A hot toddy is an easy drink to brew up. Unsplash

We all know the envy of the top-shelf life. We know people drink cock­tails with frothed egg whites and fancy liqueurs, with the req­uisite splash of bitters (whatever that is) that punc­tuates the shake-and-pour of every mixol­ogist.

But as college stu­dents who lean down to the lowest shelf to find a bottle of booze we can actually afford, we have a hard time tasting the high life. So I am going to present sea­sonal cocktail recipes that incor­porate only ingre­dients you can find in the dining hall with the addition of some cheap alcohol.

Up first: the hot toddy.

At its sim­plest, the drink is a com­bi­nation of booze, hot water, and sugar. The drink roots itself in the rich drinking tra­dition of Scotland, where it was used as a cure for any ailment. But the drink was not only for med­i­cinal use; people began to excuse them­selves to sipping hot whisky as a pre­ven­tative measure. Whether it helped fix the malady, it cer­tainly helped the ill get some sleep.


1 tea bag, English-breakfast style

1 oz maple syrup

1 oz lemon juice

2 oz any whiskey (who cares the kind; beggars can’t be choosers)


1. Heat up some water and steep some tea. 

2. Fill cup half with tea.

3. Stir in maple syrup until fully dis­solved.

4. Drop in whiskey and stir.

5. Finish with lemon juice.

It’s an easy drink to brew up. Come in from the cold, put some water on, and before you fingers fully thaw, you’ll have a hot drink to keep the chill at bay.