Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Grandma’s Elixirs - Hot Toddy Cold Remedy

Grandma's Hot Toddy Cold Remedy - Hot tea, lemon, honey, ginger & cloves with a splash of good ole whiskey.

Hot Toddy Cold Remedy

Looking for a recipe on how to make a great hot toddy cold remedy? You've come to the right place, because it's nearly 2:00 a.m. and I have been up and down - meaning from the bed - on and off since earlier this evening. I have a horrible, horrible cold - the worse I've had in awhile. The Cajun is coming down with something too, and I called my son earlier and he left work early sick to go to the doctor and said my daughter in law isn't feeling well either. The worse part is that my brother is in town, and only for a few days! So we all have to get better quick!

There were several occasions that my Mama made a hot toddy for me growing up when I was feeling under the weather. It was, and remains, an old home remedy for colds and flu. I always thought it was interesting that parents were more than willing to pass on a bit of booze to their underage kids, but honestly we never looked at it as being cool, since we felt so bad. It was simply medicinal. I'm sure Mama only put the tiniest splash of whiskey in it anyway.

Traditionally a hot toddy uses Scotch Whisky, hot water, sugar and lemon, but my Mama always made her hot toddy with tea. This recipe is similar to her recipe, but I played around and added a few additional healing elements. I think it turned out great and I'm working on my second cup tonight before I crawl back into the bed.

Feel free to vary the tea too. If you're off to bed, a bag of Zen green tea and Calm are nice too. It really does seem to help make me feel better, and since I'm up, I figured I might as well pass it on. Hopefully you won't need it, but just in case, hope you'll remember seeing it here! But, if this is timely for you then while you're at it, check out my post over at My New 30 Blog for some natural cold & flu treatments geared toward sinus congestion.

I am praying that when I crawl back into that bed here in a bit, I will wake up in the morning feeling like a whole new person.

Now, I'm off to bed. Again. Cheers!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!


Recipe: Grandma’s Old Fashioned Elixirs Hot Toddy Cold Remedy

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min || Yield: Makes 1

  • 1 oversized mug
  • 8 ounces of boiling water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 3 whole cloves
  • Cinnamon stick
  • 2 green tea or orange pekoe tea bags
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and/or a splash of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 to 2 ounces of Jack Daniels whiskey
  • Slice of lemon

Boil the water, stir in the ginger, cloves and cinnamon stick; add the tea bags and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the bags. Zap in the microwave for 1 minute to get it back real hot, then stir in the honey, lemon juice and last, the whiskey. Drop in lemon slice. Drink it while it is still very hot, take a warm bath with some essential oils and crawl up in the bed.

If you’re not really accustomed to the liquor taste, you can add extra honey, or even sugar to help sweeten it more and mask it a bit, but don’t skip the honey. Taste before adding the sugar, then add a little, taste, etc.

Can substitute other alcohol in a pinch such as Wild Turkey, rum, scotch, or brandy. Can also omit the water and use hot apple cider.

Old Fashioned Tonic Remedy: Slice 2 organic lemons fairly thick and grate large pieces from a 1-inch fresh ginger root; alternate layers into a 16-ounce mason jar. Slide in cloves and cinnamon stick. Slowly warm 1 cup of local honey to loosen and pour over top of lemons and ginger. Seal and let cool, then refrigerate overnight. To use, scoop out 1 to 2 tablespoons of the elixir and add to a teacup or mug of hot water. May also add to other beverages, such as hot or cold tea, or coffee.

Rock and Rye: Layer 1 orange and 1 lemon sliced, in a mason jar. Add cloves and cinnamon stick, with 8 ounces of rock candy, and 4 ounces of maraschino cherry syrup. Cover with rye whiskey and refrigerate for 48 hours. Take by the spoon or add to beverages.

Requires Adobe Reader - download it free!


Don’t combine alcohol with other cold medicines, especially those containing acetaminophen (Tylenol) as it can be damaging and toxic to the liver.

