Hot Gold Cocktail Recipe

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Hot Gold Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Hot Gold cocktail is a luxurious and warming drink, perfect for sipping by a roaring fire on a cold winter's night. It was first created in the 1920s at the legendary Savoy Hotel in London, where it quickly became a favorite among the city's elite. This cocktail is best enjoyed by those who appreciate the finer things in life and have a taste for bold, rich flavors.

How Hot Gold Tastes?

The Hot Gold cocktail is a harmonious blend of sweet, spicy, and smoky flavors. The warmth of the whiskey is perfectly balanced by the sweetness of the honey and the tangy kick of the lemon juice. The cinnamon and cloves add a touch of spice, while the smoky aroma of the star anise lingers on the palate.

Interesting facts about Hot Gold

  • The Hot Gold cocktail was inspired by the opulence of the roaring twenties, a time when gold was a symbol of wealth and luxury.
  • The star anise garnish is not only visually striking but also adds a subtle smoky flavor to the drink.
  • The combination of whiskey, honey, and spices is believed to have medicinal properties, making this cocktail a popular choice for soothing sore throats and colds during the winter months.



The 2oz of whiskey form the foundation of this cocktail, offering a warm, complex flavor base. Whiskey's richness balances out the brightness of the lemon and the sweetness of the honey. Without it, you'd just have spiced honey-lemon water! If you go overboard, you might overshadow the other delicate flavors.

Mary Mitkina


Adding 0.5oz of honey sweetens the deal without overpowering. It brings a natural, floral sweetness that complements whiskey's bite. Skip the honey, and you'll miss out on a smooth texture and a depth of flavor. Too much, and it will be more of a syrup than a cocktail.

Alex Green

Lemon Juice

0.5oz of lemon juice cuts through the sweetness and binds the cocktail with a citrus zing. Leave it out, and you lose that fresh layer of flavor. Overdo it, and your cocktail becomes a sour pucker-fest.

Emma Rose

Hot Water

Pour in 3oz of hot water to dilute and warm the drink, making it soothing and sippable. Without it, the potion would be too strong and concentrated. Make sure your water is hot but not boiling—no one likes scorched whiskey!

Mary Mitkina

Cinnamon Stick

A cinnamon stick muddled in adds a warming spice that's just right for cozying up. If omitted, you'd lose a bit of that fireside hug your taste buds were expecting. Cinnamon powder is a no-go; it'll turn your classy drink into murky mud.

Alex Green


3 cloves bring a fragrant, spicy kick. Go clove-less, and the cocktail lacks that little hint of Christmas. Too many and it’s like sipping on a grandma’s perfume bottle.

Emma Rose

Star Anise

One star anise on top is the crowning jewel that adds a licorice note and some Instagram-worthy aesthetics. Without it, you lose a layer of complex flavor and that 'ooh-ahh' effect as you serve. Just one though; this isn't an aniseed candy shop.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Wheel

Finally, a lemon wheel to garnish not only visually delights but also imparts a subtle aroma and a hint of citrus with each sip. No lemon wheel would mean a visually dull drink, and the bouquet of flavors would be shy a note.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Hot Gold Drink

  1. In a heatproof glass or mug, combine the whiskey, honey, and lemon juice.
  2. Add the hot water and stir until the honey is dissolved.
  3. Gently muddle the cinnamon stick and cloves in the bottom of the glass to release their flavors.
  4. Garnish with a star anise and a lemon wheel.

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality whiskey for the best flavor.
  • Warm the glass before adding the ingredients to keep the cocktail hot for longer.
  • Freshly squeeze the lemon juice for a brighter, fresher flavor.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese platters: Aged cheddar and gouda will complement the richness of the whiskey.
  • Smoked meats: Smoky flavors pair perfectly with the warm spices in the cocktail.


  • Apple pie: The cinnamon and cloves echo the warm spices in apple desserts.
  • Gingerbread cookies: Their spicy warmth goes well with the cocktail's flavors.

Non-Alcoholic Drinks

  • Tea: Chamomile or spiced chai can be enjoyed alongside to echo the warm and comforting profile of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Hot Gold

  • Bourbon can be used instead of whiskey for a sweeter, smoother flavor.
  • Agave nectar can replace honey for a vegan alternative.
  • Orange peel can be used instead of lemon wheel for a different citrus note.

Explore all drinks starting with H here

And of course - twists🍹

Apple Cider Hot Gold

  • Substitute hot water with hot apple cider for a fruity twist.
  • Add a dash of allspice for an additional layer of autumnal flavor.
  • Garnish with a thin slice of apple instead of the lemon wheel. This version will be sweeter, more aromatic, and perfect for fall evenings.

Spicy Hot Gold

  • Add a small slice of fresh ginger or a pinch of cayenne pepper for a spicy kick.
  • An extra clove could be added for even more spice.
  • Use honey spiced with chili for an interesting sweet and hot combination. This twist will bring some heat, ideal for those who like a bit of a fiery edge to their beverages.

Herbal Hot Gold

  • Infuse the hot water with a bag of herbal tea, like chamomile or peppermint, before mixing in the other ingredients.
  • Omit the star anise to let the herbal notes shine.
  • Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint or rosemary. This rendition offers a calming, relaxing experience and will be less sweet, more soothing.

In case you forgot basics how to make Hot Gold

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

The key to proper muddling is to crush the ingredients just enough to release their flavors and not overdo it. Over-muddling can result in a bitter taste, especially with herbs.

Learn everything on how to muddle

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Hot Gold

Can I prepare the Hot Gold cocktail in advance?

It's best to prepare the Hot Gold cocktail right before you plan to drink it, as it needs to be served hot. However, you can prepare the whiskey, honey, and lemon juice mixture in advance.

Can the Hot Gold cocktail be served cold?

While traditionally served hot, the Hot Gold cocktail can also be enjoyed cold. Make sure to thoroughly chill all ingredients before mixing.

Why is whiskey a typical base in cocktails?

Whiskey is often used in cocktails because of its wide range of flavors, from sweet to spicy, which can complement many other ingredients. Its strong alcohol content also balances out sweeter and fruitier flavors.

What are the effects of alcohol percentage in a cocktail?

The alcohol percentage in a cocktail determines how strong the drink will be. A higher alcohol percentage will make the drink stronger and the alcohol flavor more prominent. Lower alcohol percentages yield a milder cocktail.

What type of glass is best suited for the Hot Gold cocktail?

Heatproof glass or mugs are the best options for this cocktail since it is served hot.

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