Classic Hot Toddy


The Classic Hot Toddy cocktail is an easy and delicious way to warm up and enjoy simple ingredients mixed with Whiskey. They're great for cozy entertaining and even soothing your cold symptoms.

Once the weather starts getting colder, sipping on a classic hot toddy is an excellent way to cozy up and stay warm! This drink is easy to make and uses simple ingredients such as honey, lemon, water, and whiskey. If whiskey isn’t your spirit of choice, we’ll talk about other spirits you can use in this recipe. For added flavor, you can use maple syrup; I like my Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup or even the Spiced Apple syrup used in my Spiced Apple Old Fashioned.

I usually make these as an evening wind-down cocktail. However, if you’re looking for a warm and boozy caffeine boost, you can steep a bag of black or chai tea right in the glass. I’ve done it, and it’s nice! Hot toddies can also be made with apple cider by swapping out the water for cider, which would be a wonderful drink for entertaining.

Ingredients for the Best Classic Hot Toddy

Honey. Most recipes call for honey, but you can use whichever sweetener you enjoy best. Maple syrup or any flavored syrup would work.

Lemon juice. I suggest using fresh lemon juice for the best flavor.

Whiskey. Any good Whiskey (Rye and Bourbon) will work well. Since this is the only spirit in this cocktail, you will want to find a quality spirit you will enjoy sipping on.

Hot water

Classic Hot toddy

Can you use Bourbon in a Hot Toddy?

Yes, bourbon is a type of whiskey. Depending on the bourbon, you taste notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak. I enjoy Michters Small Batch Bourbon – it’s delicious!

Other spirits to use in this drink:

Rum. I would suggest a spiced or dark rum to infuse additional flavor. Plantation Rum and Bumbu are excellent choices.

Cognac. I enjoy making this with H by HINE, which is perfect for mixing into cocktails.

You can also use Scotch or Brandy for a much bolder flavor.

Hot Toddy for cold & coughs

A Hot Toddy is a great way to soothe symptoms associated with some colds & coughs. The warmth of the drink may help with chills and warming the body. The whiskey may even help with getting a good night’s rest. Lemon is an excellent source of vitamin C and may even help reduce and thin mucus. Honey is great for sore throats and reducing coughs, especially at bedtime.

If you’re taking any over-the-counter medication or prescription, please remember that whiskey does not mix well with medication, so be mindful of that.

If you like this easy classic hot toddy, check out these delicious cocktails.

New York Sour Cocktail is one of my favorite cocktails, with or without the egg. 3 Mule Cocktail Variations is an easy one to make with friends. The Elderflower Gin FizzChambord Gin and Tonic, and Grapefruit Mimosa are also good recipes to check out. Cheers!

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Classic hot toddy

Classic Hot Toddy

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  • Author: Jaylynn Little
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
  • Category: cocktails


A classic hot toddy made with whiskey, lemon juice, honey, and hot water.


Units Scale
  • 2 oz Whiskey
  • 1 oz lemon juice (more or less, to taste)
  • 3 tsp Honey (more or less, to taste)
  • Hot water
  • Lemon wheel


  1. To a mug, add the whiskey, lemon juice, honey, and water. Stir well and garnish with a lemon wheel.


Add a cinnamon stick, clove, star anise, or any other garnish you like.

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