The Best Traditional Hot Toddy Recipe

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Fall is upon us and which means it is time to find the best hot toddy recipe, go apple picking, bake your favorite dish, or maybe a little leaf-peeping.

Sip on a hot toddy or another cold-weather cocktail by the fire—these are just a few of my favorite things to do this fall and winter. 

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Traditions like these become so much more meaningful when shared with your hubby or sitting around gossiping with your best girlfriend around the fire. 

There is just something about drinking a hot toddy that just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside – whether you like yours with bourbon, rum, or tequila this hot toddy recipe will keep you toasty this winter.

It is the perfect cold-weather cocktail to sip on when you’re feeling under the weather or you just want to lounge around on a crisp fall evening. 

Grab a book, plush blanket, and take a social media detox for the evening.  

Here is my favorite cold-weather libation along with the best whiskey for a hot toddy.

Yield: 1

Best Hot Toddy Recipe

Hot toddy recipe

Whether you’re sick in bed or hanging out in the backyard on a crisp fall night, a hot toddy warms everything up.

The classic hot toddy consists of whiskey, honey, tea, and hot water. Now you can add lots of other ingredients including citrus juice, apple cider, and various spices to get a different taste.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 Teabag
  • 1 1/2 oz. bourbon, dark rum, brandy, or whiskey of your choice
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • Cinnamon stick, for garnish
  • Lemon slice, for garnish


    In a teapot or a small saucepan, add 1 bag of tea and bring it to simmer. 

    In a mug, combine bourbon or whiskey of choice, 2 teaspoons of honey, and half of the lemon to a mug. Pour over hot tea and stir to combine. 

    Taste, and add additional honey for more sweetness, and/or more lemon juice for more of a bite.

    Garnish with a cinnamon stick and lemon slice. 


Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 149Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 0g

The Best Whiskey for Hot Toddy and Bourbons

Whiskey and Bourbon have the strongest flavor in a hot toddy if you make it just right.

The right whiskey or bourbon will not water down your cocktail and the flavors can hold it’s own and will not fight against the sweetness of the honey and hot water.

Consider stocking up on these six whiskeys and bourbons for all your hot toddy needs before it gets too cold to go outside:

1. Uncle Nearest – A bit dry but very smooth with a cotton candy-like sweetness. There is a cool mint flavor left on the palate that is very nice. There is also more of a caramelly flavor with distant notes of apple and hay. Uncle Nearest is one of the best whiskey for a hot toddy.


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It might as well be adult swim cuz these juice boxes ain’t for kids! 😜 Much love to our Cincinnati area bar family for creating so many amazing Uncle Nearest cocktails to go. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Thank you! @kitchen1883,⁣⁣ @homemakersbar, @themercerotr, @bishopsquarter, @richsproper, @revolutionrotisserie, @dunlapcafe, @luciusqbbq, @otreatery, @nicholsonspub, @boomtownbiscuitbar, @gooseandelder, @thelistingloon, @thepubbrookwood, @drinkatdrop, @gorillacinemapresents ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 👋 Let’s see how many of y’all live around Cincy! Can we get a #whiskeyfamily roll call? ⬇️⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 📸 @twinspirephotography #NearestCincy

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2. Jack Daniels Winter Jack -Light with plenty of sweetness. There are hints of dry spice and oily nuts, a touch of smoke. Palate: Quite smooth and soft with notes of banana milkshake, a mixed nut note, a touch of caramel with crème anglaise. Finish: Sweet with a little cereal sweetness and toasty oak. My husband swears by Winter Jack as the best whiskey for a hot toddy!


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3. George Dickel – George Dickel’s overproof No. 12 is the hot toddy whiskey when it comes to the Tennessee whiskey category. It’s blended with aged whiskey, which is clear from the big oak, vanilla, and butterscotch flavors. Just like with Wild Turkey 101, the higher alcohol percentage ensures you will still get a kick after adding in the tea and other ingredients


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4. Evan Williams -Rounded, balanced entrance. Suddenly, the briefest burst of exuberant fruit (tangerine again), followed by a green grassy note at midpalate. This becomes very peppery on the finish, albeit with an aftertaste of oaky richness. It persists all through the mouth and between the teeth with an off-bitter, lingering steely flavor.


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5. Woodford Reserve – The perfectly balanced taste of our Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is comprised of more than 200 detectable flavor notes, from bold grain and wood to sweet aromatics, spice, and fruit & floral notes which makes it great for making a hot toddy.


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6. Makers Mark – If you like your hot toddies sweet as can be, Maker’s Mark is the whiskey for you. It’s bourbon, so it has a corn-based mash, but it also uses sweet wheat instead of spicy rye. There are notes of caramel and vanilla with just a touch of spice; the sweetness will stand out more than the spice when you add the tea.


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Can a hot toddy help with a cold?

There is currently no cure for the common cold but as soon as I feel one coming on the first thing I do is make me a hot toddy. I usually manage my symptoms using home treatments and by taking over-the-counter medication including a hot toddy. 

Honey has anti-inflammatory properties and lemon contains powerful antioxidants. Despite this, no research has specifically linked hot toddies to relieving a cold but they do just make you feel better.

Many people believe that drinking a hot toddy can relieve the symptoms of a cold, some of which include:

  • a runny nose
  • sore throat
  • sneezing
  • fever
  • body aches
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • cough

Hot drinks are among the most common home remedies for colds and flu. Drinking a hot toddy always reduces my sore throat, chills, and tiredness so while it may not be a cure it will surely make you feel better and help with the symptoms.

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What is your favorite cold-weather cocktail?  Have you had a hot toddy and if so what are your thoughts?  I would love to hear your thoughts, so leave me a comment on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

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