Looking for the perfect way to warm up on a cold winter night? This hot toddy recipe has got you covered.

A hot toddy is a warm drink made with dark rum (or swap in whiskey or bourbon if you prefer), honey, lemon, and a blend of spices.

Mix up a mug and snuggle up by the fireplace. You won’t be disappointed!

hot toddy with lemon and cinnamon

What is a Hot Toddy?

A hot toddy is a traditional cocktail that has been enjoyed for centuries and has its roots in India where a fermented palm sap called “taddy” was popular. Over time, the hot toddy has evolved and is now made with a base of hot water, rum or whiskey, honey, and lemon juice and often flavored with spices like cinnamon and cloves.

It’s not only a delicious drink, but some people even believe it can help alleviate the symptoms of a cold or sore throat. So next time you’re in need of a comforting warm drink, give a hot toddy a try!

lemon, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and crown royal whisky

Ingredients in a Hot Toddy

Spirits – Dark rum is the traditional spirit of choice in a hot toddy, but also delicious are whiskey, bourbon, or brandy.

Mixer – All you really need is boiling water to mix with the spirits and spices, but for more depth of flavor, steep a teabag in a pot before adding it in. Citrusy Earl Grey is an excellent choice, or try your favorite lemony herb tea.

Spices and Flavorings – A hot toddy wouldn’t be the same without cinnamon and clove. Or, give it a bigger kick with pumpkin pie spice mix that has ginger and allspice it too! Substitute a slice of orange for the lemon, or use both!

Sweetener – Honey is customary here, but white demerara sugar, or even brown sugar will work, especially with dark rum! Or, make this simple syrup recipe and keep it on hand for all your holiday cocktails!

top view of a hot toddy with a lemon slice floating in it

How to Make a Hot Toddy

Making a hot toddy is so easy with these simple steps!

  1. Fill mugs with boiling water and steep cinnamon sticks and cloves (as per recipe below).
  2. Stir in honey, rum, and lemon juice.
  3. Add a slice of lemon and serve.

Hot Drinks for Cold Days!

Did you enjoy this Cozy Hot Toddy Recipe? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Hot toddy in a clear mug with cinnamon sticks and lemon slices
5 from 6 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Cozy Hot Toddy Recipe

There’s nothing quite like a Hot Toddy to warm you up when the weather gets chilly!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 2 cocktails
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  • 2 cups boiling water or hot tea
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 ounces dark rum or whiskey or bourbon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 slices lemon


  • Add cinnamon sticks and cloves to two mugs.
  • Pour boiling water and let steep 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in honey, rum and lemon juice. Add lemon slices and serve.


Optional: Tea bags can be added to each mug along with the cinnamon sticks if desired. Allow to steep about 3 minutes, remove and discard tea bags.
Rum can be replaced with whisky or bourbon.
5 from 6 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 142 | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 14mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Beverage, Drink
Cuisine American
closeup of a hot toddy with text
hot toddy with lemon, cinnamon sticks, and cloves with text
hot toddy and cinnamon sticks with text
hot toddy and ingredients with text


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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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