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Culture > Cuisine > Hot Whisky Toddy

Culture: Cuisine

Hot Whisky Toddy:

The perfect mixed drink for those who want to warm up on a cold winter's day, hot toddies are believed to have originated in the eighteenth century to make the taste of Scotch whisky more palatable to women. The name "toddy" may have originated from Allan Ramsay's 1721 poem, "The Morning Interview," in which he describes a sumptuous tea-party, "all the rich requisites" for which have been brought from abroad: the table comes from Japan, the tea from China, the sugar from the West Indies. In regard to his native country's contribution to the entertainment, Ramsay writes,

"Scotia does no such costly tribute bring,
Only some kettles full of Todian spring."

To this passage Ramsay appended the note, "'Todian spring,' i.e., Tod's well, which supplies Edinburgh with water." 1

While the term "hot toddy" today refers to any hot drink made with spirits, sweetener, and water or tea, Scots will argue that hot toddies are best made with Scotch whisky.


2 oz. well-matured Scotch whisky
6 oz. hot water or tea
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey or 3-4 cubes sugar


  • Fill a ceramic mug or glass with hot water or tea. Add honey or sugar and lemon and wait until it dissolves. Then add whisky and stir (enthusiasts will recommend you stir the beverage with a silver spoon). Enjoy!
  1. MacKay, Charles. A dictionary of Lowland Scotch. Ballantyne Press: Edinburgh. 1888. 243
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