Jan 11

Hot Toddy Day

Whisky & Tea
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A Hot Toddy
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"A good gulp of hot whiskey at bedtime - it's not very scientific but it helps!"

~ Alexander Fleming (1881-1945)

The discover of penicillin, Alexander Fleming, would be interested to know that there is now evidence of whisky's medicinal and antiviral properties! Generally believed to be of Scottish origin, a classic hot toddy recipe ingredients are whisky (or Irish whiskey), herbs (such as tea), spices, sugar or honey, and lemon juice. In 19th-century Britain, it was common for doctors to prescribe a Hot Toddy as a cure for almost anything, from stomach pain to insomnia. Today it is sipped more exclusively to soothe a cold – whisky to fortify, tea to warm, lemon and spices (and tea) to boost vitamins and micronutrients. Originally designed for the Outlander television series, this tartan references the two main characters, English time traveler Claire (the tea-drinker) and Scottish romantic hero and Jacobite Jamie (whisky). It also references the colour ways of the cloak worn by Claire when she first passed through the time portal. Both whisky and tea figure prominently in the story, both as beverage and metaphor and are variously described, consumed, and smuggled! 🥃 🌿 🍋 🍯 🐝

The word “toddy” itself stretches back to the British colonial era and is thought by some to be taken from the Hindi word tārī, a drink made from the fermented sap of toddy palm.   This toddy, however, was served cool.  The hot toddy of today likely finds its roots in Scottish tradition.  This drink was sipped warm, with whisky, hot water, honey, and spices such as nutmeg or cloves, and may have derived its name from Edinburgh's water source for the drink: Tod’s Well.

Hot or not, the classic pairing of whisky and tea is now being reinvented in Asia. China has become one of the top 10 consumers of Scotch for the first time, and a new way of enjoying it, mixing blended whisky with chilled tea, especially green tea, is very popular. The drink is usually served as a highball, over ice, with about one part whisky, three parts tea, usually lightly sweetened. 


This tartan was inspired by scenery and characters (and beverages smuggled) of the Outlander TV series.


From ale for breakfast, caudle, teas and cordials, brandy, Rhenish wine, to whisky, the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages consumed in the various locales (and times) in this book, are many and varied!

For a convincing rationale as to why a hot toddy might really actually help your cold, click the glass for a physician's explanation!

Officially registered tartan graphics on this site courtesy of The Scottish Tartans Authority.  Other tartans from talented tartan artists may also be featured.

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