Friday, January 20, 2012

Ollie's favorite hot toddy

Okay, folks, sorry for the lack of blogposts of late. I blame the stuffy head and tiredness. I've been fighting off a cold for well over a week now and I've about had it.

I've tried resting. I've tried exercising. Made many cups of ginger tea. Cold Season tea. Sleepytime tea. Spicy lentil soup. Curried pumpkin soup. Tom Ka Jae. Chicken soup (from scratch, made with the remainder of the delicious White House Meats heritage Cornish-Rock bird I roasted for dinner with friends and family earlier this week -- hey, I may be sick, but that doesn't kill my appetite or keep me from hosting dinner parties... it just keeps me from blogging, apparently). I've used the neti pot religiously. Doped myself up with CVS brand decongestant. Bought a new filter for the humidifier that's been running 24/7. Nothing's worked to kick this thing out of my system. So tonight I am testing out a popular theory of germ killing using a remedy almost as old as Civilization itself. I'm talking about alcohol.

In Mexico, my friends swore by tequila as the cure-all. Same thing with Japanese friends and sake or Irish friends and whiskey. (I have not had the good fortune to get myself to Japan or Ireland yet, but I hope to some day, and not just to research cold remedies.) Tonight, rifling through a rather lacking liquor collection, I decided to try making my first hot toddy. Because I had just a bit of brandy on hand and, really, what the heck else am I supposed to do on a Friday night with sniffles yet again?

Let me tell you: it's delicious. And as usual, made with what I had around the kitchen, because though I did a few online searches to get the basic gist of toddies, it is me we're talking about here ("recipe, schmecipe") and I certainly wasn't about to head BACK out into the chilly weather to pick anything up. I mean, my weather man has been talking about imminent sleet and I don't want this cold to get worse.

So tonight is officially hot toddy and movie night. Yep, just me, Ollie, a hot toddy, and, if it arrived in today's Netflix installment, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. (What, you think I only watch food policy documentaries or something?) I might make a toddy for Ollie as well. Because as a general rule I don't drink alone.

Boy, it's good. Should you want to recreate this delicious cold remedy -- frankly, I might use up my modest stash of cherry-infused brandy (made by my friend Cristina and her husband this summer with boozy, local cherries) before I have you over for dinner -- here's how to make your own:

Ollie's favorite hot toddy

Get yourself a nice big mug and drop in:
- 1 TBSP local honey
- 2-3 TBSP brandy/bourbon/whiskey
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 whole cloves
Fill the mug with boiling water and stir. Wait a few minutes for the spices to infuse everything (and also to let the water cool down so you don't burn off your tastebuds... not that I am implying my readers are necessarily impatient or anything....)

So there you have it. We'll see how I feel tomorrow. I'd better be less sickly, as I have big plans for dinner making and dancing....


  1. It's getting to be winter time again. Here's a tweak to the recipe, which I just tried this evening (to resounding success) using scotch:


Thanks for your comment! Just making sure this isn't spam.... Thanks for your patience. :)Ibti