Black Tea Hot Toddy

Black tea hot toddy recipe

The Spruce

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
223 Calories
0g Fat
27g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 223
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 15mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 19g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 45mg 224%
Calcium 50mg 4%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 149mg 3%
*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" (Scots 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. But the hot toddy is pleasant, and when we're feeling under the weather, sipping something enjoyable can help you feel just a little bit better.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

    Water and spices combined in a pot for black tea hot toddy
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  3. Bring the water to just below boiling and remove it from the heat.

    Bring water to just below a boil for black tea hot toddy
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  4. Add tea leaves and steep for 4 minutes.

    Tea steeping in a pot for black tea hot toddy
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  5. Strain into a large mug.

    Tea strained with two mugs of tea and honey
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  6. Stir in the honey.

    Honey being stirred into the tea
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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.

    Floating brandy or whiskey over the back of a spoon into the black tea hot toddy
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  8. Squeeze the juice from a lemon wedge into the mug.

    Squeezing lemon juice into the black tea hot toddy
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  9. If you like, drop the lemon into the mug for a stronger citrus flavor. Serve and enjoy!

    Lemon wedges in two black tea hot toddies
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  • 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 or maple syrup 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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