How to Make a Hot Toddy

photo by Katherine Endy

I have some strong opinions on this topic.  I consider this the official Orr family cocktail.  It is medicinal.  If you are sick it will make you feel better.  I like to keep the ingredients for a proper hot toddy on hand during the winter in case I catch cold.  This is also a good drink to order if you are obligated to meet friends at a bar but are not really in the mood to drink…but of course you will have to tell the bartender exactly how you want it made or they might put rum in it.  A Hot Toddy should be made with whiskey… Irish Whisky.. Bushmills Irish Whisky.  My Aunty Mona gave my husband and I a special bottle of Bushmills Irish Whisky as a wedding present with the words “This Whisky is made with the water that fed your grandfather as a boy”.

I had my first shot of Bushmills as a very little girl when I had pain in my mouth from a loose tooth or having bit my cheek or something.  I can’t remember the exact problem, but I was in pain, so grandpa gave me a little swig of “save the baby”.   I have a very distinct memory of swooshing the whisky around in my mouth.  It burned, and then the pain turned into little tiny balls that popped like the bubbles in fizzy water.


My grandpa at his camp boiling water for tea or a hot toddy?

As an adult, I have been a fairly dedicated whisky drinker.  When I had more money I went through a scotch whisky phase.  When I had more time on my hands, I carried a flask.  These days I’m back to tiny shots of Bushmills taken in a delicious and medicinal hot toddy.


  • 1 shot Bushmills Irish Whisky
  • 3 shots piping hot water
  • 1/2 tablespoon of honey
  • the juice of one lemon
  • 3 cloves

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Rima Fand says:

    Love this! What awesome photos… xo

  2. Glenda says:

    Love the story and photos of Grandpa! For more great Grandpa Jack Orr stories, see my brother, John Orr’s blog Hot toddy with Irish Whiskey…Good for what ailes ya!

  3. Mum,
    I just caught up on the mullertown posts and they are so great! I am in love with the old bicycle riding lady wife of the seaman who had a parrot!


  4. Katherine says:

    These are fantastic photos of your grandpa! The second one looks like it could have been taken on Gabriola (the first one, I happen to know, WAS!). xo

  5. Wonderful! Childhood memories.

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