Contrary to popular belief, a hot toddy does not cure a cold, however, many people do swear by it as a non-drug alternative to cough medicine. I even read about some people who have had their doctors recommend the recipe to their adult patients instead of cold and flu medications.
The hot toddy originates in Scotland, and originally calls for whiskey, hot water and sugar. Most modern recipes have adapted the sugar to be honey. This is a recipe I kludged together from a bunch I read while looking it up, as I am still avoiding most medications until my son is completely weaned. The odd alcoholic drink when given enough time between feeds (baby is asleep right now) is fine.
If you can't (or don't want to) have alcohol, don't worry, because the alcohol is more of a relaxant, maybe a little bit antiseptic, but not that important. It's the hot water and honey that soothe the throat, with the honey's vitamins and immune boosters helping, and the vitamin C from the lemon that help alleviate the cold. It isn't mandatory, but some recommend having a hot shower or bath to ease the congestion right after this drink.
2 oz. of Whiskey, any kind (if you don't have whiskey... or had bad quality whiskey like I did, it is fine to sub in brandy for whiskey.)
1 tablespoon of honey
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice (I used the stuff in the squeeze bottle, when using fresh you may want to up it to half a cup as the squeeze juice is more concentrated and bitter)
250 ml of hot water, almost boiling.
1 green tea bag (adds antioxidants that help fight the cold.)
1 fresh slice of lemon.
In a mug, mix the whiskey, honey and lemon juice, leaving the spoon in the mug. Put the tea bag in the measuring cup and pour hot water over it. Let steep for 3-5 minutes. Stir with honey spoon and remove bag, then pour tea into the mug and stir mixture together. Add the slice of lemon and drink. It tasted different to me, but not too bad, and this is coming from someone who is not a big fan of whiskey or brandy. (the exception with brandy is in eggnog, but that is a different story)