Is there anything better than a hot drink on a cold winter night? And is there any hot drink better than a hot toddy? The classic mixture of liquor, spices, honey, and citrus imparts a cozy sense of warmth while also boasting soothing properties for winter-induced coughs and colds.
While the traditional recipe calls for whiskey, honey, and lemon juice, there are endless ways to tailor a toddy to your needs. Prefer Scotch over bourbon? No problem. Want to add an extra healing kick? Throw some spicy ginger in. Here, we’ve rounded up five of our favorite renditions on the hot toddy, from the time-honored to the super creative.
Classic Hot Toddy
A tried-and-true classic, the basic recipe calls for whiskey, honey, lemon juice, and hot water, plus a lemon wedge and cinnamon stick for garnish. The toasty beverage is best enjoyed while curled up in a blanket on the couch or while sitting in front of the fire. We may not be doctors, but the concoction is also said to have a bevy of medicinal benefits, from helping you sleep to soothing a sore throat. See recipe
Hot and Cold Toddy
In the Hot and Cold, gin is used in place of whiskey — preferably New Amsterdam for its citrus-forward flavor. Next, instead of plain hot water, healing mint tea makes the drink extra relaxing, while cranberry syrup is used in place for honey for a sweetly tart twist. The syrup also imparts an eye-catching ruby red hue, making the drink particularly festive during the holidays. See recipe
Spiced Averna Toddy
For an extra interesting take on the hot toddy, turn to Averna, an amaro with hints of baking spices, citrus, and caramel. Together with homemade black peppercorn syrup, the Spiced Averna Toddy becomes more intriguing and complex. And thanks to Averna’s low alcohol-by-volume — 29% compared to whiskey’s typical 40% — you don’t have to feel bad about having a few. See recipe
The toddy goes south of the border as smoky mezcal pairs with vegetal Green Chartreuse, sweet agave nectar, and exotic mole bitters for a distinctly Mexican-inspired rendition. Lime instead of lemon keep things on theme, while mint and a splash of ginger beer lend a final bright finish. See recipe
Nothing quite represents the warming flavors of winter like the classic chai spices of cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. That comforting feeling gets taken up a notch with black tea (we recommend Indian Assam) and heavy cream for a latte-like sip. Sweet brandy balances the spice for a toddy with added depth and dimension. See recipe
Photo credit: esimpraim