The Hot Toddy

January 11th is "National Hot Toddy Day". This post is meant to celebrate this classic wintry cocktail when we need it most.

Warm and toasty and just in time for winter, the Hot Toddy is a classic hot drink and it is very simple to make. The basic recipe only requires a base liquor, honey, lemon, and tea, though some people prefer to skip the tea bag.

It will be a matter of personal taste as to which of the liquors you choose for your toddy. Brandy, rum, and whiskey each bring their own characteristics to the drink and make great drinks.

Feel free to experiment with your favorite types of tea or skip it all together and use hot water alone. Most black and green teas mix well with the sweetness of the honey and lemon, but from there it's a personal preference and some interesting toddies are possible. This is the Hot Toddy, the classic that everyone thinks about when they hear the name and the one that has been made for decades. While most people associate this toddy with whiskey, usually a blended whiskey, like Crown Royal, but I prefer the robust taste of bourbon - others prefer the sweeter side and use brandy. Either way, to begin an exploration of Hot Toddies this is the place to start and the one that will never loose any steam. Some other toddy recipes for inspiration -


Hot Toddy

  • 1.5 ozof brandy, rum, or whiskey (choose your favorite spirit)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tea bag

Prep -

  1. Coat the bottom of a mug or an Irish coffee glass with honey.
  2. Add the liquor and the juice of the lemon quarter.
  3. On the side, heat water in a tea kettle and add the tea bag to make hot tea.
  4. Pour the steaming tea into the glass and stir.


Grand Rum Toddy

The Grand Rum Toddy shows that with a little creativity you can create any flavor of toddy you could want. In this toddy I've combined the sweet rum with a sweet orange liqueur, Gran Gala or Grand Marnier - and added a little lime juice for that necessary citrus aspect. The combination comes to life with hot water and ends up being a sort of tropical toddy.

  • 1.5 oz rum
  • 3/4 oz orange liqueur (Gran Gala or Grand Marnier)
  • 1/4 oz lime juice
  • Hot water to fill
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Prep -

  1. In an Irish coffee glass pour the liquors and lime juice.
  2. Top with hot water.
  3. Stir.
  4. Garnish with a lime wedge

Hot Ginger Toddy

Ginger is not new in the world of hot toddies, but up until a few years ago you needed to make a ginger syrup from fresh root to get this effect. Lucky for the Hot Ginger Toddy, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur has been released and that makes this drink as easy as the others to make. Again, when heat is applied to ginger it enhances the aroma and flavors that play off the bourbon and creates an extremely delightful hot sipper.

  • 1 oz bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Domaine de Canton
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Hot water

Prep - 

In an Irish coffee glass pour the liquor, honey and lemon, stir well,  add hot water


Hot Apple Toddy

The Hot Apple Today is another favorite and is a superb choice for chilly days when you need a quick warm up. In this toddy the hot water is replaced with hot apple cider and paired with your favorite whiskey. Using an apple brandy is a nice alternative, however it can be a little too much apple for some taste. It's only logical that if we love hot cider so it is only natural that whiskey-spiked hot cider is a tasty treat.

  • 2 oz of whiskey or apple brandy
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Hot apple cider
  • Lemon wedge for garnish
  • Cinnamon stick for garnish
  • 2-3 whole cloves for garnish

Prep -

  1. Coat the bottom of an Irish coffee glass with honey.
  2. Add the whiskey or apple brandy.
  3. Fill with hot apple cider.
  4. Stir well.
  5. Garnish with the lemon, cinnamon stick, and cloves.