Whether you have a sore throat or just want a cozy drink to warm you up this winter, there’s nothing better than a good hot toddy!
While the traditional hot toddy recipe is always a safe and tasty go-to, there are a ton of wonderful hot toddy variations that use different spirits, liqueurs, spices, and juices. In fact, there’s a hot toddy recipe for every preference and day of the month!
Let’s face it: winter isn’t easy for everyone. Winter colds and coughs are the worst, it gets dark super early, and the seasonal depression is REAL ya’ll. So let’s infuse some joy back into the wintertime with 31 cozy hot toddy recipes for every day of the month!
What Is a Hot Toddy?
A hot toddy is a classic cocktail made with water, whiskey, honey, and lemon.
They’re famous for being the ultimate boozy cure for colds and sore throats, and it turns out there’s actually a fair amount of truth to this! The alcohol dulls aches and pains, the hot liquid and honey soothe the throat and help with congestion, and the lemon provides some much needed vitamin C.
Now I’m not a doctor and don’t necessarily think a hot toddy is an all-cure. BUT it’s still a super comforting drink that can take the edge off when you have a cold, and if that’s not medicine, I don’t know what is 😂
The Best Whiskey For Hot Toddies
This is a heavily debated subject, but in my opinion, it doesn’t need to be so complicated. Pick your favorite whiskey and call it a day, people. They all have the same “medicinal” qualities, so the best whiskey for a hot toddy is going to be the best whiskey for you.
If you aren’t super familiar with whiskey though, I’ve outlined the taste profiles of the 5 main types of whiskey. I’ve also provided my favorite bottle recommendations with different price points so you can find the perfect whiskey for your budget! (Keep in mind all prices are for 750ml bottles and will vary depending on where you live).
Bourbon is one of the smoothest and sweetest types of whiskey, and it will add notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak to a hot toddy.
Rye whiskey is going to be less sweet than bourbon or Tennessee whiskey, and is characterized by its spicy, peppery flavor. If you do like your drinks to have a bite to them, use rye whiskey in your hot toddy.
Irish Whiskey is less sweet than bourbon, less malty than scotch, and overall super drinkable. In fact, many consider it to be the smoothest and easiest to drink of all the types of whiskies. So it’s great for those who are just starting to dip their toes into whiskey and want a lighter tasting hot toddy.
I wanted to start off with my favorite classic hot toddy recipe! Of the recipes I've tried, I like this ratio of ingredients the best. Again, all you need is honey, whiskey, water, and lemon juice. Any whiskey will work, but I personally like to use bourbon when making a classic toddy.
Speaking of bourbon, here's a spiced version of a hot toddy that's sure to help with congestion! In the recipe, you make a spiced cinnamon maple simple syrup with dried red chili pepper, red pepper flakes, cinnamon sticks, and maple syrup. Add the syrup into a traditional hot toddy and you have a spicy and delicious hot drink!
The Glasgow Hot Toddy is a classic toddy recipe made specifically with scotch. The hot toddy is thought to have been invented in Scotland in the 1800s, so this recipe is about as traditional as it gets! Using scotch instead of bourbon will make your hot toddy malty, smoky, and potentially peaty depending on the scotch.
If you love fall flavors, this hot toddy is for you! While its base is a classic hot toddy recipe with Irish whiskey, there are some other fun twists that set it apart. It adds in nocino walnut liqueur for nuttiness, pumpkin puree for sweetness and earthiness, and blackstrap molasses for a touch of caramel.
It doesn't get much more festive than this cranberry chai gin hot toddy! Ingredients are honey, water, chai tea, cranberry juice, vermouth, gin, cinnamon stick, and star anise. It would make the house smell wonderful and is so perfect for the holidays!
Here's a much more simple (but equally delicious!) take on a hot toddy with gin. You only need 4 ingredients: gin, orange juice, spiced simple syrup, and black tea. This recipe proves it doesn't have to be complicated to be a great cocktail!
This recipe combines tequila reposado with lemon juice, honey, and agua de Jamaica. If you aren't familiar with agua de Jamaica, it's a tea made with hibiscus flowers. The hibiscus adds floral, tart, & sweet notes to the cocktail that perfectly complement the aged tequila!
This toddy also uses tequila reposado and lemon juice, but that's where the similarities end. Other ingredients are chamomile tea and agave nectar, which are both flavors that pair wonderfully with tequila and will add earthy sweetness to the toddy.
Next up is a cognac hot toddy! Cognac will make the hot toddy a little fruitier than whiskey since it's made from fermented grapes instead of fermented grain. The other star ingredient in this recipe is Benedictine, which is an herbal liqueur that tastes like honey and warm spices.
This hot toddy follows a traditional recipe but subs out whiskey for rum and uses maple syrup for sweetness instead of honey. Maple syrup and rum are a match made in flavor heaven, so you know this toddy is going to be beyond tasty!
If you love hot cider and hot toddies, this recipe is the best of both worlds! It combines apple cider and brandy with all of your favorite warm winter spices including clove, cinnamon, peppercorn, ginger, and star anise. Spicy, a little sweet, and so festive!
