The Scotch Hot Toddy… a cocktail to warm the heart and the soul.

Klaus loves this time of the year.  Perhaps it’s because in his little Black Forest heart, he understands that to truly warm the body, he must drink hot liquids.  After all, as a German Drinking Gnome- Drinking is his middle name!

The sturdier herbs are still in the garden- thyme, rosemary, lavender and sage.- These hearty herbs haven’t been killed back by the couple of frosts that blanket the rose bushes.  When combined with Scotch whisky, these intensely flavored herbal elixirs can be fashioned into an herbal punch.  When hot tea is added to the herbs and the Scotch- Klaus becomes the gnome he has always wanted to be… And that is soused!

But what is a Soused Gnome?  After a couple of hot toddy cocktails it just won’t matter.

Klaus is especially fond of the salt tinged Whiskey from the Isle of Islay in Scotland.  These peat infused whiskeys are perfect for a hot toddy because of their assertive flavors of salt, barley malt and smoke.  They stand up to honey syrup and especially the plethora of herbs from the garden.  It is said that during Prohibition, Scotch Whiskey was imported and imbibed in the United States as medicine!

Some kind of medicine indeed!

The history of the Hot Toddy is murky at best.

“Legend says the name ‘Hot Toddy’ comes from the source of Edinburgh’s water. Old Tod’s Well. Beloved for centuries as a functional and therapeutic drink during colder months, this all-natural authentic recipe stays true to its 1751 origins.

The best Hot Toddy involves Scotch Whiskey (no surprise here) but they can also be made from rum, vodka or even gin.  When hot water or tea is added to cocktails containing liquor, the end result is inebriation.  There is something to be said for that warm feeling that starts at your lips, slides down your throat, warms your esophagus, then the mixture finally hits your stomach.  The warmth spreads over your entire body, warming you completely from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet!  After a day skiing, there is something to be said for a container of strong beef bouillon, with a couple shots of Scotch Whiskey added as a necessary companion. 

Klaus seems to think that his Toddy should have honey syrup wound around a core of Scotch, with a muddle of freshly picked herbs and a splash of boiling hot tea. Ok, maybe a few little splashes should go into this warming drink.  He wouldn’t want to dilute the power and elegance of his Whiskey with only water!

The Islay Punch



 Islay Scotch Whisky such as Laphroaig Single Malt Whisky (nice and smoky)

Heather Honey Simple syrup made from Scottish Wildflower Honey

Assorted herbs from the garden, thyme, rosemary, sage and Lavender in a cheesecloth bag for steeping

Black Tea or boiling hot water (I prefer the nearly black in color Lapsang Soochong tea because of the smoky nature of this brew)

Freshly squeezed lemon juice (to ward off scurvy)



To a preheated mug, add 3 oz. Scotch Whisky from Islay (pre-heat a mug with boiling hot water, pour out just before creating this toddy)

Add a couple tablespoons of the honey syrup to the mug

Place your herbs in a cheesecloth bag and steep them in the hot tea or boiling hot water for about five minutes then pour over the Scotch, honey mixture

Add about 1 oz. of the lemon juice, then stir…

Sip to dreamland


Klaus is sleeping and dreaming of Scotland


What do you wear under your kilt?

by Warren

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