, cranberry, honey, lemon and more! Perfect for cozy fireside evenings, especially with National Hot Toddy Day.
This hot tooday takes the classic cocktail that includes earl gray tea and blood orange, which adds so much flavor and depth to the traditional hot toddy. Enjoy this Blood Orange + Earl Grey Hot Toddy on National Hot Toddy Day.
This lemon honey hot toddy recipe comes together quickly with a handful of ingredients and is suitable for helping battle a cold day, soothe a sore throat, or if you are under the weather. It's also perfect for National Hot Toddy Day.