January 10

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Recipe for Self-Care: Drink a Hot Toddy

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Photo from zoomyummy.com

In the midst of surviving life, it can be easy to forget how to do a nice thing for yourself. Sure, there are lists of advice tips that will lead you in the right direction: See a friend, read a book, breathe. But in the spirit of simplicity, I offer you but one suggestion: Drink a hot toddy.

Now I know it’s a bit of a seasonal drink. If you’ve heard of hot toddies before, you may picture them amongst a foodscape of eggnogs and fruit cakes. And yes, there is no denying that it is a warm and cozy solution on a wintry night. But I assure you, there is no right time or place to indulge in a hot-toddy moment. Hot toddies do it all.

I know your time is precious, so why use the few moments you have to soothe your personal ails with a hot toddy? That’s a great question. I advocate for hot toddies because these magical concoctions are a proven cure all. Got a cold? Drink a hot toddy. Feeling anxious? Drink a hot toddy. Worried about the onset of Alzheimer’s? Drink a hot toddy. Hey, it may not cure everything, but it couldn’t hurt.

The components of a hot toddy are simple and wholesome. Many of it’s ingredients are probably already in your kitchen. Here’s a breakdown of how each ingredient can help make your life a little better:

  • Hot tea: An ancient remedy full of flavonoids (a natural antioxidant) that is known to relieve stress, ease anxiety and encourage mental alertness. Tea on it’s own is a great self-gift, but when adding the following ingredients, it’s powers become even more compelling.
  • Lemon: Chocked full of vitamin C as well as many other vitamins, such as potassium, calcium and vitamin B6, lemons are a powerhouse when it comes to promoting personal health. They are a classic remedy for boosting the immune system and are also known for increasing iron absorption and promoting a healthy complexion.
  • Honey: Known as liquid gold, honey is a natural antibacterial and antifungal. This sweet elixir is often used to cure a cough, treat allergies as well as disinfect wounds and burns. It’s also believed to help prevent memory loss and increase sleep quality.
  • Cinnamon: This beloved spice is another powerhouse when it comes to its curative benefits. Cinnamon is believed to have antibacterial, antifungal and even antiviral properties. It is an anti-inflammatory, can lower bad cholesterol and is believed to treat conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  • Whiskey/Bourbon: A distilled alcoholic beverage made from grain mash, whiskey has a reputation of an alcohol with a hard edge, conjuring images from cowboys to speakeasies. Despite its rough past, many believe that consuming whiskey has significant health benefits. Drinking whiskey can promote weight loss, reduce chances of dementia, boost the immune system and protect heart health.

I can speak personally about the power of this classic cocktail because of a good friend who introduced it to me during my senior year of college. I was stressed, physically drained and just sad, and though she was enduring similar woes, she had a bit more pep in her step.

“Come over, and have a hot toddy,” she said. “Seriously, any time. Sometimes I drink them in the middle of the day.”

And once I took her up on her suggestion, I realized the brilliance of the hot toddy’s simplicity. Easy to make for 1 or 10, it’s components are cheap and healthful. Now, I prescribe hot toddies to myself and my loved ones at the first sign of imbalance. And sometimes that means having a second cup to make sure I feel even-keeled.

Hot Toddy Recipe: 

  • 1.5 ounces whiskey or bourbon
  • 4 ounces hot water
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 black tea bag (optional)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (garnish)
  1. Boil water and pour into mug. If you prefer tea with your hot toddy, now is the time to steep the tea bag, but a toddy is also delicious without it.
  2. Add lemon juice and honey. Stir.
  3. Then add liquor. Stir again.
  4. Add cinnamon stick for garnish.
  5. Sip slowly, and enjoy your moment of self-care ❤