You Don't Say John E. McIntyre writes about language, usage, journalism & arbitrarily chosen subjects.

Toddy time

The Baltimore Sun

It is winter, and the days are dark. Today was icy and grim. My wife has been fighting a bad cold for days, and for the past week we have been mourning the passing of our sweet orange tabby, Saunders. Something must be done.

One such something is a hot toddy.

Herewith, take about a half-teaspoon of sugar and put it in a short glass with a solid bottom. Squeeze the juice ofa quarter to half a lemon over the sugar. Boil a quantity of water. Leaving a spoon in the glass to transmit heat, pour in about half a glass of water just on the boil. Stir thoroughly. When all the sugar is dissolved, pour in bourbon until the beverage achieves a rich caramel color, about a third of a glass. Float a thin slice of lemon atop it if you like, and sip slowly.

Old Forester, my bourbon ordinaire, will do nicely, as will Maker’s Mark. If rye is to your taste, it will suffice.

Alternatively, brew a mug of strong black tea, add a teaspoon of sugar and the juice of a quarter of a lemon (more, if you like), stir, and pour in a goodly glug of bourbon, brandy, or rum. Cradle the mug in your hands, breathe in the warmth, and sip.

The sun’ll come out—perhaps not tomorrow, but by and by.

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