Hot Toddy Cocktail

Rating: 5.0/5. From 3 reviews.
Please wait...


Cocktail Type


Great for




Hot Toddy Cocktails

A Hot Toddy cocktail is one of those things in life that truly (like truly truly) soothes. As a nightcap, it gives you that same warm and cozy vibe you get when easing into the perfect hot bubble bath after a long day – absolute bliss; the kind that makes your heart smile.  



For a piping hot drink, add boiling water to your serving mug and set it aside for a few minutes.


No lemons at home? Use fresh oranges instead!


Add black tea for a tasty flavor twist.



1 Person

0.25 Oz

7.5 Ml

0.25 Parts

Fresh lemon juice
Teaspoons brown sugar
Sliced lemon
Boiling water  


Poster Preview Image

Take a slice of lemon, press the cloves into the lemon round and set aside 


Boil water and fill a mug to the three-quarter mark


Pour in the whiskey and lemon juice and stir in the sugar until dissolved


Add the clove-studded lemon wheel and allow to infuse


Serve in a warmed mug

The history of Hot Toddy cocktail

The first Hot Toddy ingredients are believed to have been mixed together way back in the mid-1800s and the recipe was very basic, containing a spirit of sorts, sugar, and hot water. If you were lucky and you had some, you could add spice or lemon peel.

The ‘spirits of sorts’ can either be Irish whiskey, scotch, brandy, rum, or cognac. It’s a bit of a pick-and-mix cocktail that you can customize with your favorite alcohol and flavorings. There really are no rules other than that a Hot Toddy cocktail should be served as the name suggests—while it’s hot.   

Read next: 15 Whiskey Cocktails To Drink All Winter

Variations of the Hot Toddy cocktail

There are so many variations of the Hot Toddy—it’s a fun drink to play around with to see which flavors appeal to you most. Here are a few ideas you can try until you find the best Hot Toddy recipe to add to your easy winter cocktails list. 

  • Replace the cloves with a cinnamon stick 
  • Replace the lemon with orange 
  • Use chamomile tea instead of boiling water (see more tea cocktails HERE)
  • If you prefer the taste of rum, replace the whiskey with Appleton Estate Rum
  • Replace the sugar with honey   
  • Adding a dash of apple cider vinegar will bring out the flavors in any hot toddy drink   

Love it hot? 11 Hot Christmas Cocktails for Holiday Indulgence

Please wait...


It depends on your taste, but there are no hard rules to follow here. If you like bourbon, use that. Whiskey? Ditto. Prefer rum? Do it. A lot of different spirits work well in a Hot Toddy drink.  

We suggest using Wild Turkey Bourbon Whiskey. This Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has a high rye content and is 101 proof which gives it some serious flavor. It’s a big and bold whiskey, with a pleasant bite and is best enjoyed neat, on the rocks or in a cocktail.  

This is not a party drink. At around 6% ABV, a Hot Toddy is meant to be sipped slowly and enjoyed while relaxing.  

Yes, you can. It’s called a Hot Not Toddy and just like the cocktail, you can play around with a few flavors (teas, spices, fruits and sweeteners) to find your ideal non-alcoholic Hot Toddy.  

Pour boiling water into a mug and set aside for 2 minutes, then toss the water out before adding your Hot Toddy liquids and ingredients. Pre-warming the mug will help keep your toddy hot for a few sips longer.