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Hot Toddy

close up shot of a glass mug of Hot Toddy garnished with cinnamon, star anise, and lemon
This hot toddy recipe makes a warm alcoholic beverage that is the perfect drink for a cold winter night. Lemon and honey give a sweeter taste and a soothing effect, and rich spices make for an irresistible flavor. 
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Table of Contents
  1. HOT TODDY INGREDIENTS
  2. HOT TO MAKE THIS HOT TODDY RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

It’s getting cold outside, so it’s the perfect time to warm up with a classic hot toddy. This lemony, honey-sweetened drink is a delicious nightcap or after-dinner treat with a bourbon kick.

More of a cold-cocktail lover? Try our White Claw slushie and wine slushies for two easy cocktails.

HOT TODDY INGREDIENTS

hot toddy raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 to 3 drops (shakes) of aromatic bitters
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons honey
  • About 1 teaspoon whole cloves, optional for garnish
  • Slice of lemon, optional
  • 1 cinnamon stick, optional
  • 1-star anise, optional

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

HONEY: You can use either maple syrup or agave nectar instead of honey in this comforting cocktail. It’ll give it the same sweetness. If you’re looking for a hot toddy recipe for a cold, sore throat, or cough, we recommend using agave nectar instead of syrup. 

ADD TEA: If you want, you can begin with spiced or black tea instead of boiling water for this warm drink.

BOURBON: Instead of bourbon, you can substitute it with dark rum or apple-flavored brandy for a more apple cider twist.

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HOT TO MAKE THIS HOT TODDY RECIPE

STEP ONE: Pour ½ cup of boiling water into a mug.

PRO TIP:

Glass mugs are a beautiful way to show off the beautiful amber color of this drink, but regular mugs work just as well.

STEP TWO: Add fresh lemon juice, bourbon, bitters, and honey to the ½ cup of hot water. Stir until honey is dissolved.

STEP THREE: Poke whole cloves into the peel of a thick slice of lemon. Drop a lemon slice into the mug.

STEP FOUR: Add a cinnamon stick and/or star anise pods for garnish in your hot drink.

PRO TIP:

The cinnamon stick or star anise will add additional flavor to your drink, if you want it only lightly spiced, you can remove these after allowing them to infuse your drink for a short time.

HOW TO SERVE

Cold days just got better with this classic hot toddy recipe. Serve this warm cocktail if you are feeling under the weather or just want a warm-up on a cold day. If you are looking for more home remedies, make a cozy pot of our chicken and rice soup or crack chicken noodle soup.

MORE ALCOHOLIC DRINK RECIPES

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: We recommend preparing this hot toddy cocktail right before serving it. However, it can be reheated. Don’t leave your drink sitting with the lemon in it too long because it’ll make the drink bitter after about an hour. The spices should be removed as well since they will change the flavor of the drink.

IN THE FREEZER: We don’t recommend freezing this drink. 

This hot toddy, with its warm spice palate and rich flavor, will be the perfect thing to warm up on a cold night. It can also help soothe a cold or cough. The combination of bourbon, honey, and lemon will help soothe your throat and sore muscles, and even help you sleep better.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of this drink?

If you’d like to make a non-alcoholic hot toddy, simply omit the bitters and bourbon and use tea instead of boiling water in your drink.

What is the best liquor to use for a hot toddy?

It depends on your personal preference, but any type of whiskey, bourbon, or dark rum is delicious in this drink.

Can I make this ahead of time?

It is best to make this drink when you are ready to enjoy it rather than ahead of time. If you do have leftovers, they can be reheated but we would recommend taking the spices and lemon out so that it doesn’t become too strong.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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close up shot of a glass mug of Hot Toddy garnished with cinnamon, star anise, and lemon

Hot Toddy

5 from 1 vote
This hot toddy recipe makes a warm alcoholic beverage that is the perfect drink for a cold winter night. Lemon and honey give a sweeter taste and a soothing effect, and rich spices make for an irresistible flavor. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup water boiling
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 4 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 to 3 drops aromatic bitters
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves optional for garnish
  • 1 slice lemon optional
  • 1 cinnamon stick optional
  • 1 star anise optional

Instructions
 

  • Pour ½ cup of boiling water into a mug.
  • Add lemon juice, bourbon, bitters, and honey into the ½ cup of water. Stir until honey is dissolved.
  • Poke whole cloves into the peel of a thick slice of lemon. Drop lemon slice into the mug.
  • Add a cinnamon stick and/or star anise for garnish.

Notes

TIP: Glass mugs are a beautiful way to show off the beautiful amber color of this drink, but regular mugs work just as well.
TIP: The cinnamon stick or star anise will add additional flavor to your drink, if you want it only lightly spiced, you can remove these after allowing them to infuse your drink for a short time.

Nutrition

Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 15mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
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