Burning Bush Cocktail

Burning Bush Hot Cocktail
Paul Johnson / E+ / Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail

The burning bush is an Irish whiskey spin on the ever-so-popular hot toddy. The warm cocktail was created by Jim Meehan, a well-known bartender, and author of "The PDT Cocktail Book," among others.

Irish whiskey is a perfect choice for a toddy because it is very smooth. Since this drink is so simple, there's not much to distract from the whiskey and it takes on a new life when under heat, with the flavors opening up wonderfully.


  • 1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey
  • 1 ounce honey
  • 3 ounces water (hot)
  • Garnish: lemon wedge

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place a lemon wedge in toddy glass or Irish coffee glass.

  3. Pour whiskey and honey over the lemon, then fill with hot water. Stir well.

  4. Serve and enjoy!


  • You may need more than 3 ounces of water to fill your glass. It's often best to heat up twice as much as you think you'll need just to be sure you have enough.
  • To keep your drink warmer longer, warm up the glass. Simply fill it with hot water and let it sit for a few minutes. Dump the water, then make the drink.
  • There are many varieties of honey and each has its own distinct flavors. Clover honey is a favorite for mixed drinks because it's light and offers a soft floral taste. Wildflower honey will also impart a hint of fruit. If you can find it, coffee honey would be fantastic in this drink because it is dark and rich, a perfect pairing for whiskey.

Recipe Variations

  • If you prefer, sweeten the burning bush with agave nectar rather than honey.
  • Adding a cinnamon stick to the glass will slowly infuse its flavor into the cocktail. It's a great garnish option for any hot cocktail and the warm spice will make an enjoyable, though subtle, difference. You could pair that with a single star anise pod floating on top for an extra hint of spice and a beautiful look.
  • Of course, the burning bush can be made with any style of whiskey. Pour your favorite or whatever bottle you have open at the moment and enjoy how the flavors open up with a little heat.

How Strong Is a Burning Bush?

The standard strength of whiskey is 80 proof. When mixed into the burning bush, it becomes a relaxing 10 percent ABV (20 proof). This is a great example of how a whiskey mixed drink can actually be lighter than a glass of wine!