That One Drink You Can Justify When You're Ill

Publish date:
March 25, 2016
illness, booze, Whiskey, Hot Toddies, That One Drink, Maker's Mark, Cask Strength

Hey, drinking buddies, and welcome back to another stirred, not shaken installment of That One Drink. Last week, we toasted St. Patrick's Day, and shared that one beverage we enjoy on March 17th.

There really wasn't a winning "recipe," as all the highly up-voted comments were about picklebacks. The winner was a delightful photo from repeat offender, Molly Sanchez, in which she does shots with her 85-year-old friend, Sandra:

Def going to try that pickle shot hack because they are my favorite. I don't have a recipe BUT here is a picture of me doing community service by teaching the elderly (my 85 year old friend Sandra) about the majesty of pickle shots.

This pic is a true #squadgoal situation. Sandra seems like a real fun lady, drinking buddy, and comedian. Let's all take a moment to appreciate her stand up:

Ms. Sanchez gets her (third?) trophy for this excellent comment, and that trophy is "Caravan" by Van Morrison (The Last Waltz version), because he is my favorite Irish man, and his sparkly outfit is a trophy unto itself.

There were a lot of other, really excellent comments about picklebacks, including one from our very own Tynan (accompanied by a truly fantastic response from napavalley):

can you talk a little more about the dimensions of the necessary pickle

Basically it was just a thread of pickle love — except for one person who declared their hatred of pickles — and I enjoyed it very much. And, though I don't usually pull comments from Twitter, I was very impressed by this upgraded pickleback-in-a-pickle by one @edotwoods:

So good job all around, my friends.

Moving on.

On Monday evening, I was struck by an illness that attacked my throat, stomach, and soul. I spent most of Tuesday in my bed, raising my feeble head to drink water and type a a few words. During the height of my affliction, I was very good and drank lots of non-alcoholic fluids and got plenty of rest.

The next day I was feeling much better and, though I couldn't justify a trip to the bar for happy hour, I felt justified in having a toddy, because toddies are basically medicine. I like mine with a ton of ginger, because ginger soothes the stomach and heats the throat in a pleasant, comforting fashion.

As luck would have it, the good people at Maker's Mark had just sent me a bottle of their cask strength bourbon (110 proof, tbh) which is perfect for toddies, as well as other, non-toddy applications. (They also gave me some creepy hand swizzle sticks, which you may gaze upon in the below photo.)

Claire's Very Gingery Hot Toddy


  • A thick, 1-inch piece of ginger, sliced into thin coins
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 ounce of good, strong whiskey, pick your poison
  • A healthy wedge of lemon
  • A strip of lemon zest
  • 2 or 3 cloves
  • A cinnamon stick
  • Whole nutmeg and ground cinnamon (optional, for topping)


Add the sliced ginger and let it boil, baby, boil for at least 15 minutes. This will give you a very potent, spicy brew that will burn so good. Pour some of it in a mug and stir in the honey until fully dissolved, and squeeze in your lemon. Add the whiskey.

Push your cloves through the strip of vest, and drape it over the edge of your mug. Throw in your cinnamon stick, and sprinkle on some freshly grated nutmeg and ground cinnamon, if you so desire. Cuddle up in your best blanket and drink. Let the restorative properties of the toddy cure all of you ailments.

Now, I know what some of you ROTWers are thinking: "we've done this before." Yeah, we have, but not everyone who participates in That One Drink joins us for ROTW, so I'd like to give those folks their fair shot at the toddy game. Plus, literally everyone is getting sick right now, so it's a very appropriate topic.

Also, don't feel like you have to limit yourself to toddies or other hot, whiskey-based beverages. If a shot of habanero tequila is what it takes to handle your sniffles, tell me about that! If the flu makes you reach for an appletini for some reason, let's talk about the restorative properties of the appletini. (I suspect it has something to do with the "apple a day" adage.)