7 Hot Toddy Recipes to Warm You Up This Winter

January 11 may be National Hot Toddy Day, but we don’t think you need a special excuse to curl up with a steaming (and stiff) drink. These hot beverages — usually made with whiskey or brandy, though you’ll find recipes calling for rum, gin, and even wine — will warm your bones even when the temperature outside has dropped to the single digits. Plus, toddies are an effective, albeit old-fashioned, remedy for cough and cold symptoms, helping to ease your aches and pains and soothe a sore throat.

Whether you’ve got a case of the sniffles or are just in the mood for a tipple, here are seven hot toddy recipes that will make you glad it’s cold outside.

1. Classic Hot Toddy

hot toddies

Hot toddy | iStock.com

This is the hot toddy your grandfather drank. With just whiskey, water, and a little bit of lemon, honey, and spice, it may not be fancy, but it gets the job done. When making this drink, use water that is just off the boil (in other words, let the water rest for a moment or two after it boils and before you pour it into the mug). Recipe from The Guardian.


  • 1 measure of whiskey (roughly 25 milliliters)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 1 slice of lemon, plus juice
  • Boiling water

Directions: Put 1 teaspoon of honey and a measure of whiskey in a mug or heatproof glass. Add two cloves and half a cinnamon stick then fill mug with just-off-the-boil water. Stir in a slice of lemon and a little lemon juice. Serve.

2. Cranberry Hot Toddy

cranberry hot toddy

Hot toddy | iStock.com

Using cranberry juice rather than water in your hot toddy gives the drink a festive spin, plus some extra vitamin C, which is helpful if you’re trying to ward off a cold. Recipe from Real Housemoms.


  • 4 ounces cranberry juice
  • 2 ounces whiskey (use honey-flavored whiskey if you have it)
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 lemon slice

Directions: Add cranberry juice, whiskey, honey, and lemon juice to a mug and stir. Microwave on high in 1-minute intervals, until warmed through. Do not let the mixture boil.

Add the lemon slice and cinnamon stick, stir, and serve.

3. Green Tea Toddy

green tea toddy

Green tea toddy | iStock.com

You might be drinking a hot toddy to treat your current cold symptoms, but if you make it with green tea, you could see some long-term health benefits as well. Green tea can lower cholesterol, improve blood flow, and help stop the formation of plaques linked to Alzheimer’s disease, according to WebMD. We’ll drink to that. Recipe from We’re Talking About Food.


  • 4 to 5 ounces boiling water
  • 1 green tea bag
  • 1 to 2 ounces spiced rum
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons honey or stevia

Directions: Squeeze the juice from the lemon half into a mug. Place the tea bag in the mug and pour the boiling water over. Let steep for 5 minutes, then remove the tea bag.

Stir in the honey, then add the rum. Stir again, then serve.

4. Coconut Chai Hot Toddy

coconut chai toddy

Chai drink | iStock.com

If you’re craving a creamy drink, a chai hot toddy will hit the spot. Made with a mix of coconut milk and water, it’s more substantial than your average toddy. Dark rum adds some extra depth of flavor to this cozy beverage. Recipe from Running to the Kitchen.


  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or other sweetener
  • 1 chai tea bag
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • Cinnamon

Directions: Add the coconut milk, water, and sugar to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and place tea bag in the pan. Let steep for 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the rum to the pan, stir to combine, and pour into a mug. Garnish with cinnamon or other spices of your choice, and serve.

5. Gin Hot Toddy

Gin hot toddy

Steaming mug | iStock.com

Gin isn’t typically used in hot toddies, but the folks at The Kitchn came up with this version that really lets the liquor’s unique flavor shine. You’ll need cloves, star anise, and an orange slice (rather than the usual lemon) to make this delicious drink.


  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 whole anise star
  • 1 whole cardamom pod
  • 1½ ounces London dry gin
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • Slice of orange

Directions: Place the honey, along with the cloves, anise star, and cardamom pod, in a mug. Pour in the boiling water, then add the gin. Squeeze the orange slice, then drop it into the drink. Stir until the honey melts, then serve.

6. Apple Cider Hot Toddy

Apple cider hot toddy

Warm cider | iStock.com

Warm apple cider gets a boozy upgrade in this hot toddy recipe from Back to Her Roots. The cider makes for a fruity and tart drink, which is perfect if you think the strong taste of alcohol in a standard hot toddy is a bit overpowering.


  • 4 ounces apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 ounces bourbon

Directions: Add the apple cider, lemon juice, honey, and cinnamon stick to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, pour apple cider mixture into a mug, stir in the bourbon, and serve.

7. The Not Toddy


Warm beverage | iStock.com

Not a drinker? You can still enjoy the pleasures of a warm, soothing beverage. This recipe for a virgin hot toddy will help tame your cough and ease the pain of a sore throat. Recipe from Organic Authority.


  • 6 ounces hot tea
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon ground or whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 lemon wedge

Directions: Add the honey, lemon, cinnamon stick, cloves, and nutmeg to a mug. Pour hot tea over the mixture and stir to combine. Garnish with a wedge of lemon and serve.

Follow Megan on Twitter @MeganE_CS

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