A Hot Toddy is a classic and comforting alcoholic beverage, especially popular during the colder months, often served as a soothing and warming drink. Enjoy it as a cozy drink to warm up on a chilly day or sip when you feel under the weather. It’s also a classic cocktail that is served with Christmas menus and enjoyed with other New Year’s Eve cocktails. For another adult beverage that will warm you up on a cold, winter day, mix together this Hot Buttered Rum.

Glasses of Hot Toddy.
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What Is A Hot Toddy?

A Hot Toddy is an alcoholic drink that is served hot, usually in a mug. It consists of basic ingredients of hot water, whiskey, sweetener, citrus, and spices. It has a long history with roots in India and further development in Scotland and Ireland, where it is known as ‘hot whiskey’.

Steps for Making Hot Toddy.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Water: Boiling water serves as the base of this drink. It provides warmth to the drink but also helps release the flavors of the other ingredients.

Honey: Honey is a natural sweetener for the hot toddy. It is also often used to soothe a sore throat. You could also make the drink with maple syrup.

Lemon Juice: I prefer freshly squeezed lemon juice for the drink. However, bottled juice works, too. And, it provides a little vitamin C to the cocktail!

Whiskey: Whiskey is the alcoholic component of the drink. However, you can make the drink with something like bourbon, scotch, brandy, or dark rum, too.

Cinnamon Stick: A cinnamon stick is used as a garnish in the drink and gives it a warm and spicy fragrance. If you don’t have a cinnamon stick, sprinkle a pinch of ground cinnamon in the drink.

Lemon Slice: The lemon slice looks appealing as a garnish and adds even more citrusy flavor to the hot toddy.

One glass of Hot Toddy.

Slow Cooker Hot Toddy’s

To make this in a slow cooker, simply multiply the recipe by ten.

Combine all but the whiskey in a slow cooker set on high for 2 hours. Stir occasionally for 2 hours on high. When ready to start serving, switch the slow cooker to low.

When ready to serve, fill a mug with toddy mix and add about 2 ounces of whiskey to the individual mug.

Can I Make A Hot Toddy Without Alcohol?

Absolutely! You can make a non-alcoholic Hot Toddy (mocktail) by substituting whiskey with hot tea or hot water. Simply add honey, lemon juice, a cinnamon stick, and a lemon slice to enjoy a comforting, alcohol-free version.

Glasses of Hot Toddy.

Hot Toddy

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
A Hot Toddy is a classic and comforting alcoholic beverage, especially popular during the colder months, often served as a soothing and warming drink. Enjoy it as a cozy drink to warm up on a chilly day or to sip when you are feeling a bit under the weather.


  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 ounces whiskey or bourbon
  • cinnamon stick, for garnish
  • 1 slice lemon, for garnish
  • *OPTIONAL: Vanilla Simple Syrup 1-2 teaspoons


  • To a mug, add boiling water, honey, lemon juice, and whiskey. Stir to combine.
  • Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a lemon slice. Enjoy!


I like my Hot Toddy’s a tad sweeter than most folks, so I add Vanilla Simple Syrup to mine.  

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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:


This is such a comforting warm drink. Perfect for the MN weather we are about to get!


Winter is coming, whether I am ready for it or not, and this drink is perfect for the cold months ahead. It is relaxing and soothing, perfect to sip around a fire or curled up with a book.


This is a warm and comforting drink that is perfect for a colder day! It makes me want to put on fuzzy socks and sit by the fireplace. The whiskey is subtle, so it isn't too strong!


Love a hot toddy! This one does not disappoint. Perfect for the cold winter months!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

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