The warm, spirited hot toddy dates back to the 1700s in Scotland. Many from an English or Irish descent have childhood memories of sweating out a cold, wrapped in a blanket, drinking a hot toddy. The many versions of this recipe include sugar, honey, spices, tea or coffee, and some alcoholic beverage. A home remedy or warm cocktail, here are five places in Charlotte to snag this delicious drink.
Ri Ra Irish Pub
208 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
Price: from $6.75
Of course they serve a hot toddy at the Ri Ra Irish Pub. It starts with a warm Irish coffee mug. Then, choose between raw or brown sugar. Top that with whiskey or bourbon, followed by boiling water. A lemon slice, cloves and a bit of honey add to the aroma and richness. If you’re not sure about this Irish cuisine, then try the phenomenal house-brined corn beef. Irish potato cakes are a signature appetizer here. The doors are open for every possible soccer game on the TV, in addition to the roof-top parties, band and D.J. every weekend and rollicking Gaelic music on Sunday evenings. “Ri Ra” is a Gaelic term for good times, good food and good drink.
2000 South Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28203
Price: $5 National Hot Toddy Day celebration price
With a name like Big Ben British Pub, there’s likely a British bloke or two hanging around. It’s located in the Dilworth area of Charlotte. This pub serves its hot toddies with whiskey, brandy or rum with honey, lemon and hot water. Some recipes call for apple cider or orange juice. Big Ben’s is known for the best fish and chips this side of the pond, made with beer-battered haddock. Try a traditional English breakfast, Cockney chicken for lunch or a steak and mushroom pie for dinner. Don’t be surprised to hear a round or two of “God Save the Queen” from the customers.
1218 Thomas Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205
Price: $6 and up
Thomas Street Tavern offers pub food and a neighborhood bar. Now-a-days, everybody has their own version of a toddy: honey or sugar, whiskey or bourbon, and the bartenders here welcome any desired variation. Ribs on Sunday night and six Money’s baked chicken on Mondays are two popular dining options here as well. The establishment attracts neighborhood people who remember its days as a post office.
130 Matthews Station St.
Matthews, NC 28105
Price: from $6.50
Find Beantown Tavern in between the library and the railroad tracks in Matthews. The owner of this sports bar is from Boston, so expect a vibrant hullabaloo when the Patriots play. In fact, the fans say it’s kind of magical. If you’re feeling under the weather or need a warm drink on a chilly day, the tavern will serve up a hot toddy. Try it with clam chowder, bursting with potatoes. It’s a secret recipe from the tavern owner’s grandma. Enjoy your toddy here a friendly environment where most are known by their first name.
1933 South Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28203
Tyber Creek’a Irish pub is located in the Historic Southend of Charlotte. It offers a hot toddy upon request, though it is not on the menu. Irish Flag and Irish Cream are also among the offerings here. A portion of the menu includes Irish fare. Try some of the Guinness-battered cod and chips, banger and mash with Irish sausage, or the ground beef shepherd’s pie. Sunday brunch offers black and white puddings. There’s also American cuisine, such as Texas style house-made chili. Expect a young, professional crowd here on the weekends.