From the day after Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day, I can be found walking around the house with various types of hot toddies, usually winging it from one potion to the next. The original toddy was made from the fermented sap of the toddy palm in India. It has evolved through several cultural appropriations into something resembling more of a Scottish cold cure. There aren’t very many rules with toddies; you can use brandy, rum, whiskey, or skip the alcohol and use tea and spices. Spin the toddy slots game and see what you get.
Hot Toddy Time
- 2 ounces bourbon, brandy, rum, whiskey, cognac, and/or your favorite herbal tea
- ½ cup boiling water
- 1 tablespoon of honey or spruce tip mugolio or maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla
- Squeeze of lemon
- Optional garnishes: cinnamon stick, star anise, clove, orange peel, cardamom pods
- 3 cups water
- 1 cone piloncillo 6 ounces
- Cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 cup aguardiente, rum, or tequila
PREPARING THE HOT TODDY
- Add honey, lemon, vanilla and your chosen cold curing booze or tea into a mug or glass, pour boiling water over it, and stir. Garnish by stirring with a cinnamon stick or by floating your favorite spices on top.
PREPARING THE CANELAZO TODDY
- Canelazo is an Andean drink, reminiscent of my honeymoon spent touring the volcanoes of Ecuador. I love the deep flavor of the piloncillo cones and the lime and cinnamon; it will warm you right up.
- Gently simmer all the ingredients on medium-low until sugar is dissolved, pour into a mug or glass, garnish with a half slice of lime, and enjoy.
Sara Calvosa Olson is a Karuk writer living with her soulmate, raising two large teenage sons. She has a regular column in News From Native California that explores California Indian foodways and reconnection to traditional Indigenous ingredients. Chími nu’am! (Let’s eat!)