A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from April 21, 2009
Toddy (Hot Toddy)

Entry in progress—B.P.
Wikipedia: Hot toddy
Hot toddy is a name given to a mixed drink that is served hot, believed to have originated in the 18th century to make the taste of Scotch more palatable to women (the first written mention of distillating Scotch whisky is in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, 1495.
Although there are many variations, essential ingredients are:
. a hot beverage which may be tea, coffee, cocoa, water, apple cider, etc.
. an alcoholic spirit such as brandy, rum, or whisky.
. usually a sweetener, such as honey, sugar or syrup.
Other ingredients that are often added:

. spices, usually “brown” spices such as cinnamon or cloves.
. citrus, such as lemon or orange. Lemonade can be used instead of hot water and citrus; this is a modern variant.
. a little butter.
Hot toddies (such as mulled cider) are traditionally drank before going to bed, or in wet and cold weather. They were believed to help cure the cold and flu, but the American Lung Association now recommends avoiding treating the common cold with alcoholic beverages as they cause dehydration.

Popular etymology
It has been suggested that the name comes from the toddy drink in India, produced by fermenting the sap of palm trees. The term could have been introduced into Scotland by a member of the British East India Company
An alternative explanation is given in Allan Ramsay’s 1721 poem The Morning Interview, which describes a tea party in which it is said that
“All the rich requisites are brought from far: the table from Japan, the tea from China, the sugar from Amazonia, or the West Indies, but that
‘Scotia does no such costly tribute bring,
Only some kettles full of Todian spring.’”

To this passage, Ramsay has appended the note:

“The Todian spring, i.e. Tod’s Well, which supplies Edinburgh with water.”
Tod’s Well and St Anthony’s Well, on the side of Arthur’s Seat were two of the wells which very scantily supplied the wants of Edinburgh, and when it is borne in mind that whisky derives its name from water (the Scottish Gaelic term uisge), it seems more likely that “Toddy” in like manner was a facetious name for the pure element. The late Robert Chambers, when Charles MacKay propounded this etymology to him, at first rejected the idea, but afterwards adopted it on the strength of Allan Ramsay’s poem.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Main Entry: tod·dy
Pronunciation: \ˈtä-dē\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural toddies
Etymology: Hindi & Urdu tāṛī juice of the palmyra palm, from tāṛ palmyra palm, from Sanskrit tāla
Date: 1609
1 : the fresh or fermented sap of various chiefly Asian palms
2 : a usually hot drink consisting of liquor (as rum), water, sugar, and spices
(Oxford English Dictionary)
toddy, n.
[ad. Hind. tari (with cerebral r, approaching English d), f. Hind. tr palm-tree:—Skr. tâla palmyra.]
A beverage composed of whisky or other spirituous liquor with hot water and sugar.
Often distinguished by prefixing the name of the chief ingredient, as brandy-, gin-, rum-, whisky-toddy.
1786 BURNS Holy Fair xx, The lads an’ lasses, blythely bent, To mind baith saul an’ body, Sit round the table, weel content, An’ steer about the toddy.
[Brit. Mus. MS. copy of 1785 in Burns’s own handwriting has lines 2 and 4 ‘Their lowan thirst an drowth tae quench’,..‘And steer about the punch’.]
1788 GROSE Dict. Vulg. T. (ed. 2), Toddy, originally the juice of the cocoa tree, and afterwards rum, water, sugar, and nutmeg.
1798 Root’s Amer. Law Rep. I. 80 For giving her a dose in some toddy, to intoxicate and inflame her passions.
1808 Sporting Mag. XXXII. 215 Punch is certainly wholesomer than..toddy, which is grog with the addition of sugar.
1809 A. WILSON Poems & Lit. Prose (1876) I. 158 A tumbler of toddy is usually the morning’s beverage of the inhabitants [Paisley].
1818 TODD J.‘s Dict., Toddy..3. In low language, a kind of punch, or mixture of spirits and water.
1820 Rum-toddy [see RUM n.1 3].
1859 MRS. CARLYLE Lett. III. 7 A stiff tumbler of brandy toddy.
1861 HUGHES Tom Brown at Oxf. vi, They took to more toddy and singing Scotch songs.
1896 Allbutt’s Syst. Med. I. 402 A few spoonfuls of hot brandy or whisky toddy.
22 February 1815, Federal Republican (Washington, DC), pg. 2:
...while he taints the ambient air with his breath, and steams like a jug of hot toddy.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Tuesday, April 21, 2009 • Permalink

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