Black Tea Hot Toddy

Pouring black tea
Hein van den Heuvel / Getty Images
Ratings (37)
  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1 cup (1 serving)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
316 Calories
3g Fat
51g Carbs
4g Protein
(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—Hindu, Marathi and even Sanskrit—because of its roots in the then Britain-controlled subcontinent. Others believe in a Scottish toddy enthusiast named "Tod."

Whatever its origins—and, really, no one knows with any certainty—it's widely agreed that Hot Toddies are warming wintertime drinks that people often sip as a remedy for colds and coughs. At other times, of course, toddy enthusiasts simply drink it because it's a pleasingly sweet and aromatic wintertime drink. 

The cocktail can be prepared with hot water, apple cider, or with tea, which imparts an added flavor and aids in lessening the symptoms and duration of the common cold. While there's no medical evidence for this, the Hot Toddy is at least pleasant to sip when nothing else seems to be working.


  • 1 cup water
  • Optional: 5 cloves
  • Optional: 1 stick cinnamon
  • Optional: 1 piece star anise
  • 1 tablespoon black tea (preferably a strong Keemun black tea)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (preferably a strong, dark honey)
  • 2 ounces brandy, dark rum, or whiskey
  • 1 wedge lemon

Steps to Make It

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

Add tea leaves. Steep for 4 minutes, and then strain into a large mug. Stir in honey.

Float brandy, rum or whiskey on the top of the drink.

Squeeze lemon into the mug or drop in the entire wedge for a stronger citrus flavor.