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Classic Hot Toddy Recipe – How to Make

This classic hot toddy recipe is a great warm cocktail for the winter season. This hot cocktail will warm you up when cold weather gets you down! Perfect for when you have a cold!

2 hot toddies

Many people with a sore throat, cough, or cold symptoms turn to a classic cocktail like hot toddies as their home remedies.

It could be because a hot toddy is easy and straightforward to make on a cold night. Maybe because the warmth of a hot cocktail really does soothe your throat

Either way, people swear a hot toddy cocktail makes you feel better on cold days when you’re sick, and today, I’m going to agree.

how to make a hot toddy - the guide

What is a Hot Toddy?

I went to my good friend Wikipedia to help with this question. 

A hot toddy is a mixed drink with hot water and liquor with honey, herbs, or spices. 

This cocktail goes back to the mid-18th century, before modern medicine.

You couldn’t go to the grocery store for cold medicines, so people looked for a warm drink instead of prescription medications. 

How To Make A Hot Toddy

A hot toddy is one of the easiest winter cocktails to make. Simple cocktails are especially helpful if you’re under the weather with a cold or the flu.

With warming spices and simple ingredients, colder months will feel warmer after just a few sips.

Scroll down to see the full recipe below!

hot toddy ingredients

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Hot Toddy Ingredients

The best hot toddy is a classic recipe with just the following ingredients:

The best whiskey is the whiskey you like; I always say personal preference tops recommendations.

That being said, North America makes more than one brown spirit, which is an excellent option for a hot toddy drink. The type of whiskey I often pick is a good bourbon like Maker’s Mark or Irish whiskey. 

Different Variations for Hot Toddies

Instead of hot water, consider using hot tea. Steep a tea bag in boiling water, then remove the bag before adding the other ingredients. 

Earl Grey is citrusy and is a great alternative. Ginger tea and herbal tea will add flavor or stick with regular old black tea.

You can use any type of brown liquor, including bourbon whiskey. The whiskey can easily be swapped out for dark rum or brandy. 

The best liquor is your favorite liquor, so if you’re looking for something different, try a hot gin toddy. Swap out the whiskey for a gin with strong herbal notes.

Instead of honey, you can use simple syrup, maple syrup, brown sugar, ginger syrup, agave nectar, or demerara sugar.

Experiment with different citrus juices, such as orange juice. 

You can also add additional spices like star anise. 

one hot toddy in a clear glass

Hot Toddy Glassware

Because this is a hot drink, you will definitely need glasses with handles.

I like these warm beverage mugs – they are the perfect size for a hot toddy.

I’m also particularly fond of these Hot Toddy Diagram glasses.

Hot Toddy Garnishes

If you’re making this whiskey cocktail because you love a great hot toddy or want to include it on a holiday party menu, there are different ways to garnish this fun cocktail. 

I like to add a cinnamon stick because you can mix the drink and add the flavor of cinnamon at the same time. 

A lemon wedge, lemon twist, lemon slice, or lemon peel are easy ways to add color and Vitamin C. Consider a slice of fresh ginger or candied ginger. Take it up a notch and use a clove-studded lemon wheel. 

Hot Toddy for a Cold

I want to preface this by stating that I am not a doctor, this is not medical advice, and the health benefits of this drink are unknown.

That being said, there is a common belief that a hot toddy is a medicinal aid for colds, coughs, and sore throats. 

Looking for more hot cocktails?

Try these:

hot toddy - how to make hot toddy - the ultimate guide
Hot Toddy Recipe

Hot Toddy Recipe

Yield: 1 drink
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This classic hot toddy recipe is a great warm cocktail for the winter season. This hot cocktail will warm you up when cold weather gets you down! Perfect for when you have a cold!


  • 1.5 ounces of whiskey
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 ounces of water, hot
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  1. Combine the whiskey and honey in a glass.
  2. Top with hot water and lemon juice.
  3. Add star anise and a cinnamon stick to the glass and use the cinnamon stick to stir the ingredients.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 167Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not be correct.

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Wednesday 27th of February 2019

Good to know! Pinning!

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