A lovely moment; somebody’s great grandmother gets out the raw ingredients for that most excellent of cold remedies – the hot toddy. Grandma knows best!
Wiki has a nice entry on the hot toddy, including etymology. See here.
Or here’s an excerpt:
Hot toddy is a name given to a mixed drink that is served hot, believed to have originated in Scotland. Although there are many variations, essential ingredients are:
- a hot beverage which may be tea, coffee, cocoa, water, etc.
- an alcoholic spirit such as brandy, rum, Scotch whisky or Irish whiskey.
- usually a sweetener, such as honey, sugar or syrup.
Other ingredients that are often added:
- spices, usually “brown” spices such as cinnamon or cloves.
- citrus, such as lemon or orange. Lemonade can be used instead of hot water and citrus; this is a modern variant.
- a little butter.
- some people add mild pain killers to treat colds
Hot toddies (such as mulled cider) are traditionally drunk before going to bed, or in wet and cold weather. They were believed to help cure the cold and flu, but the American Lung Association now recommends avoiding treating the common cold with alcoholic beverages as they have no curative effect and cause dehydration.