Fall is here, which means it’s time to cozy up with a Classic Hot Toddy, a comforting blend of whiskey, lemon, honey, and tea.
I’m not a doctor, and I don’t play one on TV. But I have heard plenty of times about the healing properties of the Hot Toddy. And some quick research shows that there’s a good reason our grandparents prescribed the Hot Toddy for colds and sore throats. First, when you’re feeling sick, a hot beverage feels good. It can soothe the throat and help break down and thin out mucus. Plus, lots of cold and cough medicines use lemon and honey as natural remedies. Finally, my granny said the Hot Toddies helped her sleep, and I don’t doubt that after a few, she was sawing logs with the best of them.
Please don’t take this as medical advice, as alcohol is not the recommended choice for medication. But this drink does have some elements that feel like a warm hug, and when I’m not feeling good, sometimes that’s just what I need.
Why You Will Love This Cocktail Recipe
The Hot Toddy will warm you from tip to toe on chilly evenings. The sweetness and spiciness combine for a perfect warm drink that can be enjoyed year-round.
- A kettle or a pot
- A strainer
- A spoon
- A citrus squeezer
- A jigger
- 1.5 oz whiskey or bourbon
- freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon
- 1 TBS honey
- 1 cup hot water
- tea bag flavor of your preference
- A slice of lemon for decoration
- Begin by filling your mug with hot water to preheat it. This will ensure that your mixed drink stays warm for longer. After letting it sit for a couple of minutes, dispose of the water.
- Refill the mug with hot water and place the tea bag inside. Allow the tea to steep for a duration of 3 to 5 minutes. Once done, remove the tea bag and put it to one side.
- Add the honey to the tea and stir continuously until it fully integrates.
- Add the whiskey or bourbon, and the freshly squeezed lemon juice into your mixture, and stir thoroughly.
- Garnish with a piece of lemon and serve warm
Tips & Tricks for a Perfect Hot Toddy
- Use real, high-grade honey instead of honey-flavored syrup, a good quality whiskey or bourbon, and fresh lemons.
- The type of tea you use can make a significant difference. You should try different kinds of teas until you find your favorite.
- Feel free to tweak the ingredients. If you prefer a sweeter Toddy, add more honey. If you like it tart, squeeze in more lemon juice.
- Garnish Wisely: While the lemon slice garnish adds a classic touch, I like adding a cinnamon stick or star anise during the holiday season.
A mug makes the most sense, especially since it’s served warm. If you have a glass mug, that’s even better!
While the classic recipe rolls with whiskey or bourbon, you can swap it with different liquor like rum or brandy.
Sure. Just skip the whiskey or bourbon and enjoy an equally warm and comforting drink.
Some folks throw in a pinch of ground cinnamon, cloves, or even a star anise for added warmth and flavor.
Hot Toddy Recipe Variations Worth Trying
- I told you above the tea can make a huge difference, I have tried black or green tea and they work great, Herbal teas or spiced Chai are also worth a try.
- Infuse your drink with warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
- Swap the hot water for hot apple cider for a fruity twist.
How to Store
These drinks are meant to be savored hot and fresh, so it’s best to make them just before serving. If you have leftover Toddy, stick it in the fridge. When you’re ready for it again, heat it up slowly on the stove.