Warm Up with Our Delicious Hot Toddy Recipe

Welcome to my Hot Toddy Recipe article! As a chef, I can tell you there’s nothing better on a chilly evening than a warm, comforting drink. And nothing quite hits the spot like a classic hot toddy.

A hot toddy is a traditional drink that has been around for centuries. It’s a warm, soothing drink that’s perfect for cold and flu season, or just for those cozy, lazy nights in. It’s a drink that can be made with a variety of different spirits, spices, and sweeteners, so there’s always room for variation and experimentation.

In this article, I’ll be sharing with you my favorite hot toddy recipe, as well as some tips, tricks, and variations that you can try. Whether you’re looking for a classic hot toddy, a spiced-up version, or a twist on the original recipe, I’ve got you covered.

So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn how to make the best hot toddy you’ve ever had. Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Hot Toddy
Hot Toddy

As the weather gets colder and the nights get longer, there’s nothing quite like a warm and comforting drink to help you unwind after a long day. And what better drink to turn to than the classic hot toddy?

This hot toddy recipe is a true classic, made with a combination of whisky, honey, and lemon juice – and it’s the perfect drink to help soothe a sore throat, ease a cough, or just warm you up from the inside out.

But what sets this hot toddy recipe apart from the rest? For starters, the addition of maple syrup adds a subtle sweetness that perfectly balances out the tartness of the lemon juice. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try swapping out the whisky for dark rum or bourbon for a slightly different flavor profile.

But the real reason you’re going to love this hot toddy recipe? It’s incredibly easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients and a few minutes on the stove, you’ll have a warm and delicious drink that’s perfect for sipping on a cold winter night.

So whether you’re looking to ward off a cold, warm up after a long day, or just treat yourself to a delicious cocktail, this hot toddy recipe is sure to become a new favorite. Give it a try and see for yourself – you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

 Cozy up with a warm and spicy Hot Toddy.
Cozy up with a warm and spicy Hot Toddy.

Let’s gather all the ingredients you need to make a hot toddy. This classic hot cocktail is perfect for chilly nights or whenever you need a soothing drink. Here’s what you need:


  • Bourbon (1 1/2 ounces) or whiskey (dark rum, rye, or Irish whiskey) (2/3 ounces)
  • Cognac (2 ounces) – optional
  • Apple cider (1/2 cup) – optional
  • Southern Comfort or Maker’s Mark – optional
  • Fireball or Hennessy – optional


  • Honey (1 tablespoon)
  • Maple syrup (1 tablespoon) – optional
  • Honey lemon syrup (1 tablespoon honey + 1 tablespoon lemon juice)


  • Cinnamon stick (1)
  • Lemon wedge (1/4 lemon)
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice (3/4 ounce or 2 tablespoons)
  • Lemon slice (1) – optional

Hot water:

  • Boiling water (1 cup)
  • Water (1/2 cup)
  • Hot water (1/2 cup)

Gather all the ingredients and let’s get started with the recipe.

The Recipe How-To

Now that we have gathered the ingredients, it’s time to make the hot toddy. I will guide you on how to make the best hot toddy recipe.

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

Gather the ingredients which include 1 lemon, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 oz of cognac, bourbon or dark rum, 1 tbsp of honey and 1 cup of boiling water.

Step 2: Combine the Ingredients

In a mug, combine 1 tbsp of honey and 1 oz of lemon juice. Stir until the honey dissolves. Add the 2 oz of cognac, bourbon or dark rum and give it a mix.

Step 3: Add Boiling Water

Pour 1 cup of boiling water into the mug and stir until the honey is dissolved.

Step 4: Garnish and Serve

Garnish the hot toddy with a lemon wedge and a cinnamon stick. Serve hot and enjoy the warmth it brings.

Pro Tips

  • Add 1/2 oz of maple syrup for a twist in flavor.
  • For a spicier kick, add a pinch of ground cinnamon or a splash of apple cider.
  • Use Southern Comfort, Maker’s Mark, or Hennessy instead of bourbon, cognac or dark rum.
  • Make a hot buttered rum by adding 1 tbsp of butter and 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon.

