The Hot Toddy

The one and only boozy cure-all


I love this time of year for many reasons, but first and foremost, I love it for the warm cocktails that are more readily available in bars, restaurants and my own home. One of my favorite warm cocktails of the season is the Hot Toddy, not only because it warms up chilly bones, but because the mixture of sweet and spicy bourbon, honey and lemon serves a more medicinal purpose than most over-the-counter drugs available on the market today.

Do you easily get a stuffy nose or head cold during the winter months? Drink a Hot Toddy. Prone to flu-like symptoms? Drink a Hot Toddy. Perhaps you are like me and you have a chronic cold/cough from December to March? Drink a Hot Toddy. Do you see the pattern here?

Hot Toddy image via Shutterstock
Today, we present you with two recipes for this classic cure-all cocktail. The first is the traditional version, what we all know as the beloved Hot Toddy. The second is a twist on the original, offering you a unique alternative for this timely beverage. Try one or try both, and let us know what you think. Cheers, and keep warm!

How much do you love Hot Toddies? Let us know in the comments section below!

The Classic Hot Toddy

The traditional Hot Toddy is a drink that will never go out of style. The vanilla notes from the bourbon, mixed with the sweet honey and tangy lemon has a cure-all effect that may not be easily explained, but is easily enjoyed.

Courtesy of

1 oz Bourbon (We Recommend Maker’s Mark)
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
¼ cup boiling hot water

In a mug, combine the bourbon, honey and lemon juice. Top with the boiling water and stir to combine. Stir until the honey has dissolved. Serve hot and garnish with a slice of lemon.

Hot Toddy with a Twist

This Hot Toddy is a really fantastic spin on the original. The use of Scotch instead of bourbon is a nice change in terms of the main flavor profile, and the addition of nutmeg brings an additional spice and warmth to the mix.

Courtesy of Alton Brown

1 lemon, thinly sliced plus more for garnish
½ cup Demarara sugar
1 qt water
2 ½ cups Scotch Whisky (We recommend Auchentoshan Three Wood)
Freshly grated nutmeg

In a small slow cooker, combine the lemon, sugar and water. Cover and heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Add the Scotch and stir well to combine. Reduce the heat to low and serve in a mug. Garnish with a slice of lemon and freshly grated nutmeg on top.

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  • Snooth User: Michael C Butler
    Hand of Snooth
    1066071 624

    YES! Thank you! I just happen to have a bottle of Maker's Mark and honey.

    Dec 04, 2012 at 11:23 AM

  • Snooth User: JWW
    123769 3

    Couple of tips. pour some boiling water into cup to preheat it.
    Most importantly, garnish with several whole cloves. Also helpful, some nutmeg and a cinnamon stick. If no honey add in a little brandy to sweeten some.

    Dec 04, 2012 at 3:02 PM

  • Snooth User: GordM
    94642 1

    Substituting rum (my favorite is Mount Gay) instead of bourbon in your classic recipe also makes a fine drink.

    Dec 05, 2012 at 8:16 AM

  • Snooth User: Sara Kay
    Hand of Snooth
    1073521 1,420

    Great suggestions @JWW and @GordM! Thanks!

    Dec 06, 2012 at 8:22 AM

  • Snooth User: KawaiiNai
    651601 9

    Can't wait to try the "Hot Toddy with a Twist" recipe this holiday. :-)

    Dec 20, 2012 at 10:14 PM

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