Sorry to get you here under false pretenses, but I wanted to make sure it caught Expatmum's attention, as she was the one who started all this. No, not the "Why I Blog" discussion, the Hot Toddy comments, which many of you joined in on.
(But just to keep you from feeling totally cheated: I'm sticking to my story about the voices in my head causing me to blog, and that actually isn't too far from the truth.)
I cannot imagine the concept of a Hot Toddy is foreign to Americans. At this point, I have no way of proving this one way or the other, but I can tell you with certainty that it was a new concept to me. So after several of you kindly echoed Expatmum's opinion on Hot Toddys—namely, that I simply MUST try them—I decided to give them a go.
My original plan called for mixing them up on a lazy Saturday afternoon, but as the saying goes, "we make plans to attempt interesting alcoholic remedies and God laughs."
Generally, when I'm sick, I'll wake up feeling like ten miles of bad road but, after a shower and some coffee, start to feel as if I can, if not face, at least slink through the day. This morning, however, I woke up feeling pretty good, but by the time I arrived at the office I was wishing I had stayed in bed.
I did ask my colleagues about where I could get some hot toddies and they thought I said, "Hot Totties" (Confused? Check the Glossary.), which turned the conversation down a whole different path. After some initial confusion, it became apparent what I was after, though we agreed that either one might make me feel better and, at the very least, wouldn't do me any harm. (Barring my wife finding out, or course.)
So I left at noon, popped into the market on the way to the bus stop for a lemon and arrived at my flat with all the makings of a Hot Toddy and some good, all-American, home cooking for lunch (we have a KFC right down the road, just across from the Kebab shop).
It wasn't until I had assembled the ingredients that one small detail began to niggle at me. It's called a "Hot" Toddy. One has to assume it's supposed to be hot. So do I actually put a glass of whiskey in the microwave? Do I heat up a small pot of single malt on the stove? Even through my fever-addled brain the idea that extreme heat and volatile liquids don't always complement one another, especially if you don't have an asbestos suit handy, stopped me before I did something that might have involved the fire brigade.
Incredibly—and without the benefit of my wife, who generally steps in to save me from myself at times like this—I actually did something intelligent; I looked up hot toddy recipes on the web.
So, one tablespoon of honey, juice from half a lemon (the recipe called for a quarter but I couldn't be arsed to cut it again) a bit of boiling water and a generous tot of whiskey later, I was set. (Oddly, many of the recipes called for tea, so I just put in some boiling water and doubled the amount of whiskey; it worked a treat.) Then I bundled up, got a cigar, took everything out on the balcony and discovered several home truths:
One: Hot Toddies are, indeed, very tasty.
Two: They do not go well with cigars.
Three: Drinking them in the cold is not a good idea—this is a drink you want to sip while tucked up in bed, not huddling is sub-freezing weather.
It also became quickly apparent that they taste better while hot (it's in the name, remember?) so I drank it down before it became tepid, finished my cigar (hey, cold or no cold, these things don't grow on trees) and went inside to make another.
This time, I put on some sweats, got a good book and tucked myself, and my hot toddy, into bed (this, I suspect, would be where the Hot Totty might come in handy, but being a happily married man I opted to wait for my wife to come home so I could whine and wheeze and make her bring me tea).
That round went much better. I sipped the wonderfully fragrant and soothing beverage, read a few chapters and, strangely enough, soon fell blissfully asleep.
I was awakened some hours later by my wife. She had, it transpired, returned from work and, not realizing I was asleep in the other room, called to speak with me at the office. My boss answered the phone and told her I had gone home. She assured him I wasn't there, and then she came and found me, asleep in bed.
So now my boss thinks I pulled a sickie so I could nip off to the pub. But at least she brought me some tea.