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Make an old fashioned hot toddy to unwind on chilly nights! It’s super easy to make, needing just black tea, lemon juice, honey, and whiskey.

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old fashioned hot toddy

Sometimes, our usual tea just doesn’t cut it. We need something with more flavor and a bit of excitement!

Well, that’s where an old fashioned hot toddy comes in – the occasional comfort drink we all deserve. It combines sweetness, tanginess, and spice all in one cup. 

You certainly don’t have to be sick to savor this drink. It’s a perfect beverage for enjoying at chill parties. Hmmm sounds like a great plan for Thanksgiving? ? 

What Is An Old Fashioned Hot Toddy?

An old fashioned hot toddy is a warm cocktail often enjoyed during cold weather and cozy nights in. There are tons of variations for this drink, but the classic recipe typically features whiskey, tea, honey, and lemon.

Chances are, you’ve already made this comforting beverage at home to soothe annoying coughs and cold symptoms.

The combination of hot tea, lemon, and honey alone can truly make you feel better. The added alcohol content? Well, that’s just an enjoyable bonus. ?

But look, this drink offers much more than that!

What Is An Old Fashioned Hot Toddy

I used to think of hot drinks as something just for quiet alone time or winding down before bed, but that’s not always the case!

Come winter, people enjoy hot toddies for their warmth and festive touch. They’re a good choice for get togethers, particularly during Thanksgiving!

Here’s an idea: Welcome each guest with an old fashioned hot toddy when they arrive, and then switch to other drinks like the Nigerian Chapman cocktail as the evening goes on.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy to make: Prepare this heartwarming drink in less than 10 minutes right in your microwave. It’s perfect for those cold nights when you’re craving something different from your usual tea or when you need a warm hug and you’re on your own. ?
  • Customizable: Maybe swap in what you have on hand or play around with the flavors. As for me, I’m thinking of adding more whiskey (or perhaps some cognac) for a stronger kick or using green tea instead of black tea.
  • Relaxing flavors: Whenever you feel down, there are only two things you need: a friend to talk to and a hot toddy. ? It’s true – the play of strong flavors can lift your spirits!

What Does an Old Fashioned Hot Toddy Taste Like?

An old fashioned hot toddy brings about a wonderful blend of warmth, sweetness, and spice. It’s like a jazzed-up version of tea!

After a long, tiring day, I’d love to unwind with this. It’s delicious and comforting, with just the right hint of spice.

What Does an Old Fashioned Hot Toddy Taste Like

In one cup, you’ll enjoy the captivating blend of smoky whiskey and sweet honey. And lemon juice? It brings in a refreshing zing that prevents the drink from becoming overly sweet.

The rich, smoky aroma alone is incredibly inviting. And if you choose to garnish it with a cinnamon stick, expect the air to be infused with the scent of festive holiday spices.

Homemade Hot Toddy Ingredients

  • Water – You can use any kind of water, as long as it is safe and tastes good to you.
  • Black tea bag – English Breakfast is a classic choice, but Earl Grey also works wonderfully.
  • Whiskey – This classic comfort drink just wouldn’t be the same without its spirited kick.
  • Honey – To sweeten the hot toddy mix, and balance the flavors of whiskey and lemon.
  • Lemon juice – Fresh lemon juice is the best, but store-bought ones are practical alternatives when you’re too busy to juice some. For others, they’re even better because they have a longer shelf life.
  • Lemon slices – For that extra burst of citrus aroma and flavor.
  • Cinnamon sticks – It serves as an attractive garnish and adds a spicy note to your drink.

Tools Needed To Prepare Old Fashioned Hot Toddy

Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For This Hot Toddy Cocktail Recipe

Apple Cider

Hot apple cider can replace water, but its strong flavor may slightly mask the taste of the black tea. If you decide to use it, the process remains the same.

Heat the apple cider just as you would with water, and then steep the tea bag in it once heated. 

Cinnamon Tea

Cinnamon tea will shift the taste balance of your DIY hot toddy towards a sweeter, spicier profile. If you love black tea but crave spicy notes, you can try this black tea with an interesting cinnamon finish.

Apple Slices

Apples complement the whiskey and cinnamon flavors quite nicely. You can either include them alongside the lemon or swap them out entirely.

Just add an apple slice along with the lemon and a cinnamon stick for that finishing touch. These garnishes also work in many other holiday cocktails.

