It was 18°F when I got up this morning, and 28° when I got home from my day's outing (I hear it got up to 31° somewhere in there, but I never noticed). I'm not in charge of the heat in my apartment--my downstairs neighbors have custody of the thermostat and make sure it's nice and warm when they're home, but we seem to have very different schedules--and it wasn't hot enough when I got home to drive the chill completely out of me. I decided to make my first hot whiskey of the winter to fortify myself for cooking dinner.
I've hated whiskey ever since I drank a big swig of it as a tiny child. My daddy always let me have drinks of his beer, so one time when he was drinking whiskey with his friends I couldn't understand why he wouldn't let me try some of it. I nagged and nagged until he gave in. It was the worst thing I'd ever tasted! Worse than marmalade! Worse than beets! I've been opposed to whiskey ever since, until Rachael nagged and nagged me to make her a hot toddy when she had a terrible cold. She didn't like it, so I finished it so as not to be wasteful. The water and sugar and everything made it much more palatable than Jack Daniels straight from the bottle.
I've since switched to hot whiskeys: they're made with Irish whiskey instead of Scotch whisky or brandy, and have cloves instead of nutmeg (I think Joy of Cooking, which taught me how to make a hot toddy, calls for nutmeg), but are otherwise the same.
a shot of Irish whiskey
a lemon slice with 3 cloves stuck in it
1t sugar or honey
Before you put anything else in it, rinse your heatproof glass with hot water so your whiskey will stay hot longer. Put in the lemon and sugar slice, and then the whiskey, and finally add hot water to taste. Stir around to dissolve to sugar and squash the lemon a little.