This recipe uses popular Thai flavors for a creative twist on a hot toddy! The most important ingredients are lime peel and fresh ginger, which you muddle with brown sugar before adding in your liquids. The result is a tangy, tart hot toddy that would go wonderfully with a cold Thai noodle salad!
Sometimes you want the healing powers of a hot toddy on ice! I like this recipe because it uses a ton of winter spices along with earl grey tea and rye whiskey. That means it's going to be extra spicy, peppery, and earthy.
I promise this is the only other hot toddy on the list that's... well... not hot. It's a cross between a hot toddy and a moscow mule, which is super smart since they have a lot of complementing flavors. Primary ingredients are whiskey, ginger beer, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, honey, lemon & orange juice, and spices. So even though it's not hot, it still has all of the immune boosting ingredients you want in a toddy!
I wouldn't usually go to Cooking Light for cocktail recipes, but this one is REALLY good. It combines pear vodka, orange liqueur, lemon, and vanilla. Pear and vanilla are such a festive and amazing combination, and the lemon and orange liqueur will add acidity and tartness to balance out the sweetness of the toddy.
This hot toddy is pretty in pink and filled with vitamin C! The only ingredients you need are gin, grapefruit juice, and honey. Hot grapefruit juice might sound strange, but it's seriously delicious! This toddy is also way less boozy than most recipes, so it's great for people who don't love the taste of alcohol.
I honestly think this hot toddy is too gorgeous to drink! It uses blood orange, black tea, and dark rum to get its beautiful ruby hue. Blood orange is one of my favorite winter fruits since it adds an extra festive flair to any cocktail!
The only thing that could make a hot toddy cozier is to add in Frangelico hazelnut liqueur and vanilla! Seriously, this recipe is a hug in a glass. The nuttiness of the Frangelico works so well with bourbon and warm spices, and the vanilla adds wonderful aromatics.
If you need a big batch cocktail that you can throw in the slow cooker, you can't beat this recipe! It has all of the best fall and winter flavors including apple cider, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and clove. Throw in some tequila and you have a hot party punch everyone will go crazy for.
Here's another hot toddy that's absolutely gorgeous in a glass! In the recipe you make a homemade blueberry honey cinnamon syrup, but don't let that scare you away! It's actually super easy to whip up and the only other ingredients you need aside from the syrup are bourbon and boiling water.
This is one of the more decadent hot toddy recipes you'll find, so it's great for those with a sweet tooth! Ingredients are Smirnoff caramel vodka, apple cider, bourbon, and cinnamon. It's a pretty big departure from the classic recipe, but who cares when it's THIS delicious.
In this recipe, you infuse vodka with toasted pecans to give it a warm, nutty flavor. From there, the only other ingredients you need are water, honey, and lemon. Pair it with a slice of pecan pie for an extra special dessert!
If you did a double-take at the name of this toddy, you're not alone! It sounds bizarre, but it was made by the head bartender at Midnight Rambler in Dallas, and it's seriously good. Ingredients are (brace yourself) chicken broth, pineapple syrup, lime juice, sriracha, and gin. Is it weird? Sure is. But it's also super creative, savory, and delicious.
Okay I lied... here's ONE more cold toddy that I just had to include. I mean come on, just look at it and tell me you don't want one in your hand right now! Ingredients include black tea, apple cider, plum nectar juice, Crown Royal Apple Whisky, plum brandy, and spiced rum. The recipe serves it on ice, but it would be great hot too if that's your preference!
Toffee + cider + Fireball = a cozy decadent mug of deliciousness! The recipe calls for Fireball cinnamon whiskey, butterscotch schnapps, and apple cider. Finish it off with a crushed toffee rim for a wonderfully festive and sweet cocktail!
If you're looking for a culinary project on a cold winter day, this recipe is super creative and would be a fun challenge. It involves dehydrating shiitake mushrooms and then infusing them in whiskey along with saffron. The result is a complex hot toddy with a savory umami flavor.
Turmeric and ginger are a flavor power couple with so many health benefits! This recipe is also super easy and light -- all you need is turmeric ginger tea, ginger liqueur, and a cinnamon stick. Ideal if you need a restorative and low ABV cocktail.
Sometimes all you need is a fancy drink to make you feel better! This is a bright, citrusy take on a hot toddy that uses gin, tangerine, orange liqueur, lemon, honey, rosemary, and white wine. So it's almost a cross between mulled wine and a hot toddy, which is all I've ever dreamed of.
This is another simple recipe that leverages an awesome flavor combination! Cherry and cardamom go together so well and pair great with bourbon. Ingredients are cherry infused bourbon, cardamom bitters, and honey. And if you don't feel like infusing the bourbon yourself, you can just buy a cherry bourbon like Jim Beam Red Stag.
Here's a classic hot toddy recipe with the addition of Aperol, which is an Italian bitter apéritif. While it's a simple addition, it will make the hot toddy more citrusy, bitter, and give it a gorgeous ruby hue.
If this doesn’t get you excited for the winter, I don’t know what will! Even if you don’t make all 31, I hope this inspired you to branch out with your hot toddy recipes and try something new.
And if you have a hot toddy recipe that you think I need to try, please let me know in the comment section below 🙂