A warm delicious drink to soothe what ails you
The lovely parts of autumn in Montreal include pumpkins and fall mums adorning front porches, watching children roll around in the pile of leaves their parents spent hours raking up, and the Garden of Lights exhibit at the Montreal Botanical Garden. The less lovely parts include fall colds. This seems to be a particularly popular time for getting sick, and not wanting to be left out, one of us just spent a week congested, achy, slightly feverish, and generally feeling crummy.
On a particularly miserable day, a colleague (yes, mask-wearing and hand-sanitizing-by-the-minute meant that no work was missed) suggested that what was needed was a hot toddy. Intrigued, and desperate, she was asked to explain. Her Scottish husband, Phil, always makes her this warm drink when she is ill, and she maintains that it works wonders. Used to drinking chamomile or Greek mountain tea when sick, adding something new to the arsenal was welcome. And, the fact that the hot toddy contains alcohol…well, this definitely seemed like something worth trying (for research purposes, of course).
And so that evening, having been texted the recipe, it was toddy making time. The instructions allowed for the use of a variety of spirits, like rum, gin or scotch. We turned to Metaxa, and thereby created a Greek version of the hot toddy (the hot toddy-opoulos?). The first sip literally opened up the sinuses and soothed the achy, scratchy throat. But also, this stuff was delicious! Too delicious to be relegated only to times of sickness, we totally see ourselves making a hot toddy for after-skiing, after-skating or after-digging-our-car-out-of-the-driveway come winter. We may also see ourselves making it tonight, for after-dinner.
Phil maintains that the toddy is best made by a spouse, or partner, or other wonderful person, with love, for maximum effect. If this is possible, super! And then, as they are delivering the drink to you in bed they can fetch the tissue, rub your back and tell you how wonderful you look, despite feeling like you have been run over by a truck. However, if you are single, either as a status or temporarily for the evening…make the hot toddy yourself. Minimal effort, maximum effect. And, did we mention, it actually tastes amazing.
We do believe that honey has natural healing effects in and of itself, so its addition to this drink is perfect. When purchasing honey, try to find a local product, or one which you can be confident is pure and not a mixture of sugar and corn syrup.
Mia Kouppa: Hot Toddy
- 1 1/4 cup hot water (boiled)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Metaxa (or gin, scotch or rum)
- Combine all ingredients and mix well.
- Drink, and go straight to bed. Good night.