A hot toddy should be your winter drink of choice. It's a warm drink made up of honey, lemon, whiskey, and hot water. Tossing in some lemon wedges, cloves and cinnamon sticks will totally amp up your game. So I'm going to give you a little background on this drink. 

Where Did it Start?

Alexis Clark

Hot toddies originated in Scotland, in the 17th century. But over the years, different cultures have adopted the recipe and made it their own. For example, in my college town of Boulder, Colorado, a popular Irish bar, Conor O’Niell’s boasts the best hot toddy on its season cocktail menu. After chatting with my lovely waiter, I learned that these drinks are extremely popular during the fall and the winter, but are still commonly ordered year round.

So Why Are These Drinks So Popular?

When I called my mom to ask, she simply said, “A hot toddy is perfect, for snowy day, icy days, cold days, mildly chilly days…” After waiting a few more minutes for her to get through the list, she told me that hot toddies are known for their cold and flu healing abilities.

Now, that just seems too good to be true. But to my astonishment and excitement, my mom was right. The alcoholic drink dubbed a hot toddy can and probably will help you get over sickness. But you shouldn’t just believe everything you read on the Internet…. 

The Facts

First of all, heat is good for sickness. Steams, hot tea, hot toddies, everything helps. So while drinking your hot toddy, make sure to inhale the steam, it can help clear and soothe your nasal passages. The other aspect of hot toddies (that is similar to hot tea) is the use of honey and lemon; two well-known flu fighters.

A surprising beneficial aspect of hot toddies is the alcohol. I know right? Is alcohol EVER a good idea? Well, in this case it is (but, as always, in moderation). Bourbon is a natural decongestant for your body, by dilating the blood vessels; it makes it easier for the mucus membranes in your body deal with infections. Alcohol also has the sneaky effect of calming you; reducing those sleepless nights filled, coughing up gross mucus.

But now we must discuss the negative aspects of using a cocktail as a substitute to cold medicine. First of all, as we should all know, alcohol is very dehydrating. And hydration is key to remaining healthy. Alcohol also weakens your immune system, so it may have the opposite effect on your flu if you aren’t careful.

So if you’re sick, feeling like you may get sick, or just want a warm nightcap, try one or two hot toddies. Any more and you could risk doing more damage than good to your body. So drink up, enjoy and feel better.