Now that you know how to make a hot toddy, you can create variations of this classic hot toddy recipe. Use this recipe as a base and add your own twist to it.

Substitutions and Variations

The beauty of a Hot Toddy recipe lies in its versatility. This drink can easily be adapted to suit your taste buds or what you have in your liquor cabinet. Here are some substitutions and variations to try:

– Whiskey: If you don’t have bourbon on hand, you can substitute it with any whiskey like rye, Irish, or scotch. Each type of whiskey will impart its unique flavor to the drink.

– Brandy: If you’re not a fan of whiskey, try using brandy instead. It’s a smooth and flavorful alternative that pairs well with the other ingredients.

– Tea: Want to add some extra flavor to your Hot Toddy? Brew a bag of your favorite tea and use it in place of hot water. Earl Grey, chai, and green tea are all great options to try.

– Apple Cider: For a twist on the classic Hot Toddy, swap out the water for apple cider. This will add a sweet and tangy flavor that’s perfect for the fall and winter months.

– Spiced Rum: If you’re looking for a Hot Toddy with a little more kick, try using spiced rum. It’s a flavorful and warming addition to the drink that pairs well with the honey and lemon.

– Fireball: For a Hot Toddy with a bit more of a kick, try using Fireball instead of whiskey. This cinnamon-flavored whiskey will add a spicy kick to the drink that’s perfect for cold nights.

– Southern Comfort or Maker’s Mark: Both of these bourbons have a sweeter flavor profile that pairs well with the honey and lemon in a Hot Toddy.

– Hot Buttered Rum: For a truly decadent Hot Toddy, try using hot buttered rum instead of whiskey. This drink is made with rum, butter, brown sugar, and spices, and it’s sure to warm you up on a cold night.

Regardless of what substitutions or variations you choose to make, always remember to stick to the basic Hot Toddy recipe ratios of honey, lemon, and liquor. This will ensure that you get the perfect balance of sweet and sour flavors, making for a delicious and comforting drink.

Serving and Pairing

Hot toddies are a classic winter cocktail that can be served as a cozy after-dinner drink or a soothing nightcap. This hot toddy recipe pairs perfectly with a variety of desserts, such as apple pie, pumpkin pie, or a warm chocolate cake.

For a more savory pairing, try serving this hot toddy with a cheese board, charcuterie plate or a bowl of warm soup. The spicy notes of cinnamon and honey in the toddy complement the rich and bold flavors of aged cheeses and cured meats.

When it comes to serving, I recommend using a clear glass or mug so that the beautiful amber color of the hot toddy can be seen. You can also garnish the drink with a lemon slice or wedge, a cinnamon stick, or a sprinkle of ground cinnamon for an extra touch of flavor and presentation.

This hot toddy recipe is also a great option to serve at holiday parties or gatherings. It’s a festive and warm drink that can be easily made in large batches, and your guests will love the cozy and comforting flavors.

Overall, this hot toddy recipe is a versatile drink that pairs well with a variety of foods and occasions. Whether you’re enjoying it on a cold winter night or serving it at a holiday party, this classic hot toddy is sure to please.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

A hot toddy is a cozy and comforting drink that can be enjoyed any time of the year, but it’s especially popular during the colder months. You might be wondering if it’s possible to make a hot toddy ahead of time or if you can store leftovers for later. The answer is yes, you can!

To make a hot toddy ahead of time, simply follow the recipe instructions up until the point where you add the hot water. You can mix together the honey, lemon juice, and alcohol in a mug or a small jar and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to enjoy your hot toddy, heat up some water and add it to the mixture. Stir until the honey is dissolved and enjoy!

If you have leftover hot toddy, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to reheat it, simply pour the mixture into a small saucepan and heat it up over low heat. Stir occasionally until it’s heated through, but be careful not to boil the mixture, as this can affect the taste of the drink.

It’s worth noting that the flavors of a hot toddy can change over time, so it’s always best to make it fresh if you can. But if you need to make it ahead of time or store leftovers, you can still enjoy a delicious and comforting drink with a little bit of preparation.

