Crafting the Perfect Hot Toddy for Cozy Comfort

Our warming hot toddy recipe makes the perfect hot drink for bundling up under a big blanket with someone you love on a chilly evening.

Updated January 16, 2024
hot toddy with lemon and cinnamon

A fluffy blanket, a cozy fireplace, and a hot beverage are everything you need to stay warm during the winter months. With whiskey, zesty lemon, and spicy cinnamon, a hot toddy is our favorite beverage to sip during the cold season (and maybe even to soothe our sore throats). While we highly recommend sticking to tea if you're sick, we see why this drink was considered medicinal magic in the 17th century. 

How to Make a Hot Toddy 

The traditional hot toddy garnish can have a lot of components, but there's no need to stress if you're missing a piece or two. You can keep it as simple as you wish.


  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce honey
  • 1-2 dashes cinnamon bitters
  • Hot water to top off
  • Cinnamon stick, clove-pierced lemon wheel, and star anise for garnish


  1. Warm a mug by filling with hot water.
  2. After the mug is warm to touch, pour out the water.
  3. In the mug, combine the whiskey, lemon juice, honey, and bitters.
  4. Top off with hot water.
  5. Stir to combine well.
  6. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, clove-pierced lemon wheel, and star anise.

Related: 9 Hot Rum Drinks to Warm Up Your Evening

Variations and Substitutions

A hot toddy is a very personal drink, and it can vary from occasion to occasion, whether you're trying to warm up or soothe a scratchy throat, there's a tweak to make it just right.

  • Experiment with rye and bourbons, as well as different flavors of whiskey such as cinnamon or walnut.
  • Skip the bitters completely or give other flavors a try, such as walnut, lemon, or molasses.
  • Use freshly brewed black tea instead of plain hot water for a tasty variation of the hot toddy. 
Fast Fact

Like most drinks that have been around for hundreds of years, the hot toddy was deemed medicinal, sure to cure a sore throat, chest cold, or any other ailment that caused a fever and chills. Some people prefer spirits other than whiskey, such as bourbon, scotch, gin, and vodka.

The Cocktail Cough Medicine

Its mystical medicinal help aside, there's no better way to warm up on a chilly evening than with a hot toddy. Add extra lemons, or make it with more cinnamon. It's a drink that's truly tailored to your liking (and needs). 

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Crafting the Perfect Hot Toddy for Cozy Comfort