A Hot Toddy is a warm and comforting alcoholic beverage, perfect for cold winter nights or soothing a sore throat. Whiskey, honey, and lemon juice are topped with hot water (or tea) and garnished with a cinnamon stick.
Whether you have a cold, or are looking for a cozy and comforting winter drink, the hot toddy is here for you. A hot toddy is a classic, warm alcoholic beverage.
Made with whiskey, water (or tea), honey, and lemon juice, a hot toddy is surprisingly simple to make. The best part is that there are many variations.
Once you’ve got this recipe down, you can add your own twist to this classic drink. Plus, you can easily make a hot toddy with any similar ingredients you have on hand.
Does a hot toddy help relieve cold symptoms?
The hot toddy has long been believed to help relieve cold and flu symptoms. But does it really work?
Lemon contains Vitamin C, which is said to reduce the duration of a cold. Honey has anti-inflammatory properties, and will coat and soothe a sore throat.
The whiskey can help you to relax. One of the most important medicines for getting rid of a cold? Sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping, maybe a hot toddy will help.
Hot beverages are steamy and may help clear up your sinuses, as well as soothe a sore throat.
There is no actual medical evidence that this drink will help cure your cold. However, it may help you feel more relaxed, or lull you to sleep.
For more information on the medical benefits (or not), check out this article: Reality check: Can a hot toddy really help relieve cold symptoms?
How to Make a Hot Toddy
First, gather your ingredients.
To make your drink, you’ll need hot water, honey, lemon juice, whiskey, and a cinnamon stick (as a garnish).
First, add your whiskey, lemon juice, and honey to a mug or glass. Then, add your hot water. Stir until the honey is dissolved.
Optionally, garnish with a cinnamon stick and/or lemon slice and serve hot.
Hot Toddy Variations
This is an easy drink to customize to suit your tastes. Plus, there are easy substitutions for every ingredient on the list.
Whiskey can be substituted with bourbon, scotch, or dark rum. I suggest using your favorite dark liquor that you have on hand. While diluted, you’ll still be able to taste the alcohol, so why not use one that you enjoy!
If you don’t have honey on hand, I suggest using maple syrup instead. If you don’t have either on hand, use your favorite sweetener – granulated sugar will work. Or, your drink can go unsweetened.
Lemon juice can be substituted with orange juice. You can also garnish yours with an orange slice instead of a lemon slice.
Try using your favorite hot tea instead of plain hot water. I suggest black, earl grey, or chamomile tea.
More Winter Drink Recipes
Alcoholic or not, here are a few of my other favorite drink recipes for winter.
- Slow Cooker Mulled Wine – served hot
- Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix – kid friendly
- Ginger Orange Spice Cocktail
- The Grinch Cocktail – a fan favorite for Christmas!
- Fireball Orange Sweet Tea
- 1 1/2 oz whiskey or dark rum
- 6 oz hot water or hot tea
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- In a mug, add whiskey, hot water, honey, and lemon juice. Stir until honey is dissolved. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
- Serve hot.
- Water can be substituted with tea. Black, early grey, or chamomile are great options.
- Whiskey can be substituted with your favorite bourbon, dark rum, or scotch.
- Honey can be substituted with maple syrup.
- More great additions: lemon slice, orange slice, cloves, ginger.