Hot Toddy Cocktail Recipe

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Hot Toddy 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 Toddy, also known as a hot whiskey in Ireland, is a popular warm cocktail that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is believed to have originated in Scotland in the 18th century, where it was used as a remedy for colds and flu. The name 'Toddy' comes from the Hindi word 'taddy', which means a beverage made from fermented palm sap. Over time, the recipe evolved to include whiskey, hot water, honey, and spices.

How Hot Toddy Tastes?

The Hot Toddy is a warm, soothing, and comforting cocktail with a perfect balance of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors. The sweetness of honey and the warmth of whiskey are complemented by the tanginess of lemon and the subtle spiciness of cinnamon and cloves.

Interesting facts about Hot Toddy

  • The Hot Toddy is believed to have medicinal properties, and it is often consumed to alleviate symptoms of colds and flu.
  • In Scotland, the drink is traditionally made with Scotch whiskey, while in Ireland, it is made with Irish whiskey.
  • The Hot Toddy is often enjoyed during the winter months and is a popular drink for warming up after spending time outdoors in cold weather.



  • Whiskey: 2oz - the soul of the cocktail, providing the warming, complex heart notes. Too much and you'll set the night ablaze, too little and you might as well be drinking spiced water.

Alex Green

Hot Water

  • Hot Water: 6oz - the canvas that allows our other flavors to paint a masterpiece. Hot water releases the aromas and helps to soothe the throat.

Mary Mitkina


  • Honey: 1tbsp - this natural sweetener mellows the whiskey's burn and adds a velvety texture. Without it, the cocktail might come off a bit too harsh.

Emma Rose

Lemon Juice

  • Lemon Juice: 1tbsp - bright and citrusy, it cuts through the sweetness and provides balance. Forfeit lemon juice and lose that refreshing zing.

Alex Green

Cinnamon Stick

  • Cinnamon Stick: 1 - like a comforting hug in the colder months. It infuses subtle warmth and depth. No cinnamon could mean a less festive and flat-tasting toddy.

Mary Mitkina


  • Cloves: 3 - these tiny powerhouses introduce a hint of spicy bitterness, providing complexity. Leave them out, and you'll miss the full-bodied experience.

Emma Rose

Lemon Wedge

  • Lemon Wedge: 1 - the garnish that doubles as a flavor infuser. Plus, it makes your drink look pretty. Without it, you'll lose some aromatic qualities and visual appeal.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Hot Toddy Drink

  1. In a heatproof glass or mug, combine the whiskey, honey, and lemon juice.
  2. Pour the hot water into the glass, stirring until the honey is dissolved.
  3. Add the cinnamon stick and cloves to the glass.
  4. Garnish with a lemon wedge and serve immediately.

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality whiskey for the best flavor.
  • Warm the glass before adding the ingredients to keep the drink hot for longer.
  • Adjust the sweetness according to your preference by adding more or less honey.

Perfect Pairings

Foods to Pair with Hot Toddy

  • Hearty soups and stews: The warmth of the Hot Toddy complements any rich and savory broth.
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches: The gooeyness of the cheese and the crispness of toasted bread make for a delightful pairing with the soothing spiciness of the drink.
  • Spiced desserts: Think apple pie or cinnamon rolls. These sweet treats echo the flavors found in your mug.
  • Roasted nuts: A simple yet sophisticated match, especially if they're dusted with spices.

Drinks to Pair with Hot Toddy

  • Tea: Choose a milder tea so as not to overpower the cocktail's flavors.
  • Apple cider: This non-alcoholic option's sweetness and tanginess can complement the Hot Toddy's profile.
  • Water: To stay hydrated, of course!

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What you could change in Hot Toddy

  • Whiskey: Can be substituted with rum or brandy.
  • Honey: Can be substituted with maple syrup or brown sugar.
  • Lemon juice: Can be substituted with orange or grapefruit juice.

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And of course - twists🍹

Apple Cider Toddy

  • Swap hot water for hot apple cider to blend autumnal notes with the whiskey. Add a slice of fresh ginger for extra spice. The apple cider's sweetness and tartness will elevate the drink's complexity.

Honey Bourbon Toddy

  • Use bourbon for a sweeter, fuller flavor and replace honey with maple syrup. This will give a rich, smoky touch to your toddy, perfect for those who prefer a deeper, woodsy taste.

Green Tea Toddy

  • Infuse green tea in hot water before adding it to the mix. The tea's herbaceous qualities will offer a refreshing twist to the warm cocktail, adding some antioxidants to your indulgence.

In case you forgot basics how to make Hot Toddy

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

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 Toddy

Can I drink Hot Toddy if I'm not ill?

Yes, while the Hot Toddy is known for its potential to alleviate cold and flu symptoms, it is also simply a delicious cocktail enjoyed by many.

Does the Hot Toddy need to be served hot?

Yes, as the name implies, the Hot Toddy is traditionally served hot, making it ideal for colder weather or warming up after time spent outdoors.

Can the Hot Toddy be made with any type of whiskey?

While traditionally Scotch or Irish whiskey is used, you can certainly use any type of whiskey you prefer or have on hand.

Can I prepare a Hot Toddy without alcohol?

Yes, you can. Just substitute the whiskey with more hot water or some herbal tea. However, remember that the taste will not be the same.

How can I prevent the honey from settling at the bottom of the glass?

To prevent the honey from settling, ensure to stir your Hot Toddy thoroughly until all the honey is fully dissolved.

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