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Issue 109 - Chasing the Blues Away

Whisky Magazine Issue 109
February 2013


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Chasing the Blues Away

Daveconsidered the history and effects of the hot toddy

Avirus they said, which seems to be medical speak for, ‘we haven't a clue, please go away before you infect us as well,' but anyway it was a nasty cough/chest bug that laid low the Family Broom for the festive season. (The only relief was a trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour where I looked in vain for a bottle of fire whisky. The butter beer by the way was non-alcoholic, tooth-meltingly sweet and nothing like the 17th century recipe I turned up in Robert May's 1685 book The Accomplisht Cook, but I digress.) Although the family succumbed, I managed to fight it off, which isn't, I hasten to add, some sort of macho statement as I am as prone as any of my sex to fall victim to the effects of Man Flu. No, my recovery was entirely down to the copious quantities of a cocktail of hot water, Lemsip, honey and whisky. I started with Balvenie Double Wood and ended up on AnCnoc. In other words, I was Saved By Toddy.

Funny how even the most puritanical of whisky drinker reaches for a similar mix when illness looms. It could be the Hot Toddy, or the equally efficacious Whisky Mac. I remember when as, heavy with Man Flu and drinking the latter concoction, a caring friend appeared with another glass of green liquid which I added to the already brimming glass. “But that's Green Chartreuse!” he cried. I drank it, slept like an innocent and awoke cured, but I digress (again).

The Toddy was not always the refuge of the sickly. In Ireland, an order of a Hot Whiskey is perfectly normal. ...

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