Maple Syrup

Interested in infusing an autumnal vibe into this hot toddy recipe? Use maple syrup instead of honey.

It’s not as sweet as honey, so you might need to tweak the amount to get the sweetness just right. Start with the same amount as you would for hot honey and then adjust it to suit your taste.

Orange Peels

Orange peels are not a traditional garnish for an old fashioned hot toddy, but you can use it for a refreshing citrus aroma!

Just peel a ripe orange, give the peel a twist over your drink to release its natural oils, and then either place it in your drink or on the rim as decoration. 

How to Make Old Fashioned Hot Toddy

Ingredients:

Tools you need:

Instructions:

STEP 1: Gather all the ingredients.

How to Make Old Fashioned Hot Toddy

STEP 2: In your microwave, heat the water in a mug until it begins to simmer. It should be done in around 2 minutes.

STEP 3: Once done, dip the black tea bag in the hot water and let it steep for around 3 minutes. Afterward, simply remove and discard the tea bag.

How to Make Old Fashioned Hot Toddy

STEP 4: Add the whiskey, then the honey and lemon juice. Stir everything thoroughly to ensure the honey fully blends with the liquid.

How to Make Old Fashioned Hot Toddy
How to Make Old Fashioned Hot Toddy

STEP 5: Adjust the taste as needed. If you prefer it sweeter, add a bit more honey, or for an extra tang, a dash more lemon juice.

STEP 6: Top off your drink with decorative touch. Add a slice of lemon and a cinnamon stick.

STEP 7: Serve and enjoy your homemade hot toddy. Cheers to a warm and comforting drink!

How to Make Old Fashioned Hot Toddy

What To Serve With Hot Toddy Cocktail

When I’m feeling under the weather, there’s one thing I know can help me feel better: FOOD – my favorite remedy for everything! ?

This old fashioned hot toddy is the perfect drink if we’re not feeling great, thanks to its comforting properties, but it’s not enough.

My advice? Pair it with something else to enjoy more flavors and eventually feel like yourself again. Here are some mouthwatering ideas.

  • Sweet finger foods: Enjoy it with a platter of sweets, preferably a combo of fruits and chocolatey favorites. Try this caramel apple nachos recipe! The spiciness of this DIY hot toddy, especially if you’re using cinnamon tea, will balance well against the rich, creamy sweetness of the nachos.
  • Light, savory snacks: Consider light, savory options like crackers and crispy pumpkin seeds. They’ll not only balance the sweetness but also add a pleasant crunch to your meal! For a heartier pairing, the Nigerian meat pie is one of your tastiest options. 
  • Sandwiches: A grilled sandwich or a vegetarian one filled with roasted veggies is also a great match for your old fashioned hot toddy. For your next get together, why not prepare lots of mini sandwiches and make hot toddies for everyone? ?

Tips About Making the Best Hot Toddy

  • Adjusting sweetness: Feel free to add extra honey if it’s not sweet enough. But remember, different honeys have different flavor profiles. Clover honey is mild and sweet, while Manuka has a more distinct taste. So, when adding more, do it gradually.
  • Make it a non-alcoholic drink: I don’t usually drink, so having a choice is wonderful! This whiskey alternative can be a good choice for those moments when you want to enjoy a soothing creation without alcohol.
  • Use a nice glass: Feel like drinking alone on a chilly night to unwind? Presentation still matters even if you’re at home alone. Try serving your old fashioned hot toddy in an Irish coffee glass. Its stem looks so stylish and also keeps your toddy nice and warm.
Tips About Making the Best Hot Toddy

How To Store Your DIY Hot Toddy

  • Fridge: Pour your old fashioned hot toddy into a mason jar or a stainless steel container with an airtight lid. It should be good in the fridge for 2 days, but keep in mind that the flavor may eventually mellow. It’s best to enjoy it sooner rather than later.
  • Reheating: Ready to enjoy your cozy cocktail once again? You can either reheat it on the stove over low heat or in the microwave in short intervals. This is also a chance for you to tweak it – perhaps with a fresh splash of apple cider, a pinch of ground ginger, or extra tablespoons of honey.
  • No Freezing: Unfortunately, freezing this hot drink isn’t advisable since the flavors and consistency can change a lot after thawing. It also might not have the same comforting qualities. It’s best enjoyed fresh, so just make a small batch each time you get a craving.