Will this cure a cold? Probably not. Will it make you feel better? Possibly. Here's why.

Lemon is high in Vitamin C, and may help to fight infection, and bring down fever. Lemon is soothing to the throat, may help sooth symptoms of tonsillitis and may help to cut mucus and phlegm.It also acts as a tonic to the liver.

Honey is soothing for the throat, helps sooth the sinuses and may calm coughs. Use local honey whenever possible.

The hot steam and the whiskey helps to open up airways and seems to create a rise in body heat, allegedly helping to "sweat out" the cold/flu symptoms.

Green tea is rich in natural antioxidants called polyphenols that appear to have more antioxidant affects than even Vitamin C. Green tea has the highest polyphenol content of all the teas, and chemicals found in green tea may be effective in treating symptoms of colds and the flu.

Cinnamon is an antioxidant powerhouse, having one of the highest antioxidant levels of any spice – and even more than many foods. You'll find as many antioxidants in 1 teaspoon of cinnamon as a full cup of pomegranate juice or 1/2 cup of blueberries. It is also rich in polyphenols. These compounds appear to act like insulin in our body and may help regulate blood sugar levels.

Ginger has as many antioxidants as a cup of spinach, as has a long history of other comforting properties. For centuries, ginger was used as a natural remedy for a variety of conditions, especially soothing distressed stomachs. The potential benefits appear to be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of gingerol – one of the active ingredients in ginger. Some studies suggest gingerol may work like certain anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin and ibuprofen) by inhibiting an enzyme that causes inflammation. Research indicates that ginger may offer pain relief for everything from arthritis to nausea and migraines.

Cloves are a mild anesthetic and anti-bacterial agent. High levels of eugenol act as an anti-inflammatory which may help with sore throats and it may also help the digestive system. They are also an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium and dietary fiber.

Please review health disclaimer below & thanks to McCormick spices for some of this detailed information on its Seven Super Spices!

Requires Adobe Reader - download it free!
©Deep South Dish
Posted by on December 29, 2009
Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Pinning and sharing links is welcomed and encouraged, but please do not repost or republish elsewhere such as other blogs, websites, or forums without explicit prior permission. All rights reserved.

DISCLAIMER: The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. All content, including but not limited to, recipe and health information provided in Deep South Dish/My New 30, is for educational purposes only. Such content is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the diagnosis, treatment and advice of a medical professional. Such content does not cover all possible side effects of any new or different health program. Consult your medical professional for guidance before changing or undertaking a new diet or exercise program. Advance consultation with your physician is particularly important if you are under eighteen (18) years old, pregnant, nursing, or have health problems. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for health, nutrition or medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before starting a new fitness regime.

Material Disclosure: Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.

Bookmark and Share


  1. Hi Mary! Knock on wood, I haven't come up with a cold yet, but every year, at LEAST once a year, I am guaranteed at least one wicked, nasty, week-to-two-week cold, often with flu-like symptoms... So I'm so glad to see this! I will definitely try it if (likely) and when the time comes for needing it!... Sorry to hear you're not feeling well. I do hope you can start the new year feeling better than ever, and that you get to see your brother real soon! ~tina

  2. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Mary! Sorry you have a cold. Thanks for this recipe, its even good if you don't feel bad!

  3. My dad SWEARS by Hot Toddies! His is a little more simple, though....booze, sugar and hot water. ;) I like all of your additions!

  4. I hope you feel better Mary. That is awful especially with family in town. My mom used to throw in a bit of alchohol in our meds as well. I guess its just old school.

  5. My mother made this for me shortly after I got married and I thought I would die just from drinking it, ha ha. Then again I hate tea and don't care for liquor.

  6. Isn't it funny that when our Moms made this for us there wasn't a disclaimer around! Ha. Hope you get to feeling better.. this looks like it should do the trick!

