January evenings are chilly in Phoenix; not exactly ear muff weather,
but certainly cold enough to justify a hot drink with a little kick. In honor of temps below 70 degrees and -- get this -- National Hot Toddy Day! -- we're mixing up one of our favorite versions, a scorching
and some would say sinful recipe, redeemed by the natural sweetness of
A Hot Toddy is a warm drink usually made with bourbon or
scotch and a varying combination of sweeteners and spices. The Hot Toddy was believed to have originated
in Scotland, but the true history of the drink is unknown. In modern times, the Hot Toddy has been
relied upon to ease common cold and flu symptoms.
Curing the cough with a cocktail? Sounds good to us!
Hot Toddy recipes vary widely, but since we're feeling a little under we wanted to take advantage of the natural throat soothing quality of honey, so we decide to go for a honey based drink and chose this recipe, using honey, ginger, and lemon. We made a minor change to the recipe, substituting Scotch for Bourbon because we already had a bottle.
The recipe is simple enough, but does require a little effort in preparing the ginger syrup. While letting the syrup cool per the recipe and turned our attention to the other ingredients which included one ounce or two tablespoons of honey.
Weighing in at 64 calories a tablespoon, honey isn't a dieters dream, but the calories are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. According to The National Honey Board, honey can provide relief for a sore throat and a recent study by Penn State University recommends honey as a natural cough remedy for children over the age of one.
We like our honey local, so we make sure to use Tempe based Crockett Honey Company. Crockett bees make honey produced from Cactus, Mesquite and Palo Verde flower nectar. The bottling is done in Tempe, but the company maintains over 6500 hives in nearby Parker and the desert location of the hives imparts a unique flavor.
This Hot Toddy is potent, but tasty enough. The honey takes the edge away from the Scotch and the warm liquid is soothing. The ginger, which is rumored to be good for rumbling stomachs and digestion, is a nice addition and the lemon provides a small amount of vitamin C.
Of course, the American Lung Association warns against consuming alcohol when treating a cold. But our Grandmother always swore by a Hot Toddy before tucking in, and we have to agree, a Hot Toddy with a dollop of local honey just might cure what ails you.