A friend of mine DM’d me on Instagram and asked me if I had a good recipe for a Hot Toddy. I didn’t have one on the blog- yet- but figured I should. Of course, every recipe of mine has to be tested and re-tested to ensure maximum satisfaction; so I had to do some research before I put it up. I’m a little tipsy right now. A classic Hot Toddy is made with whiskey, and although the original Hot Toddy supposedly came from Scotland. Your girl isn’t a fan of scotch; I am, however, a fan of Jameson. LOL!! I figured Irish whiskey is close enough.
Colonialism Strikes Again.
Listen, we all know that England had a bad habit of colonizing the hell out of the rest of the world. My homeland actually came about after some patriots told King George he, and his taxes, could kick rocks. That said, the name “Toddy” was most likely stolen from the Indian subcontinent. No matter, the drink made its way to the States, I made my way to Spec’s, and this Classic Hot Toddy is making its way to you.
The liquor to use in the classic version is whiskey. You can use bourbon, scotch, rye, or even brandy if you want to switch things up. Lemon juice is a must, as is a sweetner of some kind. Honey is my preferred choice. Tea or water can be used as the main liquid. Spices are also interchangeable. I prefer cinnamon and star anise, but I’ve also been known to chunk a few cloves, or allspice, into my Toddies.
Hot Toddies are supposedly great cures for colds, coughs, or even the flu. I’m no physician, so I can’t speak to the validity of those claims. I do know, however, that with the amount of whiskey I put in mine, I feel right as rain when I’m done drinking it. Just sayin’.
Boil Your Brew.
The classic Toddy starts with a tea. Tea is a general term for a drinking liquid that has herbs or spices steeped in it. After placing three cups of cold water, cinnamon sticks, star anise, ginger, and lemon ends into a small saucepan; I bring the water up to a rolling boil. The lemon ends are just the shells of the lemons I juiced for the Toddy. Once the water has boiled for a minute, or two, I turn the heat off and allow the spices to steep in the water. This also allows the water to cool slightly so I don’t burn the crap outta my mouth.
After allowing the tea to steep for five minutes, strain the water through a fine mesh sieve. Go ahead and discard the spices.
Sweeten the Deal.
Like I said before, I love the taste of honey in my hot Toddy. If you want to make a Canadian-style Toddy, you can add maple syrup instead, eh? Use Canadian whiskey while you’re at it. Add your preferred amount of honey. I like my Hot Toddy on the sweeter side so I add two tablespoons of the sweet stuff.
Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to each Hot Toddy glass. For the Soldier and I, that’s a whole lemon.
Follow the juice with a jigger and a half of whiskey. Add a cup and a half of the hot water, then stir to combine using a cinnamon stick or a spoon.
Sip and Enjoy.
Temps in central Texas have dropped to the forties and it’s been raining so much that it’s flooding. So, understandably, I’m all about this Classic Hot Toddy right now. It’s smoothness soothes the spirit and warms you from the inside out. It’s a great nightcap for these coming winter nights and a must for winter gatherings. Pin the recipe and share this steaming libation with your friends soon!
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Classic Hot Toddy
- 3 cups cold water
- 3 3" cinnamon sticks plus more for garnish
- 2 star anise
- 1" piece ginger, sliced in rounds
- 1 lemon, juiced, rinds reserved
- 4 tablespoons honey (plus more, as needed)
- 3 ounces Irish whiskey
- In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the water, cinnamon sticks, star anise, ginger, and lemon rinds to a rolling boil.
- Once the water has boiled for 2 minutes, turn off the heat and allow the spices to steep in the water for 5 minutes.
- Remove the spices from the water using a fine mesh sieve. Discard the spices.
- Pour equal amounts of honey into two 8 ounce mugs.
- Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each mug.
- Pour 1 1/2 ounces of the whiskey and 1 1/2 cups of the hot water into each mug, then stir to combine using a cinnamon stick or a spoon.
- Garnish with a cinnamon stick, if desired.
- Enjoy responsibly and while hot.