Saturday on the Patio
It’s a lovely, warm, bright-blue-sky Saturday afternoon and I’m sitting on the patio digging up photos from my computer for my son’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor slide show. I’m nominally being useful, but mostly, I’m enjoying the vitamin D-building sunshine.
Ring, Ring! My cell phone jumps, startling me and the cardinal in the bird feeder behind me.
Drowsy, I grab the cell phone and greet my bestie, who has an urgent need for a hot toddy recipe.
(Aside, in loud stage whisper: I have never used the word “bestie” before, and I feel almost naughty and hipsterish.)
Myra Needs a Hot Toddy!
Bestie, calling from the Texas Hill Country, says that her friend Myra is suffering from strep and as the caretaker, she wants to provide a hot toddy to complement the homemade chicken soup she has prepared. Myra has some Woodford Reserve Bourbon, a need for relief, and a willing and able bartender in Noemi. I’ve met Myra before; she has a very precocious son and a super-kind heart. And she loves my bestie, so of course I love her.
Hot toddy, hot toddy!? I have never made one, but was so flattered to get the call and be expected to know all about it. So of course I put on my “fake it ’til you make” it attitude and gave stellar advice! My in-the-moment counsel was to make some hot tea, add honey, then lemon and 2 oz of bourbon and put it in a mug with a sugared rim.
My text after we spoke, to confirm the instructions:
“Boil water, then steep the tea for 4 minutes, then remove the bag and add 2 tsp of honey. Stir it in so it can dissipate before adding the 2 oz of liquor, which will cool it down a little. Add a twist of lemon; rub the lemon all around the rim of the mug. You could even rub the lemon and then dip the rim in sugar before adding the liquids, like you do with a margarita. Yum. I’m going to call this drink the Myra. Send me a picture for the blog!”
The picture is below. Myra gave the toddy a thumbs-up.
What Does Wikipedia Say?
I checked Wikipedia after my “sage” advice to see if I was even in the ballpark about hot toddies, and is it turns out, my idea about the tea was “spot on”. Hot toddies always have bourbon and can be made with water or tea; they are drunk before bedtime as a sleep aid, to provide a warming effect in cold or rainy weather, or for their assumed restorative powers. Click here to see what else Wikipedia has to say about hot toddies.
Trying It Myself
I felt a little uncomfortable recommending something I had only conjured up in my mind and my virtual taste buds, so as soon as I was able, later on Saturday, I followed my own instructions and made the same drink, using the Grill-Meister’s Maker’s 46. It was delicious. And it made me sleepy.
The Myra Hot Toddy Recipe
Ingredients (makes 1)
- 1 lemon-ginger tea bag, or other tea of your choice
- 2 oz. of good bourbon (something you would drink neat, not a house / mixing bourbon)
- 2 tsp. local honey
- 1 tsp. sugar
- lemon wedges for 1-2 tsp. lemon and one for garnish
Gather all ingredients. Boil two or three cups of water and pour over the tea bag in a small tea pot or pitcher. (You’ll want enough tea to make at least two hot toddies, right?) Put a teaspoon of sugar on a small paper plate. Find a nice mug and rub the rim with one of the lemon wedges, the turn the mug upside down and dip it onto the sugar to coat the rim.
Let the tea steep for 4 minutes, then stir in the honey. Add the bourbon, squeeze a couple of lemon wedges into the drink and stir, then garnish the mug with another lemon wedge and serve.