[caption id="attachment_23384" align="aligncenter" width="600"]<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2019\/01\/N1811P30004C.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="481" class="size-full wp-image-23384" \/> On a cold winter\u2019s night, there\u2019s nothing better than sitting in front of a warm fireplace and enjoying a hot beverage \u2013 like an old-fashioned Hot Toddy.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nLaura Dean Bennett\r\nStaff Writer\r\n\r\nThis is the time of year when the cold tries to seep into our bones and terms like Hot Toddy seep into our consciousness.\r\nProbably everybody has heard of hot toddies.\r\n\r\nBut I didn\u2019t really know what they were.\r\n\r\nAs usual, I learn a lot when I do research for a story.\r\n\r\nThe toddy is actually an old-fashioned style of cocktail that has been around in this country for way more than a hundred years.\r\n\r\nBy definition, a toddy is the simplest of spirited beverages - a drink with a distilled spirit, sweetener and water.\r\n\r\nWhile it can be served either hot or cold, the Hot Toddy is the most popular of the two.\r\n\r\nSome say that the origin of the term, Hot Toddy, comes from the British colony of India.\r\n\r\nThe word "taddy" in Hindi, referred to a venerable Indian beverage made from fermented palm sap, which dated back to at least the 1600s.\r\n\r\nBy the mid-18th century, a \u201ctaddy\u201d in India was well-known to refer to a beverage of fermentd alcoholic liquor made with hot water, sugar and spices.\r\n\r\nIn this version of how the Hot Toddy came to be, the British, known for appropriating all manner of cultural delicacies from around their empire, brought the drink back from India to England, where it became an exotic winter-time favorite.\r\n\r\nOthers insist that the name Hot Toddy came from 18th century Edinburgh.\r\n\r\nAs legend has it, Scottish pubs originated the concept of a \u201cmixed drink\u201d by mixing Scotch whiskey with a splash of hot water.\r\n\r\nAnd this water wasn\u2019t just any water.\r\n\r\nIt was said to have come from Tod\u2019s Well, the largest well in the Edinburgh.\r\n\r\nThe famous well supposedly gave the drink its name.\r\n\r\nThe \u201cToddy\u201d was very popular in Scotland during the 17-and-1800s, when it was used for medicinal purposes - to ward off the cold of the long and bitter Scottish winters.\r\n\r\nWhatever the actual origin may have been, by the time British and European colonists arrived in the New World and found themselves braving blustery American winters, the Hot Toddy was considered a standard medicinal draught.\r\n\r\nThe drink was typically served piping hot, in large bowls shared by multiple patrons.\r\n\r\nIn the colonies, traditional recipes varied slightly from region to region.\r\n\r\nAs it was easier to obtain rum from the Caribbean than whiskey from the old country, an American Hot Toddy usually contained sugar and spices mixed with water and rum rather than whiskey.\r\n\r\nAnd in some pubs, the recipe even featured a combination of egg yolks and rum.\r\n\r\nHere is one variation of a \u201cTraditional Hot Toddy\u201d\r\n\r\nHot water\r\n2 ounces rum or whiskey\r\n1\/2 teaspoon sugar (more or less to taste)\r\nOne scrape of nutmeg (optional)\r\n\r\nHeat water to boiling in a saucepan or kettle. Measure rum or whiskey into a tall mug. Fill to the top with hot water and spoon in sugar, stirring to blend. Grate some nutmeg on top if desired. Drink hot.\r\n\r\nAnd, in this modern counterpart, a combination of fresh ginger, cardamom and cinnamon makes this drink a practical cure for the onset of any wintry cold.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s easy to make, too. It comes together in as much time as it takes to boil water.\r\n\r\nA pat of butter delivers a soft silkiness, and the spices are so delicious, you can practically taste them fighting off viruses.\r\n\r\nThe maple rum lends a sweetness which means you can go easier on the sugar.\r\n\r\nHot Buttered \r\n(Maple) Rum Toddy\r\n\r\n2- 3 cardamom pods\r\n1 pat of unsalted butter\r\nA few slices of peeled fresh ginger\r\n1 teaspoon of light brown sugar, or more to taste\r\nPinch of orange zest, or an orange twist\r\nPinch of nutmeg\r\nPinch of cinnamon, or a cinnamon stick\r\n1 dram or 1\/8 ounce of maple rum, or to desired strength\r\nHot water\r\nA few drops of vanilla (optional)\r\n\r\nAdd cardamom pods to bottom of a tall mug and muddle slightly with pestle or other blunt kitchen tool. Add butter, ginger, sugar, orange zest and spices. In a separate mug, combine rum and hot water and then pour over spice mixture. Stir to dissolve butter and sugar, add a few drops of vanilla if desired and serve.\r\n\r\nIf you do not have cardamom pods, you may substitute an eighth to a quarter of a teaspoon of cardamom powder for 2-3 pods.\r\nAs I said, traditionally, a toddy is a drink with a distilled spirit, sweetener and water.\r\n\r\nBut it doesn\u2019t have to use a distilled spirit to be a delicious, warming toddy. There\u2019s no law against a hot toddy being non-alcoholic.\r\n\r\nSee what you think about this one.\r\n\r\n\u201cHot Grapefruit Toddy\u201d\r\n\r\n2 tbsp. sugar\r\n1 cinnamon stick\r\n1 tsp. whole cloves\r\n6 cups grapefruit juice (pink grapefruit juice optional)\r\n\r\nCombine sugar and spices in a saucepan, stir in the grapefruit juice and heat slowly. Pour into 6-ounce mugs. Makes 8 toddies.\r\n\r\nLots of hot toddy recipes call for using tea as a base. How about this recipe from \u201cthe spruce Eats:\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cHot Not Toddy\u201d\r\n\r\nIngredients\r\n7 ounces hot tea- add last\r\n1 tablespoon honey\r\n1 teaspoon lemon juice\r\n1\/2 teaspoon cinnamon (grated, or 1 cinnamon stick)\r\n1\/2 teaspoon cloves\r\n1\/2 teaspoon nutmeg (ground)\r\nGarnish with a lemon wedge\r\n\r\nDirections:\r\n\r\nGather the ingredients. In a warm Irish coffee mug, add the honey, lemon juice, and spices. Top with hot, freshly brewed tea. Stir well.\r\n\r\nGarnish with a lemon wedge.\r\n\r\nServe and enjoy.\r\n\r\nHere are a few tips for a tea based toddy:\r\n\r\nWhile waiting for your tea to brew, pour hot water into the mug or glass warm vessel for a longer lasting warm drink.\r\n\r\nAs with all food and drink, adjustments can be made to suit your taste.\r\n\r\nIf you have whole spices - particularly the cloves, which are most often whole - contain them in your mug by placing them in a tea ball or similar strainer.\r\n\r\nYou can also skip the ground cinnamon and use a whole stick instead. It doubles as a stir stick.\r\n\r\nAdd other spices that please you.\r\n\r\nGinger is a great addition when you have a cold. It can be added in ground, paste, or sliced form.\r\n\r\nAllspice, anise and vanilla (either part of a bean or a dash of extract) are good options, as well.\r\n\r\nEssentially, anything you would put into a mulled wine or hot apple cider works great in a Hot Toddy.\r\n\r\nWe haven't seen it yet this year, but it could be a long, cold winter. Hot toddies aren\u2019t about drinking, they\u2019re about surviving.\r\n\r\nGather your supplies now, and be ready to batten the hatches.