Hot Apple Toddy

Hot Apple Toddy recipe, cocktail in a glass with lemon and cinnamon

The Spruce / Emily Baker

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serving: 1 serving

Warm apple cider transforms the popular hot toddy into a delightful drink for autumn and winter. You can choose whiskey or apple brandy to make the hot apple toddy. Either way, it's a comforting drink that's easy to mix up on chilly days.

If you're looking for an excuse to visit your local apple orchard, this toddy is even better with fresh-pressed cider. Put some of the apples you pick to good use and infuse your favorite whiskey with the flavor of fresh apples (it works for brandy, too). And, while honey is a good option, you can also sweeten this drink with agave nectar or cinnamon syrup.


  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 ounces whiskey (or apple brandy)
  • 5 ounces apple cider (hot, or enough to fill)
  • Garnish: lemon wedge
  • Garnish: cinnamon stick
  • Garnish: 2 to 3 cloves (whole)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Hot Apple Toddy ingredients, honey, whiskey, apple cider, lemon, cinnamon, clove

    The Spruce / Emily Baker

  2. Heat up the apple cider and warm up an Irish coffee glass or mug.

    apple cider in a small pot

    The Spruce / Emily Baker

  3. Coat the bottom of the glass with honey and add the whiskey or apple brandy.

    honey and whiskey in an Irish Coffee Glass

    The Spruce / Emily Baker

  4. Fill with hot apple cider. Stir well.

    whiskey with honey and apple cider in an Irish Coffee Glass

    The Spruce / Emily Baker

  5. Garnish with the lemon wedge, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Serve and enjoy!

    Hot Apple Toddy with lemon and a cinnamon stick

    The Spruce / Emily Baker


  • Apple cider can be gently warmed in a saucepan on the stovetop or in the microwave. You want it nice and steamy, but not too hot so it burns your tongue or ruins the liquor's flavor.
  • Warming up the glass or mug ensures your toddy stays warm longer. To do so, simply fill it hot water while you heat up the cider or put a water-filled glass in the microwave for 5 or 10 seconds. Dump out the water before mixing the drink.

Recipe Variation

A classic recipe, you might also enjoy the hot baked apple toddy. It comes from "The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book," which was first published in 1934 and is a treasure trove of classic cocktail recipes. This toddy gets the apple flavor by pairing a freshly baked apple with apple whiskey, though apple brandy is a fine substitute as well. While there's no need for cider, you can certainly use it if you like.

  • To make this toddy, place one-quarter of a baked apple in the bottom of a warm Irish coffee glass. Coat it with 1 teaspoon honey and add 2 ounces of apple whiskey. Stir the mix, fill the glass with hot water, then stir again. Garnish it with a cinnamon stick to give the flavor a little more depth.

Infuse Your Cider

Apple cider can be infused with flavor to create a spiced cider that is ready to go whenever you want to make the apple toddy or any other hot cider drink. You can even use regular apple juice because the spices will give it a warmer flavor that mimics cider.

To infuse cider, place 2 cinnamon sticks, 3 whole star anise, and 5 to 6 whole cloves and allspice in a large jar. Add a few fresh pear slices to give it a little more fruit flavor if you like. Fill the jar with apple cider or juice, secure the lid, and give it a good shake.

Store the infusion in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days, shaking it once a day. Taste it to see if the flavor is to your liking. Once it is, strain out the spices and fruit and bottle the cider. If you'd like a more intense flavor, continue the infusion and check it once a day.

Keep your infused cider in the refrigerator under a tight seal. It will have the same shelf life as regular cider and can quickly be warmed up for a hot drink with no need for additional spices.

The apple juice version is also very nice when served cold. Top this one with a little club soda for a quick and delightful mocktail.

How Strong Is a Hot Apple Toddy?

The hot apple toddy is a warm, comforting, and relatively low-proof drink. It should mix up to an alcohol content around 11 percent ABV (22 proof), making it similar to drinking a glass of wine.