The origin of the term "hot toddy" is disputed. One popular theory is that the name comes from the Indian drink "toddy," which consists of tea, sugar, arrack, water and lemon. Others believe that it comes from a Scottish poem that refers to the "Todian Spring."
Another theory is that the drink is named after the Irish doctor Robert Bentley Todd. He prescribed hot drinks of brandy, cinnamon, sugar syrup and water to his patients. Today, the drink usually consists of whiskey, rum or brandy that is mixed with water and honey. A common version in the midwestern United States uses ginger ale, lemon, honey and whiskey.