How to make a hot toddy! We love these classic hot toddies made with hot water (or tea), dark liquor like whiskey or bourbon, fresh lemon, and honey.
Watch the video
⭐️ Try our old-fashioned cocktail with bourbon and orange.
3 Secrets for the best hot toddy
- Use your favorite dark liquor, like brandy, whiskey, rum, or bourbon.
- Fresh lemon and honey balance the alcohol and make our hot toddy soothing.
- Add a tiny splash of apple cider vinegar, or use a shrub to enhance the flavors of the toddy without making it too sweet.
We love a great 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. The variations are endless, so think of this as a guide.
What’s in a hot toddy?
To make a hot toddy, combine the following ingredients in a small mug.
Use a dark liquor like brandy, whiskey, rum, and bourbon. The best liquor for making hot toddies is one you enjoy the flavor of. We love using dark rum or bourbon.
Hot water is classic and easy, or try hot tea. Hot toddies made with tea are extra soothing and delicious. We’ve tried a variety of teas ourselves. We love how black tea, like English breakfast, stands up to the liquor, but a calmer, more soothing tea like chamomile was wonderful, too. Ginger tea is also excellent.
Honey or maple syrup sweetens up our hot toddy. Add as much as you need.
Fresh lemon is classic in this recipe and I absolutely love it. Orange is also quite delicious.
Try our 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.
Since we don’t make our own shrubs at home, 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.
If you have a favorite shrub, try it in your drink. I bet it will be really delicious.
How to make a hot toddy for a cold?
My grandmother swore by hot toddies for colds, but we skip the alcohol when we’re sick. We do still make our hot toddy recipe, but 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. Swap that hot water for tea like chamomile, and you’re really talking.
Lemon Honey Hot Toddy
We love dark rum or bourbon when making a hot toddy, but brandy or your favorite whisky will work. 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
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. Add 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!
- Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.