Hot Gin Toddy

Hot Gin Toddy Cocktail

The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
121 Calories
0g Fat
7g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 121
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 9mg 45%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 30mg 1%
*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.)

If you have yet to enjoy the warm, soothing taste of a hot gin toddy, you're in for a wonderful experience. It's a warm drink that you will be craving all winter, particularly on really cold nights.

Typically, the hot toddy is thought of as a drink reserved for dark liquors like brandy, rum, and whiskey, though gin is a fantastic option. It is perfect for sitting by the fire or as an after-dinner sipper and makes a stunning presentation in a snifter or large wine goblet (heat-resistant, of course).

The real beauty of the gin toddy is how the botanicals of a great gin like Tanqueray open up when the hot water hits them. It is so aromatic that there is no need for tea in this toddy and it is easy to mix up in just a matter of minutes.

"Use caution when choosing a gin and finding the temperature of your water. I would recommend a dry gin because there are fewer botanicals that can become tannic in hot water. The temperature of the water should be just under a simmer. A welcome alternative on cold nights in front of a fire." —Sean Johnson

Hot Gin Toddy Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for a Hot Gin Toddy
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  2. In a wine goblet, brandy snifter, or glass mug, add the gin, lemon juice, and sugar.

    Mixing a Hot Gin Toddy
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  3. Add the hot water and stir well to dissolve the sugar.

    Mixing a Hot Gin Toddy
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  4. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. Serve and enjoy.

    Hot Gin Toddy Cocktail
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios


  • While Tanqueray is the recommended gin for this toddy recipe, almost any gin will work well. Traditional London dry gins are preferred because they have that distinct juniper-forward profile, and that boldness really is what makes this a great drink.
  • For even more flavor, opt for a high-proof gin. Intense gins like Martin Miller Westbourne Strength and Leopold Bros. Navy Strength will create a toddy you will not forget.
  • It's best to treat this like brewing a cup of tea, with hot—not boiling—water. If the water is too hot, it can "bruise" the gin's botanicals and ruin an otherwise perfect drink. Your teapot should get it to the right temperature or you can heat water for about 30 to 45 seconds in the microwave.
  • Though garnishes are often optional, consider the cinnamon stick a requirement for the gin toddy. It adds just a little more dimension to the flavor and doubles as a stir stick to keep everything mixed as you drink.

Recipe Variations

As with any hot toddy, it's best to customize the accent ingredients to suit your personal taste and the liquor you pour. Feel free to adjust both the lemon and sugar as needed. Begin with just a little of each, take a sip, and stir in more if as you see fit.

  • Use your favorite type of sugar. White granulated sugar is an easy choice, though raw sugars and coconut sugar are excellent as well.
  • Simple syrup can be used in place of granulated sugar. Begin with just a dash because you do not want the drink to become too sweet. Agave nectar and honey are also great sweeteners for any toddy.
  • It's best to use fresh lemon juice. This can be as easy as cutting a lemon wedge and squeezing it directly into the warm drink. Prepared lemon juices are okay, though it's best to start with just a few dashes, then adjust to taste.

Is Hot Gin Good for a Cold?

The warmth of the botanicals in the gin toddy may soothe a sore throat and reduce congestion. Of course, it will not cure your cold. In the same way as a cup of herbal tea, it may provide temporary relief, particularly when sweetened with honey.

There is no cure for the common cold, and drinking gin in any form will not prevent or kill cold and flu viruses. In 2018, there was even a claim that drinking gin and tonics could cure a cold. The original article did not cite the "study" reported to produce this evidence, but the headline caught a lot of attention and, unfortunately, it went viral. Some of these misconceptions are due to juniper berries, which are the key flavoring ingredient in gin. While the berries do contain antioxidants and vitamin C, very little of that is carried through to the gin.

It's important to remember that alcohol can negatively interact with cold medications you may be taking and dehydrates the body. Studies have also indicated that alcohol may lower the immune system's ability to fight viruses. If you're sick and want to drink a toddy, stick to one then move on to other forms of relief, including lots of nonalcoholic fluids.

How Strong Is a Hot Gin Toddy?

If you choose to pour a standard 80 proof gin into your toddy, the drink is comforting, flavorful, and not too strong. Its alcohol content will be right around 14 percent ABV (28 proof), so it's a bit like enjoying a glass of wine.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Oduwole O, Udoh EE, Oyo-ita A, Meremikwu MM. Honey for acute cough in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018;4:CD007094. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007094.pub5

  2. Common Colds. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reviewed February 2019.

  3. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Gin (Survey (FNDDS), 789687)FoodData Central, 2020.

  4. Sarkar, Dipak et al. Alcohol and the Immune SystemAlcohol Research: Current Reviews vol. 37,2 (2015): 153–155.