Black Tea Hot Toddy Recipe

Black tea hot toddy

The Spruce

  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving
  • Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
316 Calories
3g Fat
51g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 316
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 31mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 19%
Dietary Fiber 13g 48%
Protein 4g
Calcium 243mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Opinions differ about the origin of the name "toddy." Some believe the name derives from Indian languages such as Hindu, Marathi, or even Sanskrit. Others believe in a Scottish toddy enthusiast named "Tod" (Scotch for "fox").

Whatever its origins—and no one knows with any certainty—it's widely agreed that hot toddies are warming wintertime drinks. People often sip one as a remedy for colds, coughs, sore throats, and the flu. At other times, of course, toddy enthusiasts imbibe simply because it's a pleasingly sweet and aromatic wintertime drink. 

The drink can be prepared with hot water, apple cider or, as in this recipe, tea. The tea imparts an added flavor and may help lessen the symptoms and duration of the common cold. While there's no medical evidence for this, there's no better evidence for anything else helping to cure a cold either. Among possibly useless remedies, the hot toddy is at least pleasant.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for black tea hot toddy
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  2. In a small pot, combine the water and spices.

    Combine water and spices in a pot
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  3. Bring the water to just below boiling and remove it from the heat.

    Bring water to boiling
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  4. Add tea leaves and steep for 4 minutes.

    Add tea leaves
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  5. Strain into a large mug.

    Add leaves
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  6. Stir in the honey.

    Stir in honey
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  7. Float brandy, rum, or whiskey on the top of the drink by pouring it over the back of a spoon.

    Float brandy or whiskey
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  8. Squeeze the juice from a lemon wedge into the mug.

    Squeeze lemon
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  9. If you like, drop the lemon into the mug for a stronger citrus flavor.

    Lemon wedge in hot toddy
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  10. Serve and enjoy!


  • For the tea, a strong Keemun black tea is highly recommended.
  • Keep the toddy warm longer by heating the mug while the tea steeps. To do so, pour hot water into the mug or microwave the water-filled mug for about 10 seconds.
  • Pack the tea and cloves into a tea ball to eliminate the need to strain it after steeping. If you don't have loose leaf tea, a single tea bag will do. Either method also allows you to heat the water in a tea kettle and steep the tea and spices directly in your mug. If you like, keep the cinnamon stick and star anise for added flavor as you drink.
  • Strong, dark honey is an ideal fit for a flavorful black tea, though any honey is a good sweetener.
  • Irish whiskey, bourbon, or a spicy rye whiskey all make great toddies.

Recipe Variations

  • Use agave nectar instead of honey to sweeten the toddy. It has the same richness and is vegan.
  • Instead of a liquid sweetener, stir 1 tablespoon of granulated white sugar into the brewed tea.
  • Skip the liquor and enjoy a hot not toddy.

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