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

Pouring black tea
Hein van den Heuvel / Getty Images
Ratings (39)
  • 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
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 cup (1 serving)
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: 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.


  • 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 (or dark rum or whiskey, such as Jameson Irish Whiskey)
  • 1 wedge lemon

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine water and spices in a pot.

  3. Bring water to just below boiling and remove from heat.

  4. Add tea leaves and steep for 4 minutes.

  5. Then strain into a large mug.

  6. Stir in honey.

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

  8. Squeeze lemon into the mug.

  9. Optional: drop the lemon into the mug for a stronger citrus flavor.

  10. Serve and enjoy!