There’s nothing quite like a Hot Toddy to warm you up when the weather gets chilly! Mixed with whiskey or other spirits, cinnamon and citrus, with tea or without…. a custom-made Hot Toddy has its own uniquely comforting flavor!

Hot beverages like apple cider or spiked eggnog lattes are always wonderful to sip, whether it’s during the holidays, this recipe for Hot Toddies is sure to melt all the stress away.

Hot toddy in a clear mug with cinnamon sticks and lemon slices

What is a Hot Toddy?

A Hot Toddy is a traditional drink sometimes confused with “grog.” The word “toddy” seems to come from British controlled India, where a drink was made from the fermented sap of palm trees and called a “taddy.”

For our purposes, a Hot Toddy is simply a delicious combination of hot water, liquor, cinnamon, honey and lemon. Or in Canada, sometimes maple syrup is used instead of honey!

This cocktail is not hard to make, and besides being the perfect hot cocktail to relax with, it’s also commonly enjoyed during cold and flu season.

Ingredients on a wooden board for hot toddy

What Alcohol to Use for A Hot Toddy

This recipe calls for dark rum, which is an absolutely perfect combination, but Hot Toddies are often mixed with whiskey, bourbon or brandy. Brandy is especially good on a cold day, it’ll get you warm and toasty!

Whatever you choose depends on your personal tastes or on what you happen to have on hand!

Any good whiskey (or dark rum) can be used. A few to try:

  • Rum Kraken Black Spiced Rum
  • Makers Mark is a sweeter whiskey, so you could try this one with tea!
  • Copper and Kings Butchertown Brand, it tastes good at an affordable price point.

Hot toddy in a glass with lemon and cinnamon sticks

How To Make A Hot Toddy

It’s so easy to make, in just a few minutes you’ll have the perfect drink in hand:

  1. Add cinnamon sticks and cloves into two cups or Irish Coffee mugs. (For an extra hot drink, rinse the cups out with hot water first.)
  2. Add boiling water. If using tea, add it now.
  3. Add honey, spirits, and remaining ingredients, stir until honey is dissolved.

Garnish with lemon slices and enjoy!

Delicious Variations

That’s all it takes to have a cup of pure comfort! Feel free to switch it up and create variations on this drink or allow guests to create their own special concoctions. Some variations to try could include:

  • Orange slices
  • Vanilla extract (go for the real deal, not imitation vanilla… and use just a drop or two)
  • Grated or sliced ginger
  • Several different flavors of tea like Triple Bergamot Earl Grey, fruit teas, etc.

There are a lot of possibilities when it comes to creating a custom-made Hot Toddy, so don’t be shy, try a few different options.

Hot Beverages to Enjoy

Hot toddy in a clear mug with cinnamon sticks and lemon slices
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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


  • 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.
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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
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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