AL Long's Special Hot Toddy

AL Long’s Special Hot Toddy

The first thing any living creature will ask itself after drinking AL LONG’S SPECIAL HOT TODDY is “Who the hell is Al Long?” Jesse asserts that Mr. Long is a veteran of the blue movies, but after significant digging I conclude that Al Long is not actually Al Long at all, but A.L. Long (Armistead Lindsay Long), a Confederate general during the Civil War. The South has a long history of loving the hot toddy, actually, and Civil War novels are filled with soldiers around campfires drinking them. Furthermore, the hot toddy was William Faulkner’s second favorite drink, behind the mint julep, so it must be deeply ingrained into the South, right? What makes AL LONG’S SPECIAL HOT TODDY special is the inclusion of raspberry syrup, which Brian makes beforehand. The syrup smells oddly rank in the bottle but tastes delicious so Brian charges forward with combining all of the ingredients on his trusty stove.

2 oz. Drambuie
2 oz. Scotch (Famous Grouse)
1 oz. raspberry syrup
1 Tbsp lime juice
3 oz. water

Combine in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Serve hot.

Andrew: This is the kind of thing I want to back off on because I’m worried my contacts will start wrinkling.
Brian: Man, that’s just Super Boozers, as Jesse would say.
Eric: Look, Andrew looks sad, forlorn somehow.
Andrew: I’m trying to picture this in a colder climate.
Jesse: Ooh, like the Swiss Alps, maybe.
Brian: To be completely honest, though, it’s really not that bad. It’s really boozy, but—
Jesse: The best part about an alcoholic drink is that it’s boozy.
Andrew: I think it’s a good hot toddy. It tastes like raspberry tea with a ton of whiskey in it.
Eric: Smells like Theraflu. One of those very specific Theraflu flavors. I think my body’s getting sick as I smell this because it’s being reminded of being sick and drinking Theraflu.
Brian: You know, this really opens up everything. Helps you breathe better.
Jesse: If you had a cold or a sore throat, this is what I would say to drink.
Andrew: And I think it’s key that you boiled it all together instead of adding the whiskey later, as they were doing in Edinburgh.
Jesse: At that ice rink where you stole that glass—
Brian: But I’d also like to say that I’m giving it an 8, for the hot toddy itself.
Eric: Because there’s heat. And a mug.
Andrew: That’s exactly what I would say. I am not a hot toddy expert, but I would say that if I ordered a hot toddy and was handed that, I would say, “Mm, this is a good hot toddy.”
Jesse: I agree.
Eric: “Of all the hot toddies…”
Andrew: Yeah, of all the hot toddies I’ve had, yes, it is a good one. Which, you have to keep in mind, a hot toddy relative to all of the other drinks is kind of like in this area (makes a low gesture with his hands).
Eric: Normally I would give this a 7, but it’s really bringing back the Theraflu vibes. I’m gonna dock it 2 points because it reminds me of being sick.

SCORES: Scores: Brian 8, Eric 5, Jesse 7, Andrew 7

Eric D. Anderson


Eric D. Anderson came to appreciate cocktails late in life and is trying to make up for lost time. He finds that crafting drinks involves the same precision, creativity, sociability, and ritual as baking—another passion—and believes that it brings people together in the same way. Eric is the director of Way of the Puck, a feature-length documentary about professional air hockey, and the editor of Stories of Quitting (, an online collection of true stories that celebrate giving up. His writing has appeared in AGNI, Painted Bride Quarterly, Perigee, Giant Robot, and Wild Quarterly, among other publications. In his free time he works as a camera operator on commercials and motion pictures.

Always drink responsibly!