A Word from our stores

The History of the Hot Toddy

November 6th 2019

Winter is coming as Ned Stark famously said, but I bet he didn’t have a Hot Toddy to fall back on in the North. Well thanks to British controlled India of all places, we do today.

So in the unlikely country of India began the story of the Hot Toddy around 1610. Derived from the Hindi word “Taddy, this was a drink crafted from fermented palm sap. But by the late 1700s, the Taddy finally became known as a drink made from alcohol, hot water and spices. The British became so fond of the drink they took it as one of their own and thus became the Hot Toddy.

As the drink made its way back to the British isles, pubs throughout Scotland and Northern England would ward off the winter chills by adding hot water into their Scotch Whisky. It wasn’t long before the influence of British trade routes began to bring spices into the mix, giving us the basis of the classic we love today.

The link to its reputed medical benefits is one of great debate, however, one origin story tells a tale of an Irish doctor who started incorporating a drink containing brandy, cinnamon, sugar and hot water into his portfolio of treatment methods.

Today there are many variants of the humble Hot Toddy. You have cranberry, grapefruit and lemon bases. You can use Scotch, Bourbon, and even experiment with some white spirits like vodka.

But we wanted to show you how to make a really easy and excellent tasting toddy with Earl Grey tea.

You’ll need to get yourself the following:

50ml Whisky, 1 tbsp honey, 20ml lemon juice, 1 cup of boiling water, 1 earl grey tea bag, 1 Cinnamon stick, 1 star anise

This is how you put them together:

  • Brew your Earl Grey tea bag in a cup of hot water allowing around 3 minutes to brew
  • While your tea is brewing, add your honey, whisky and lemon juice in your cup of choice and mix together
  • Then pour in your Earl Grey and stir well before adding your cinnamon and star anise