For when you want and you're feeling +

Classic Hot Toddy

This warming Classic Hot Toddy recipe will warm you from the inside out! Lemon, honey (or maple syrup), and ginger are perfect complements if you’re feeling under the weather. Add a shot of whiskey and you’re all set for the best winter cocktail. 

two hot toddy cocktails in front of a lit candle on a table

What is a Hot Toddy?

Known as a “hot whiskey” in Ireland, a hot toddy is a warmed drink made with liquor, water, honey, and lemon. Sometimes tea and other spices such as cinnamon are also added.

How To Make a Hot Toddy

While there are a lot of variations on this classic cocktail, the main steps are very simple!

  1. Start by heating some water (like you would for tea), and then add honey or maple syrup to sweeten.
  2. Then, you’ll mix in some whiskey, grated ginger, and lemon juice. That’s about it!
  3. You can serve the cocktail in a mug with a cinnamon stick and additional lemon round for garnish.

The key to making the bet hot toddy is to adjust lemon juice and sweetener to your personal preference. I like it to be very tangy. The ginger is technically optional but I think it adds the perfect amount of spice.

two cocktails in round glasses

What is the best whiskey for a hot toddy?

Bourbon is the best kind of whiskey for a hot toddy, as it has a nice strong presence that is nicely complemented by the citrus juice. Wild Turkey is very strong, but adding it to this cocktail means it’s slightly watered down but still has a nice flavor. If you prefer a sweeter hot toddy, I recommend using Makers Mark. This is literally made with a sweet wheat so leans more saccharine when added to a drink.

hot toddy in a crystal glass on a marble table

Are Hot Toddies good when you have a cold?

Yes! Hot Toddies are often considered a “cure-all” if one is feeling under the weather.  Lemon, honey, and ginger are used in many home remedies for those feeling sick. Lemon juice is full of vitamin C and honey can coat a scratchy throat. It’s debated whether or not drinking alcohol is advantageous when healing, so feel free to decide that for yourself 😂.

Where does the name come from?

A toddy is a drink made in India from the fermented sap of palm trees. The earliest mention of it was in 1786 with the definition: “a beverage made of alcoholic liquor with hot water, sugar, and spices.”

close up hot toddy with cinnamon stick and lemon roundoverhead shot of one hot toddy

I hope you enjoy this Classic Hot Toddy recipe! If you’re looking for more winter cocktails, try one of these next:

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close up hot toddy with cinnamon stick and lemon round

Classic Hot Toddy


  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This warming Classic Hot Toddy recipe will warm you from the inside out! Lemon, honey (or maple syrup), and ginger are perfect complements if you’re feeling under the weather. Add a shot of whiskey and you’re all set for the best winter cocktail.


Ingredients

Scale
  • .75 cup water
  • 34 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • .5 TBS freshly grated ginger or .5tsp powdered ginger, optional
  • 1 shot whiskey (1.5 oz or about .25 cup)
  • 11.5 TBS lemon juice
  • Lemon round, for serving
  • Cinnamon stick, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat water in a teakettle or small pan on the stove. Once warmed, pour into a heatproof glass or mug. Stir in honey or maple syrup to dissolve. Add grated ginger if using.
  2. Top glass with shot of whiskey and lemon juice, stirring once more to incorporate. Garnish with a lemon round and cinnamon stick. Enjoy immediately!
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirring
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cocktail
  • Calories: 16 calories
  • Sugar: 17.7 g
  • Sodium: 1.4 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18.3 g
  • Fiber: 0.1 g
  • Protein: 0.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: cocktail, hot toddy, winter, drink

Pin this Hot Toddy recipe for later:

This Classic Hot Toddy recipe will warm you from the inside out! Lemon, honey (or maple syrup), and ginger are perfect complements if you're feeling under the weather. Add a shot of whiskey and you're all set for the best winter cocktail. 

Portrait of Emily, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Hi, I'm Emily! Garlic Head is a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets. My recipes focus on entertaining-style cuisine, perfect for celebrating all of life's little moments! Meet me here.

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Garlic Head is a plant-based community founded by me, Emily. I focus on providing affordable, simple, & healthy recipes for entertaining.

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