Soothing Honey Hot Toddy

We love this easy hot toddy made with whiskey or bourbon, fresh lemon, and honey. My favorite hot toddy recipe is warm, cozy, soothing, and simple to make.

Lemon Honey Hot Toddy Video

I love a hot toddy, especially during the colder months. A hot toddy is a classic cocktail with dark liquor like whiskey, hot water, and spices.

We love adding lemon and sweetening the hot toddies with honey. It’s so soothing.

Our Favorite Hot Toddy with Honey and Lemon

Key Ingredients

  • Dark liquor: Use brandy, whiskey, dark rum, or bourbon. The best liquor for making hot toddies is one you already enjoy the flavor of. We love using dark rum or bourbon.
  • Hot water or hot tea: My favorite hot toddy recipe calls for hot tea. We’ve tried a variety of teas. Like English breakfast, black tea stands up to the liquor, but a calmer, more soothing tea like chamomile works well, too. I also really enjoy ginger tea.
  • Honey or maple syrup: Sweetens up our hot toddy. Add as much as you need.
  • Fresh lemon: Classic in this recipe, and I love it. Orange is also quite delicious.
  • Apple cider vinegar: My secret ingredient for the best hot toddy! A tiny splash of apple cider vinegar brings out all the flavors of the toddy without making it taste too sweet. Adam came up with the idea after ordering a hot toddy at a small bar in Seattle (they mixed in a shrub, which is basically a fruit-and-vinegar syrup added to cocktails and sodas).

How to Make a Hot Toddy

When making hot toddies, I first warm my mug, add hot water, swirl, and then dump it out. Then, I add hot water or brew tea and stir in fresh lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and honey until they dissolve.

Add a splash of liquor (I love dark rum or bourbon) and a slice of lemon. So good!

The Best Hot Toddy

How to Make a Hot Toddy for a Cold?

My grandmother swears by a hot toddy for colds, but we skip the alcohol when we’re sick. We still make our hot toddy recipe, but we leave out the alcohol. A drink made with lemon, honey, hot water, and a tiny splash of apple cider vinegar is soothing and feels amazing on a sore throat. I often swap that hot water for tea, like chamomile.

Hot Toddy with Lemon and Honey

Soothing Honey Hot Toddy

  • COOK

My favorite hot toddy recipe works well with dark liquor, but I especially love dark rum or bourbon.

Makes 1 drink

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

1 ounce dark rum or bourbon

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon pure honey

1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, optional

1/4 cup hot water or brewed tea

Lemon slice


    1Put honey, lemon juice and the apple cider vinegar in a warmed mug. Add hot water or hot tea and stir until the honey has dissolved.

    2Add the rum or bourbon, stir then finish with a lemon slice.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Apple cider vinegar: The acid from the apple cider vinegar brings out all the flavors of the toddy without making it taste too sweet. The drink tastes great without it as well, but if you have cider vinegar in your pantry, give it a try.
  • Tea: We’ve tried chamomile, ginger and even a black tea before. All were nice, but the black tea really stood out as a favorite — especially with dark rum.
  • Hot Toddy Mocktail: Make the recipe as stated above, but leave out the rum. This drink as a mocktail is delicious!
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1 drink / Calories 129 / Protein 0 g / Carbohydrate 18 g / Dietary Fiber 0 g / Total Sugars 17 g / Total Fat 0 g / Saturated Fat 0 g / Cholesterol 0 mg
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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45 comments… Leave a Review
  • Jane September 11, 2023, 5:33 pm

    Thanks for the ideas! I used ginger and black tea with raw honey, Meyer lemon, and cognac. Sadly I have covid, so zero aromas are getting through. I made two cups, one with and one without the apple cider vinegar. For me, the sans-vinegar was the winner. Both went right down the chute though; and then I rested without coughing. Thanks again this was a fun diversion.

  • Susan Mozaffari November 13, 2022, 4:09 am

    Helpful recipes! Great for when you have a cold or Sinus issues.

  • Michelle January 20, 2022, 9:40 pm

    Highly recommend this recipe! I used Goslings dark rum, hot water and I definitely encourage adding the apple cider vinegar for a savvy, flavorful touch. Tonight I’ll make it with Woodford Reserve Bourbon. Thank you!

  • Mackie December 6, 2021, 1:36 pm

    I had my doubts but this is amazing! I made mine with plain hot black tea, honey, lemon juice, the recommended apple cider vinegar, and gosling’s black seal rum. Very flavorful and warming, perfect for the upcoming holidays.

  • Robin C November 22, 2021, 10:42 am

    Made these last night with Decaf Constant Comment tea, fresh lemon juice, local honey, the apple cider vinegar, and dark rum. I made most with 1 oz of rum and mine with a 1/3 of an oz – both were so, so yummy. Thumbs up from even the doubters (husband doesn’t like lemon typically) . The tea has some extra spices in it, which I think added some nice additional depth.. would definitely recommend trying this and I’ll absolutely plan to make again.

  • Amanda October 27, 2021, 1:23 pm

    I’m definitely going to make myself one of these tonight, and I do have apple cider vinegar on hand. I have a cold with sore throat. This sounds like it will be so soothing!

  • SuzC October 19, 2021, 9:36 pm

    Thank you for this recipe! I made ours with chamomile tea, whisky, lemon, and honey. I did my husbands without apple cider vinegar and mine with just a little bit of it. And I have to say, wow the apple cider vinegar, even a little, was better! It really brought out all the flavors! So cozy on a chilly fall night and soothing with the sniffles!

  • Elle July 7, 2021, 7:18 am

    Thanks for the video. We don’t have them in Australia but in America tv shows talk about them so I wanted to make myself. Thank you :).

  • Gail Walraven June 30, 2021, 1:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • Gail Walraven June 30, 2021, 1:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing, I’m definitely going to try this tonight. I’ve been so sick, with asthma, bronchitis, real congested.

  • Cynthia Thomas May 29, 2021, 11:39 pm

    Work’s wonderful

  • Colleen Lane December 4, 2020, 1:32 am

    I has thinking about making this for my family christmas party on the 19th using the dark rum, and using apple cider flavored tea what do all think?


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