What’s the Difference Between a Hot Toddy and a Hot Whiskey?

A hot toddy and hot whiskey are pretty much the same. They are often used interchangeably to describe any warm drink made with whiskey and hot water.

The extras, like honey, tea, or spices, depend on personal taste or what you have available.

But sometimes, hot whiskey refers to whiskey that has been diluted with hot water to lower its alcohol content. Some people do this to make it milder, especially if they find it too strong initially.

What Whiskey is Best for a Hot Toddy

What Whiskey is Best for a Hot Toddy?

There’s no right or wrong choice of whiskey here. It all comes down to the flavor you’re looking to achieve!

If you like your toddy less smokey and on the smoother side, an Irish whiskey or a gentle bourbon is a great choice. They’re not too strong, but they still bring that cozy warmth.

Now, if you’re into a bolder, smoky taste, give Scotch whisky a shot. It’s sharp, malty flavor can make your toddy stand out. And for something with a bit of spice, try a rye whiskey. It’s grassy and peppery with a distinctive aroma.

Don’t stress yourself out picking the best one! You don’t even need to spend a ton to make a traditional hot toddy recipe.

Even a decent-quality, mid-range whiskey can already elevate your old fashioned hot toddy.

It’s also best to pick one that tastes good on its own, in case you’re in the mood to enjoy it neat or on the rocks (but please, please always drink in moderation! ?).

What Whiskey is Best for a Hot Toddy

 FAQ About Old Fashioned Hot Toddy

What is in a hot toddy?

A hot toddy usually has tea, honey, lemon juice, and whiskey, and often topped off with a lemon slice and cinnamon stick.

Can you make a hot toddy with rum?

Absolutely. You can make a hot toddy with rum as a tasty alternative to the traditional whiskey.

Does the alcohol boil off in a hot toddy?

Some of the alcohol might evaporate when you heat up your old fashioned hot toddy but not all, especially if you’re just warming it up and not boiling it.

Can you drink hot toddy everyday?

While a hot toddy is a soothing beverage, it’s best enjoyed occasionally rather than on a daily basis, given its alcohol content.

old fashioned hot toddy

Old Fashioned Hot Toddy

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes

Make an old fashioned hot toddy to unwind on chilly nights! It's super easy to make, needing just black tea, lemon juice, honey, and whiskey.

Instructions

  1. In your microwave, heat the water in a mug until it begins to simmer. It should be done in around 2 minutes.
  2. Once done, dip the black tea bag in the hot water and let it steep for around 3 minutes. Afterward, simply remove and discard the tea bag.
  3. Add the whiskey, then the honey and lemon juice. Stir everything thoroughly to ensure the honey fully blends with the liquid.
  4. Adjust the taste as needed. If you prefer it sweeter, add a bit more honey, or for an extra tang, a dash more lemon juice.
  5. Top off your drink with decorative touch. Add a slice of lemon and a cinnamon stick.
  6. Serve and enjoy your homemade hot toddy. Cheers to a warm and comforting drink!

Notes

  • Pre-warm your mug to keep your toddy hot for longer. Before you start the microwave, fill your mug with hot tap water to warm it up. Empty it right before you add your water for brewing. This small step makes a big difference.
  • If you're making hot toddies for a group of friends, just swap your mug for a large Pyrex pitcher to heat up more water. It's an easy way to make a bigger batch right in the microwave.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 169Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 11mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 0g

* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.

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Conclusion

You’re probably already quite busy planning your Thanksgiving menu! It’s that time for turkey, cornbread, and sweet potato dishes once again.

Just a heads up – don’t forget that drinks are as crucial as the turkey and pies.

For these hot toddies, you can set them up in a DIY format for a more interactive experience for your guests. Set up a bar where they can mix their own drinks.

old fashioned hot toddy

Prepare various kinds of whiskey, tea, honey, lemon slices, and spices like cloves and cinnamon.

Alongside other cocktails, you can serve craft beers, wines, and even bourbon milkshakes and iced coffee (plus pumpkin spice creamer, yum!).

With these ideas, you’re sure to have a memorable gathering!

Here are more ideas that you can include in your festive holiday menu. They are delicious, and you can play around with the ingredients for a neater presentation:

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