How to Make a Hot Toddy

Learn to Make a Hot Toddy

Learn how to make a hot toddy, and you'll always have a way to warm up when the weather turns chilly. If you can brew a cup of tea, you can make this exceptionally easy hot cocktail.

Begin With a Cup of Hot Tea

To start, brew a cup of strong tea with six ounces of boiling water. You can use a flavored tea such as orange pekoe or another flavor that blends well with lemon and honey, but a plain tea also works just fine.

Pour the tea into a large mug and leave about ¼ empty so you have room for the rest of your ingredients.

Add Honey

Once your tea is poured, add ¾ ounce of honey and stir. You can add more or less to suit your taste, or you can also use simple syrup, pure maple syrup, molasses, or agave.

Add Lemon

Add ¾ ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice to your tea. Stir. If you like, you can substitute ¾ ounce of freshly squeezed orange juice.

Add Whiskey

Add 1½ ounces of liquor. A traditional hot toddy contains some type of whiskey such as bourbon, Scotch whisky, Canadian whisky, Irish whiskey, or rye. You can substitute a different brown liquor such as cognac, Armagnac, or dark rum.

A Basic Hot Toddy Recipe

Use this recipe for a basic hot toddy. From there, you can vary it as desired.


  • 6 ounces freshly brewed hot tea
  • ¾ ounce honey
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1½ ounces whiskey
  • Lemon slice for garnish


  1. In a mug, combine all ingredients.
  2. Stir.
  3. Serve garnished with a lemon slice if desired.

Orange Ginger Hot Toddy

This orange and ginger flavored version of a hot toddy is warming and delicious.


  • 6 ounces ginger-flavored tea
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¾ ounce molasses
  • ½ ounce Grand Marnier
  • 1 ounces Armagnac or Cognac
  • Orange slice for garnish


  1. In a mug, combine all ingredients.
  2. Stir.
  3. Garnish with an orange slice.

Pirate's Hot Toddy

Rum was popular on sailing ships, and it was often combined with spices and citrus juice to help preserve the citrus. This hot toddy offers a nod to that seafaring tradition.


  • 6 ounces hot spiced apple cider
  • 2 cinnamon stick (1 for garnish)
  • 1 star anise
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¾ ounce pure maple syrup
  • 1½ ounce dark rum


  1. Simmer the apple cider with 1 cinnamon stick and a star anise. When it simmers, turn it off and allow it to steep for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the cinnamon stick and star anise. Pour the cider into a mug.
  3. Add the orange juice, maple syrup, and dark rum. Stir.
  4. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Anti-Congestion Hot Toddy

This hot toddy is great for chest congestion because it contains ingredients that will naturally break up congestion while also soothing a sore throat.


  • 6 ounces ginger spice tea
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce honey
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
  • 1½ ounces bourbon
  • Lemon wheel for garnish


  1. Combine all ingredients in a mug.
  2. Stir.
  3. Garnish with the lemon wheel.

Enjoy a Hot Toddy

A hot toddy is a very relaxing drink, and it's especially good if you happen to have a cough or cold because the combination of honey and lemon is so soothing. However, even if you're feeling just fine, you can enjoy a hot toddy as a warming winter drink to chase away the chill of the season.

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How to Make a Hot Toddy