Libations: Hottie with a toddy |

Libations: Hottie with a toddy

Ben Welch's take on a hot toddy.
Ben Welch/Aspen Times Weekly

Poor baby had gotten a mild case of the sniffles the past few days, and I didn’t really feel like drinking as much as I normally do. However, I was having flashbacks to when, as a young man, an older guy told me that when he gets sick, he just gets plowed and the symptoms fade away.

This is the kind of bad advice I’m susceptible to, along with the fellow 12-year-old Boy Scout recommending I strip down before crawling in my sleeping bag because when I awaken and dress, I’ll get warmer quicker. In hindsight, that doesn’t make any sense and led to some shivering nights on Independence Pass. But at least I was never gullible enough to fall for an MLM scheme.


Something about a hot toddy sounded like it could soothe my senses, but the thought of a traditional mug of microwaved water and whiskey sent cold sweats down my Adam’s apple. It would need to have multiple fruity elements.

I picked up a box of Wild Berry Zinger tea, some honey, a lemon and a bottle of brandy. I don’t know much about brandy, other than Looking Glass laments about how she’s a fine girl and what a good wife she would be. Get it together sailor; she’s a bartender and you should never fall in love with hired guns.

As the water boiled and purified, I coated my glass with a healthy bottom layer of honey. I also coated my floor, couch and shirt by accident. Oh well, guess I’m going topless. At least the heated drink will warm me up faster. I eyeballed a couple-seconds pour of brandy and squeezed the juice of half a lemon like the skulls of my enemies, of which there are many. Very satisfying.

Six teabags ought to do the trick, which was the highest number I’ve had since losing a “Halo 2” tournament. I placed little faith in the palatability of this drink, as I have immense distrust in my aptitude to make anything beyond a whiskey-diet and ham sandwich.

But I’ll be damned, the thing was delicious. The honey even melted, assuaging my fears of needing to cram a sponge and my hand down the glass to clean it and risk it shattering, sending me (back) to the ER for some stitches and artery cauterizing. I made another, and a third, and took better photos each time of the beverage from all the scenic spots around my apartment.

I only had half a bottle of brandy remaining by this point, so figured I’d do a double review and just chug the rest of it.

I always envisioned brandy as the dusty liquor on your grandpa’s shelf, or what alcoholics drink because it’s all they can afford *cough*.

Just as potent as most whiskeys but less harsh with a few ice cubes, I could envision brandy entering my rotation more often. But my life, my lover, my lady is the Seagrams.