Tips for Perfect Results

To ensure the best hot toddy experience, keep these tips in mind:

Firstly, use freshly squeezed lemon juice. This is important to give the hot toddy a fresh and bright flavor. You can use a juicer or squeeze the lemon by hand. Make sure to remove any seeds before adding the juice to the toddy.

Secondly, stir the honey until it dissolves completely in the hot water. This ensures that the sweetness is evenly distributed throughout the drink. You can also use maple syrup instead of honey for a different flavor profile.

Thirdly, choose a good quality spirit. Whether you prefer whiskey, bourbon, or rum, make sure to use a brand that you enjoy drinking. The better the quality of your spirit, the better your hot toddy will taste.

Fourthly, experiment with different spices. While cinnamon sticks are traditional, you can also try adding a pinch of nutmeg or a few cloves for a more complex flavor.

Fifthly, don’t be afraid to adjust the recipe to your liking. If you prefer a stronger drink, add more alcohol. If you want a sweeter drink, add more honey or maple syrup. The beauty of the hot toddy is that it can be customized to your taste.

Lastly, serve your hot toddy in a mug that can retain heat. This will keep your drink warm for longer and enhance the overall experience. You can also garnish your hot toddy with a lemon slice or cinnamon stick for a festive touch.

By following these tips, you can make the perfect hot toddy every time.


Before we conclude this hot toddy recipe article, let me address some frequently asked questions about this classic hot beverage. In this section, I’ll cover some common concerns about ingredient substitutions, variations, and storage. So, if you have any doubts about making a hot toddy or want some tips to customize your recipe, keep reading.

What alcohol is best for hot toddy?

In the realm of hot toddies, our preferred spirits are dark rum or bourbon. While brandy and whisky can also be used, nothing beats the rich and robust flavor of these two. Don’t be afraid to switch up the traditional honey and lemon combo with other citrus fruits like orange, grapefruit or Meyer lemon for a refreshing twist.

What’s a hot toddy made of?

One of my favorite winter drinks is a classic hot toddy. It’s a simple yet satisfying cocktail made with hot water, whisky (or bourbon), honey, and lemon. If you’re feeling fancy, you can add a cinnamon stick for an extra touch of warmth.

Does a hot toddy actually help a cold?

When feeling under the weather with a head cold, a shot of whiskey can work wonders in easing congestion and alleviating any discomfort. Providing relief to a sore throat, hot beverages are a go-to solution. For those plagued with a cough and sinus pressure, a mixture of honey and lemon can bring comfort to the respiratory system.

Are hot toddies healthy?

When feeling unwell, some people may suggest a Hot Toddy as a potential cure. This warm drink is made with whiskey, honey, and lemon and is believed to provide relief for symptoms of the common cold and flu, particularly sore throats.

Bottom Line


In conclusion, the hot toddy recipe is a classic and versatile drink that can be enjoyed on any occasion. Whether you are feeling under the weather or just looking for a cozy and comforting beverage, the hot toddy is the perfect choice. With its simple yet delicious combination of honey, lemon juice, and your favorite spirit, this drink is sure to warm you up from the inside out.

As you have seen, this recipe is easy to make and can be adapted to suit your personal taste preferences. You can use different types of alcohol, sweeteners, and spices to create a unique variation of the classic hot toddy. Moreover, you can also make it ahead of time and store it for later use.

So why not try out this recipe today and experience the warmth and comfort of a hot toddy? Whether you are snuggled up by the fire on a cold winter night or simply need a little pick-me-up, this drink is sure to hit the spot. So grab your ingredients and get mixing – your taste buds will thank you!

Hot Toddy Recipe

From my parents and granparents (add a generation for a lot of readers!) but this is a "warmer upper" when you get inside from the cold of fall/winter/spring activities…

Brandy, rye or rum can be substituted for cognac, according to what you have on hand…

  • 1 1/2 ounces cognac
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey or 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • boiling water
  1. In a coffee cup, assemble base ingredients.
  2. Add boiling water, stir and serve —
  3. Warms you right up!
< 15 Mins, Beginner Cook, Beverages, Canadian, Christmas, Easy, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Punch

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