From Chanticleer Society

The Toddy is presumably an American drink that predates the cocktail by several decades, with the earliest known references being in 1750 (July 1750 edition of The Boston post-boy - need to find reference). A Toddy is almost always a hot drink, if made cold, it would be hard to distinguish it from a Sling (English), and if it is made with a lemon twist, it would be difficult to differentiate it from a Skin (Irish).

Traditional recipes consist of a spirit, mixed with hot water and a sweetener of some sort. Sometimes it is garnished with a lemon twist or even a lemon wedge, and a sprinkling of nutmeg or cinnamon. The fact that it is often referred to as a "Hot Toddy" could be an indication which supports the notion that it could be served either hot or cold.

Base Recipe

  • 2 ounces Spirit (although over time Whiskey has become standard)
  • 3/4 ounce Sweetener (Honey, Simple Syrup, or sugar)
  • 2 ounces water (normally boiling hot)

Optional: garnish with a lemon twist, or thin wheel of lemon.

Jerry Thomas

If you try to get a clear definition of the Toddy by using the Jerry Thomas 1862 Bartenders Guide, you will find it more than a little confusing. He lumps the Toddy and Sling together, appearing to indicate that both can be hot or cold, with the only difference being a Sling is server with a grating of nutmeg.

In this section he lists recipes for:

  • Apple Toddy: Sugar, cider brandy, 1/2 baked apple, boiling water, garnished with grated nutmeg.
  • Brandy Toddy: Sugar, brandy, water, ice. And indicates that a "Hot Brandy Toddy" would omit the ice and use boiling water.
  • Whiskey Toddy: Sugar, whiskey, water, ice.
  • Gin Toddy: Sugar, gin, water, ice.
  • Brandy Sling: "...same ingredients as brandy toddy, except you grate a little nutmeg on top."
  • Hot Whiskey Sling: Whiskey, boiling water, garnished with grated nutmeg.
  • Gin Sling: "...same ingredients as gin toddy, except you grate a little nutmeg on top."

From this it sounds like all that differentiates a Toddy from a Sling is the addition of grated nutmeg, except that the Apple Toddy includes nutmeg. It is also strange that the Hot Whiskey Sling doesn't include sugar.

External Links