  7. Oh Tina, that is EXACTLY what this feels like.

    Thanks Angie!

    Bridget, yeah I started with the basic formula and just tweaked it a bit to add a few more healing elements.

    Hey Tina, yeah, definitely old school for sure!

    LOL Chris, seriously. Well, I think that the addition of the cinnamon, cloves & ginger really help make it taste much better.

    No kidding Karen! Hopefully I'll be back in the saddle quick like. Think it'll take a few more of these to be honest. This congestion is the worse!

  8. sorry about the cold, but that almost would make it worthwhile. I just have a little tea, honey and whiskey in mine, and it does help.

  9. Perfect timing. As I cough all over the keyboard.

  10. My husband and I definately need this. Popped in from SITS!

  11. I just came down with Tonsillitis and was making hot toddies for myself all afternoon yesterday. I basically made the recipe up as I went along, adding honey, lemon, Irish whiskey, hot water, and Rooibos tea. I love Rooibos because it tastes more akin to a black caffeinated tea, but it is naturally completely caffeine free.
    I love your additions of clove, ginger, etc. and I appreciate the explanations you put for the healing properties of these ingredients! I'll have to try some of your changes today.

  12. Thanks Amanda - will have to check out the Rooibos! Gotta love a good toddy for when you're feeling under the weather & really any combination will do to be honest. This is a just a basic one for those who are searching out a "formula." Thanks for stopping by, taking the time to comment and I hope that you feel better soon!

  13. Oh-MY-WORD! This is the best recipe. I used Celestial Seasoning's Blueberry tea and Blackberry Whiskey for my cold. Thank you, thank you!

    1. Thanks Tori - and I hope that you get to feeling better quickly!

  14. Sounds Great! I'll be sure to pass it along to all my friends. One minor change; I prefer Southern Comfort over whiskey.
    Just a suggestion.

  15. Sounds like a plan Ricky - hope you feel better soon!

  16. My grandmother, a nurse, gave all us grandkids hot toddies when we got sick and I still fix them when I'm ill. Drank a lot of them the past 3 months when I kept coming down with colds, flu, allergies, and laryngitis!

    1. Me too Simone!! I have 9 water oaks in my yard, and it's pollen season so everything is already covered in yellow & I've been suffering those symptoms too so I have sympathy for you!! The hubby and I both found a horrible stomach bug & just recently I got hit with that flu with the horrible cough that gave me laryngitis too. My aunt gave me an onion remedy that got me my voice back in one day! I need to publish that one too.

  17. i have horrible cough from broncitis 3 weeks already

    1. Oh gosh - sure hope that you feel better soon. I had "something" with a long lasting nagging cough earlier this year. I thought it would NEVER go away but thankfully it finally did. Seems like it took 3 or 4 weeks though. Get well soon!

    2. I like mine with tea, honey, and moonshine. It'll cure what ills you.

  18. I look forward to trying this hot toddy! Yours sounds sooo much better than the ones I remember lol. We are all very sick hoping this helps :-).

    1. Oh Jessica, I'm so sorry to hear that! Hope the household heals up quickly.

    2. I hope so too. It's awful being sick when Christmas shopping needs done lol.

  19. This is the first hot toddy i've tried, used captain as the alcohol of choice. Tastes way better than I expected thanks for the recipe.

  20. Thanks for the recipe. Terrible upper respiratory infection that just won't go away. Hopefully this helps me sleep and fight it off. Added acv and star of annise for an extra kick. Taste great though


Thanks for taking the time to comment - I love hearing from readers and I read every single comment and try to respond to them right here on the site, so stop back by!

From time to time, anonymous restrictions and/or comment moderation may be activated due to comment spam. I also reserve the right to edit, delete or otherwise exercise total editorial discretion over any comments left on this blog. If your comment serves only to be snarky, mean-spirited or argumentative, it will be deleted. Please mind your manners.

Related Posts with Thumbnails