Easy Hot Toddy with Honey and Lemon
How to make a hot toddy with bourbon, rum or other dark spirit, lemon, honey and hot water. Plus, lots of suggestions for variations. Jump to the Hot Toddy Recipe
How to Make Our Favorite Hot Toddy
We make them often, especially during the colder months. Variations are endless, so think of this as a guide. When it comes to the best liquor for making hot toddies, we choose a dark rum or bourbon. Brandy or whisky work well, but a hot toddy with dark rum or bourbon are our favorite.
You can deviate from the honey and lemon, as well. Orange, grapefruit or Meyer lemon would be lovely. We love the floral sweetness of honey, but brown sugar, agave nectar or other sweeteners can be used.
Tea is a nice variation, too. 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.
A tiny splash of apple cider vinegar is really nice. Adam came up with the idea after ordering a hot toddy in the city — they mixed in a shrub, which is basically a fruit-and-vinegar syrup added to cocktails and sodas. The acid from the vinegar brings out all the flavors of the toddy without making it taste too sweet.
Since we don’t make our own shrubs at home (yet), we thought adding a little splash of apple cider vinegar just might work. It did. So well in fact that we think you should try it yourself.
Make two hot toddies, one with vinegar and the other without. Then taste the difference. I’m betting you’ll prefer the one with vinegar.
Another thing to consider is to buy a shrub and add that — we like Pok Pok’s shrubs a lot. Others suggest Inna Shrub and The Hudson Standard Shrub — they are all really well reviewed.
There are probably local producers too — ask a bartender what they have behind the bar. My last suggestion for playing with your own hot toddy is to call on a spice or two. Think cinnamon, clove or allspice.
Don’t they look so warming! We’re so excited for you to experiment for yourselves. Let us know in the comments how you make your best hot toddy.
More: Try our Bourbon Manhattan or for someone who does not drink, we love this Sparkling Grapefruit Mocktail!
Easy Hot Toddy with Honey and Lemon
Try dark rum or bourbon for this. Brandy or your favorite whisky will work, but dark rum and bourbon are our favorite. Hot toddies are best warm so you might want to think about warming your mug just before making the drink. Simply fill your mug with hot water then empty it.
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
Put 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. Add the rum or bourbon, stir then finish with a lemon slice.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- 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 is a nice variation. 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!
- Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste
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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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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 :).
Thanks for sharing this recipe.
Thanks for sharing, I’m definitely going to try this tonight. I’ve been so sick, with asthma, bronchitis, real congested.
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?