Monday, October 4, 2010

Charles Dickens' Hot Toddy recipe

"...I informed Mr. Micawber that I relied upon him for a bowl of punch, and led him to the lemons. His recent despondency, not to say despair, was gone in a moment. I never saw a man so thoroughly enjoy himself amid the fragrance of lemon-peel and sugar, the odor of burning rum, and the steam of boiling water..." - David Copperfield, Charles Dickens

When cold weather hits and noses start sniffling, nothing is more comforting or medicinal than a Hot Toddy. Traditionally, a hot poker was taken fresh from the fire, and the glowing red end was dipped into the liquid to heat it. Nowadays, I prefer using the microwave and tea kettle, which are not as messy :-)

The basic recipe is the same, but lends itself to delicious variations:

  • One jigger of brandy, rum or whiskey
  • 2 tbsp. lemonade powder or lemon juice
  • lemon peel
  • Boiling water
  • Either ginger ale or apple cider
  • Optional: butter, brown sugar, honey
In a tea kettle or saucepan, bring water to a boil. In a large mug, pour the ginger ale or apple cider and lemonade powder or lemon juice and stir to mix. Place mug in microwave and heat for 2 minutes on high heat, until liquid is piping hot. Add boiling water, lemon peel and alcohol of choice, stir briefly to mix. If desired, add brown sugar or honey, stir to mix, and drop a pat of butter on top to melt.


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