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.

Hot toddy in clear mugs on a silver tray.

Healthy or ill, there’s just something about a hot alcoholic drink and an early-to-bed evening. This restorative concoction of hot water, spirits, lemon juice, and spices is easy to whip up and endlessly adaptable with whatever you have on hand.

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled hot toddy ingredients on a countertop.

Ingredient notes:

  • Spirits: Bourbon, whiskey, rum (dark rum, too) Fireball, vodka, even tequila. Lots of people love their hot toddy with brandy, too, so don’t limit yourself. Grand Marnier would be amazing if you like oranges. Basically, pick one strong alcohol that you enjoy the taste of, and go from there.
  • Honey: Or something sweet. Sugar, golden syrup, agave nectar, anything to sweeten up the booze and make it sippable.
  • Citrus: Lemon or lime juice, or even just citrus peel. For a little vitamin C.
  • Hot water: Brewed hot tea works, too.
  • Garnish: This pretty cocktail looks even better with a thoughtful garnish. Try a wheel of lemon dotted with a few cloves, an orange peel, a cinnamon stick, grated nutmeg, or candied ginger.

Instructions:

  • First, heat some water in a kettle. While the water is heating up, pour 1 ounce bourbon (or other alcohol) some honey, and lemon juice into a mug. Then top the mug off with hot water. Next, add the cinnamon stick and give everything a stir to dissolve the honey. Garnish as you please, and serve immediately.
    Water being poured into a clear mug with whisky.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • 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. As long as you actually like what you’re using, I promise you’ll like the drink.
  • 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 chunk of fresh ginger root.

Hot toddy in clear mugs on a silver tray.

More delightful drinks:

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 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 304kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces bourbon (1/4 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. Spirits: Bourbon, whiskey, rum (dark rum, too) Fireball, vodka, even tequila. Lots of people love their hot toddy with brandy, too, so don’t limit yourself. Grand Marnier would be amazing if you like oranges. Basically, pick one strong alcohol that you enjoy the taste of, and go from there.
  2. Honey: Or something sweet. Sugar, golden syrup, agave nectar, anything to sweeten up the booze and make it sippable.
  3. Citrus: Lemon or lime juice, or even just citrus peel. For a little vitamin C.
  4. Hot water: Brewed hot tea works, too.
  5. Garnish: This pretty cocktail looks even better with a thoughtful garnish. Try a wheel of lemon dotted with a few cloves, an orange peel, a cinnamon stick, grated nutmeg, or candied ginger.
  6. 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.
  7. 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. As long as you actually like what you're using, I promise you'll like the drink.
  8. Non-alcoholic: In place of the strong stuff, use apple cider, apple juice, cranberry juice, or strongly brewed tea instead.
  9. Spices: You can add a few spices of your choosing: cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, allspice some fresh lemongrass, or a chunk of fresh ginger root.

Nutrition

Serving: 1drink | Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CulinaryHill or tag #CulinaryHill!

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  1. Beth

    I made this for my husband when he was sick. It was a hit!5 stars

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