The Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy

The Spruce

  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
165 Calories
0g Fat
19g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 165
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 14mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 66mg 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.)

Warm, toasty, and just in time for winter, the hot toddy is a classic hot cocktail that is very simple to make. The basic recipe requires only a base liquor, honey, lemon, and tea. This formula has inspired a number of toddy recipes and is ideal for experimentation so you can start creating your own personal toddy.

Brandy, rum, and whiskey all make an excellent hot toddy. Which you choose will be a matter of personal taste or whatever you have on hand. You can also customize the flavor of tea, switch out the fruit, or sweeten it with whatever you like. However you choose to make your toddy, it can quickly become a new cold-weather favorite.


Click Play to See This Classic Hot Toddy Recipe Come Together


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat the water in a tea kettle or the microwave. Once warm, add a tea bag and allow to steep for about 3 to 5 minutes (or according to the tea's recommended brewing time).

    Steeping tea for a hot toddy.
     The Spruce
  3. While brewing the tea, heat your mug or an Irish coffee glass by filling it with warm water.

    Hot toddy glass.
     The Spruce
  4. Once the glass is warm, dump the water out and coat the bottom with the honey.

    Honey in a hot toddy glass.
     The Spruce
  5. Add the liquor and lemon juice to the glass, then fill with the brewed tea. Stir well to incorporate the honey.

    Homemade Hot Toddy
     The Spruce
  6. Serve and enjoy!


  • Add as much lemon juice as you like. One lemon wedge is usually a good amount, though you might enjoy it with a little extra citrus.
  • Preheating the glass ensures your toddy stays warm a little longer. You can also place the water-filled glass in the microwave for about 5 or 10 seconds.

Recipe Variations

  • Create a hot gin toddy with your favorite gin. This one's perfect for when you feel a sore throat coming on.
  • Don't feel like liquor tonight? Simply skip the booze and you have a hot not toddy.
  • Agave nectar is an excellent substitute for the sweetener. It will retain the richness of honey and is vegan.
  • Another sweetener option is simple syrup, which is nothing more than sugar transformed into a liquid (which you can make at home). These syrups can also be flavored; cinnamon syrup is an excellent choice, or you could have fun with the likes of a cranberry spice syrup.
  • If you don't have a liquid sweetener, simply stir in 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. The warm tea will dissolve it quickly.
  • Feel free to experiment with your favorite types of tea. Most black and green teas mix well into a toddy, but from there it's a personal preference.

How Strong Is the Hot Toddy?

The hot toddy is not one of those drinks that you down simply to get drunk. It is more of an experience and a way to relax, so its alcohol content may be irrelevant for the most part. However, for the curious drinker, you can expect it to weigh in around 6 percent ABV (12 proof). That's about the same as a high-point beer.

Can a Hot Toddy Relieve Cold Symptoms?

The hot toddy is not only a warming drink on a cold evening, but it is also recommended to help soothe some typical cold symptoms. However, the hot beverage doesn't posses any healing powers; it is similar to chicken soup in that it helps to replace fluids and offers warmth and comfort.