Black Tea Hot Toddy Recipe With Rum, Whiskey or Brandy Recipe

Pouring black tea
Hein van den Heuvel / Getty Images
  • 10 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1 cup (1 serving)
Ratings (37)

Opinions differ about the origin of the name "toddy." Some believe the name derives from Indian languages: Hindu, Marathi and even Sanskrit. 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, 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 the recipe below, 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, 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.

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup water, either filtered or unfiltered.
  • 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, such as Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 1 wedge lemon

How to Make It

  1. Combine water and spices in a pot.
  2. Bring water to just below boiling and remove from heat.
  3. Add tea leaves.
  4. Steep for 4 minutes, and then strain into a large mug.
  5. Stir in honey.
  6. Float brandy, rum or whiskey on the top of the drink.
  7. Squeeze lemon into the mug.
  8. Optional: Drop the lemon into the mug for a stronger citrus flavor.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 316
Total Fat 3 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Unsaturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 31 mg
Carbohydrates 51 g
Dietary Fiber 13 g
Protein 4 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)