Brrr . . . Give me a Hot Toddy!

It’s not snowing here in Los Angeles, but it’s pretty chilly (cold). It’s dipped down to (reached the low temperature of) 50 degrees (10 degrees Celsius)!

I need to keep warm, and since it’s winter, I’m putting aside my coffee and tea for one of these popular winter beverages (drinks).

Hot Chocolate/Cocoa:

I drank a lot of hot chocolate and hot cocoa growing up in very cold Minnesota.

My brothers and sisters and I liked to go sledding, moving very fast down a hill of snow on a plastic or wooden sled (something you can sit in to travel over snow without wheels). There is nothing better than some hot chocolate or hot cocoa when your hands and feet feel frozen (like ice).

Hot cocoa is usually made with cocoa powder, a chocolate powder (substance with very small, dry pieces), sugar, and milk. Hot cocoa is usually a “thin” (watery; like water) drink.

(Note that “cocoa” is pronounced “co-co” in English, with a long “o” as in “low”. We don’t pronounce the “a”.)

Hot chocolate is typically made with melted (turned into liquid because of warm/hot temperature) chocolate and water or milk. It has a “thicker” (not as watery) consistency (how thin or thick a liquid is).

(For more vocabulary related to cold and hot drinks, see our Daily English #1270 – Cold and Frozen Treats.)

Hot Toddy:

For grownups (adults), a popular winter drink is a hot toddy.

It’s made by mixing honey (sweet, sticky liquid made by bees), water, and a type of liquor (alcoholic drink), usually whiskey.

Whiskey is a type of alcohol made with grain, such as corn, wheat, or rye.

Add some lemon and spices (good smelling substances to add flavor to food and drink) and you have a hot toddy.

Some people say drinking hot toddies when you have a cold or the flu makes you feel better. I’ve never tried it, but I’m sure after several hot toddies you will forget you are sick.


Eggnog is the classic (traditional) drink of Christmas. It’s made with eggs, sugar, milk or cream (thick white liquid that rises to the top of milk), spices, and often some alcohol, such as rum.

Rum is a type of alcohol that is made from sugarcane, the tall grasses grown mainly for sugar. The eggs and cream make eggnog a thick drink.

Personally, I don’t like eggnog, but I like rum. Maybe with enough good rum, I can learn to like eggnog, too.

So this winter, maybe you’ll be drinking one of these beverages to stay warm. Or you can just buy a bottle of good rum to keep you warm.

Better still (even better), buy two and send one to me.


* “Brrr” is an exclamation we use to when we feel cold.

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