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Whether you’ve got a cold, cough, or just a case of the winter blues, a Hot Toddy will wrap around you like a warm blanket and soothe your weary bones. Here’s the classic recipe for a delicious hot cocktail you can make all season long.

Hot toddies in clear glass mugs on a silver serving tray.

Once Thanksgiving Day arrives, it’s Hot Toddy season in my family. We have them for all the holiday parties, fireside chats, and festive gatherings on the agenda.

I love to stock a bar cart with a few Whiskey options, lemon slices, cinnamon sticks, honey, and an electric kettle with water. I also have the cutest little nutmeg grater; the nutmeg nut is stored in a small compartment at the top, and you just remove the nut and grate nutmeg on the spot (see recipe FAQs for more info).

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Hot Toddy Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled hot toddy ingredients on a countertop.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Bourbon: Or whiskey, spiced rum, Fireball, brandy, vodka, even tequila. Grand Marnier would be amazing if you like oranges. Pick one strong alcohol that you enjoy the taste of, and go from there.
  • Honey: Or your preferred sweetener. Sugar, agave nectar, maple syrup, or anything to sweeten up the booze and make it sippable.
  • Lemon juice: Or substitute lime juice or even freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice.
  • Hot water: Brewed hot tea works, too.
  • Garnish: Try a wheel of lemon dotted with a few cloves, an orange peel, a cinnamon stick, grated nutmeg, or candied ginger.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a 6 ounce mug, combine bourbon, honey and lemon juice. Top with hot water.
Water being poured into a clear mug with whisky.
  1. Add cinnamon stick and stir until honey is dissolved. Garnish with a slice of lemon and grated nutmeg if desired.
Hot toddy in clear mugs on a silver tray.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 1 serving of a delicious, cozy Hot Toddy.
  • Warm the mug: Pour some hot water in the mug you plan to use. It will take the chill off of the porcelain and keep the drink hot, longer.
  • Improvisation welcome: This drink can be made (and enjoyed) a million different ways. Choose flavors, spices, tea, and garnishes that are complimentary to each other.
  • Non-alcoholic: In place of the strong stuff, use apple cider, apple juice, cranberry juice, or strongly brewed tea instead.
  • Spices: You can add a few spices of your choosing: cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, allspice, some fresh lemongrass, or a slice of fresh ginger root.
Hot toddy in clear mugs on a silver tray.

Recipe FAQs

What’s hot toddy made of?

A hot toddy is made from a comforting blend of whiskey, lemon, honey, and hot water.

What’s a hot toddy good for?

A hot toody is a great way to shake the chills, warm up your bones, or soothe a sore throat.

How do you grate nutmeg?

Use a nutmeg grater for stylish, functional nutmeg grating any time. Just tore a nut in the top compartment and remove it when you need some nutmeg (Culinary Hill may earn money if you buy through this link).
Nuts being shaved with a zester.

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More warm drinks for cold days

Hot toddies in clear glass mugs on a silver serving tray.

Hot Toddy

Whether you’ve got a cold, cough, or just a case of the winter blues, a Hot Toddy will wrap around you like a warm blanket and soothe your weary bones. Here’s the classic recipe for a delicious hot cocktail you can make all season long.
5 from 3 votes
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 1 serving
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Calories 304

Ingredients 

  • 2 ounces bourbon (¼ cup, see note 1)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (see note 2)
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon (see note 3)
  • 1/2 cup hot water (see note 4)
  • 1 cinnamon stick for garnish (see note 5)
  • lemon slices for garnish
  • ground nutmeg for garnish

Instructions 

  • In a 6 ounce mug, combine bourbon, honey and lemon juice. Top with hot water.
  • Add cinnamon stick and stir until honey is dissolved. Garnish with a slice of lemon and grated nutmeg if desired.

Notes

  1. Bourbon: Or whiskey, spiced rum, Fireball, brandy, vodka, even tequila. Grand Marnier would be amazing if you like oranges. Pick one strong alcohol that you enjoy the taste of, and go from there.
  2. Honey: Or your preferred sweetener. Sugar, agave nectar, maple syrup, or anything to sweeten up the booze and make it sippable.
  3. Lemon juice: Or substitute lime juice or even freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice.
  4. Hot water: Brewed hot tea works, too.
  5. Garnish: Try a wheel of lemon dotted with a few cloves, an orange peel, a cinnamon stick, grated nutmeg, or candied ginger.

Nutrition

Serving: 1drinkCalories: 304kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 13mgPotassium: 141mgFiber: 2gSugar: 42gVitamin A: 12IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 1mg
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I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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