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Well, I am drinking toddies again, and this time with scotch. I spent the week in Brunswick, Maine, which was wonderfully sunny and otherwise gorgeous — only to come back here and find out it’s still #@$%ing raining. And all the wandering around between bars and breweries at night, sucking in cold air (it is only just becoming spring-like up there) has left me with a dandy cough and a mild head cold, putting me firmly in mind of a hot drink, and a throat-soothing one at that. Besides, spending so much time by the ocean unfailingly wakes a thirst for scotch. Luckily, I have a solution for this.

1 spoonful of honey (you pick the spoon)
2 ounces Scotch whisky
Fill with boiling water (about 3 to 4 ounces)

The scotch should be single-malt and smoky, which usually means something from Islay. Scotch, like wine, is broadly characterized by region, but more of that some other day. Laphroaig works really well; Lagavulin is great if you’ve got some extra money lying around. There are many others. We want something potent and powerfully flavored. I use just enough honey to notice the drink thickening, but I don’t like it too sweet — maybe a teaspoon, but I eyeball it. If the honey is on the spoon, as opposed to the bottom of the cup, it is easier to stir in.

Only have sugar? That’s fine. I like honey when my throat is sore — not sure exactly why, but probably because that’s how my mother used to do it. I also like the way honey and scotch go together. I find it more harmonious than using flatly sweet white sugar.

Drink well.

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