Hot Toddys: A Cocktail Cure for that Winter Cold

So I always make it through all but the last vestiges of winter without getting sick and get really proud of myself for staying healthy. Then – you guessed it – bam! Winter cold, right when it’s almost spring. When that happens, I always find it best to whip up that good ol’ alcohol-as-medicine standby: the Hot Toddy. Hot toddys are great for soothing a cold or sore throat (or at least make you kind of fuzzy and sleepy so being sick isn’t such a major pain in the butt) or even just to warm you up on a chilly night. However, you don’t have to stick to the classic toddy, there are lots of great variations out there for you to enjoy, as well. So, in case any of you folks are also still feeling the lingering grip of Jack Frost, check out some of these great hot toddy recipes –from classic, to simple twists, to fancy cocktails, the toddy is great for many occasions (sniffle-y or otherwise).

Classic Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy

  • 1 oz whiskey
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 6 oz hot water
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 1 cinnamon stick for garnish

1. Combine all ingredients in a mug and enjoy!

Apple Cider Toddy

Hot Apple Cider

  • 10 oz apple cider
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 4 oz whiskey (honey whiskey is a great idea, too)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

1. In a saucepan, combine the apple cider, cinnamon, star anise, and cloves. Bring to a boil.

2. Remove from heat and cover pan with a lid to allow the drink to steep for 10-15 minutes.

3. Strain spices.

4. Stir in honey, whiskey, and lemon juice.

5. Serve with apple slices, lemon slices, cinnamon sticks, star anise, or any other garnish you may like.

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Black Tea Toddy

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  • 6 oz water
  • 1 tbsp black tea
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 oz whiskey
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • cloves (optional)
  • cinnamon stick (optional)
  • star anise (optional)

1. Combine water and spices in a pot, bring to a boil.

2. Remove from heat and add tea leaves.

3. Once steeped, strain into a large mug.

4. Stir in honey and whiskey.

5. Squeeze in lemon, then drop lemon slice in mug.

recipe credit:

Chamomile Lavender Toddy

Lavender Tea

  • 1 1/2 oz Jim Beam white label bourbon
  • 3/4 oz J. Witty chamomile liqueur
  • 2/3 oz Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz honey syrup (1:1 ratio)
  • 1 dash Scrappy’s lavender bitters
  • hot water
  • lemon peel

1. Make honey syrup: dissolve honey in water at a 1:1 ratio over medium heat until honey is fully incorporated. Remove from heat.

2. In a mug, add bourbon, chamomile liqueur, and lemon juice.

3. Add honey syrup and lavender bitters, stir to combine.

4. Add hot water, stir again, and garnish with a lemon peel.

recipe credit: Jacob Grier, Carlyle restaurant

 Hot Buttered Rum Toddy

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1 pinch each allspice, ground cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg as desired
  • 2-3 oz dark rum
  • boiling water
  • optional garnish: cinnamon stick, lemon slices, star anise

1. Combine butter, sugar, and spices in a mug –cream together.

2. Add rum.

3. Add an equal amount boiling water, stir well.

4. Garnish as desired. Serve immediately.

recipe credit:

Spiced Wine and Rum Toddy

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  • 1 tsp sugar, dissolved in 1 tsp water
  • 2 tsp orange juice
  • 1 1/2 oz rum
  • 3 oz red wine
  • 1 dash cinnamon
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 slice lemon rind
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg, for garnish

1. In a saucepan, combine sugar water with the orange juice, rum, wine, cinnamon, and clove.

2. Add the lemon rind and bring to a boil.

3. Remove the lemon rind and serve drinks very hot, garnished with nutmeg.

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Gin Toddy

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  • 1 1/2 oz London Dry Gin
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1 spoonful of honey
  • hot water
  • blossoming tea flower (optional)

1. Pour gin into glass, stir in honey.

2. Add lemon juice. Stir.

3. Add hot water. Stir.

4. Drop in blossoming tea flower, and enjoy!

recipe credit:

Ginger Toddy

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  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 inch ginger root, thinly sliced
  • 4 to 6 cloves
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • honey, as needed
  • rum or bourbon, as needed
  • lemon slices, as garnish

1. In a saucepan, combine water, ginger root sliced, and cloves.

2. Squeeze lemon juice into the saucepan, adding lemon halves into the liquid as well.

3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat.

4. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how much ginger flavor you want.

5. Strain to remove cloves, lemons, and ginger root slices. Serve.

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Hot Not Toddy (Non-Alcoholic)

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  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tsp ginger root, grated
  • 4 dried juniper berried, crush fine (note: juniper berries are not recommended during pregnancy nor for those with a history of kidney/liver ailments)
  • 1/8 tsp red chili flakes, optional
  • 4 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

1. Bring water to a gentle boil.

2. Place grated ginger, crushed juniper berries, chili flakes, and 2 star anise into a tea infused set in a tea pot.

3. Pour boiling water over infused and allow mixture to steep for at least 7 minutes before removing infuser from tea pot.

4. Divide lemon juice and honey between two glasses.

5. Divide hot toddy mixture between the two glasses, stir to combine.

6. Place a couple lemon slices into each glass, add another star anise, a couple more juniper berries, and a cinnamon stick.

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Have fun trying out these great hot toddy recipes, and be sure to play around with new ingredients or combining these ones –try apple cider and ginger root together, or maybe gin and chamomile, the list is endless. What’s your favorite way to toddy it up?

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