As with most of our classic cocktails, the history of the Hot Toddy is one that’s incredibly murky.
It’s safe to say that the drink is an old one, but how old for sure is impossible to tell. There is record of an Indian drink that fits the description dating back to the 1610’s but after that there isn’t a formal record until 1786.
Along with its muddled past, the ingredients in a Hot Toddy can vary wildly depending on who makes it. The short list is usually a brown spirit, hot water, spices, and sugar. But, the list is more of a guideline than anything else. Some make theirs with hot cider or tea instead of water, some add in lemon, or sub the sugar with honey. The Hot Toddy is the perfect playground for flavor – you can even make it savory by using broth in place of hot water.
Everyone has their own favorite, the only true rule is that it’s a comforting, warming drink that makes the day a little better.
Chilled Hot Toddy
- 2 oz. Whiskey
- 3/4 cup Water
- 2 tsp. Raw Honey
- twist of orange rind studded with cloves
Preparation: In a small pot heat the water, dissolving in the honey once hot. Add in lemon juice and your orange rind with cloves, stir in the whiskey and move to a mug. Garnish with grated nutmeg.
Want something a little more inventive? Try out some of these variations!
The Gentlemen’s Rum Toddy swaps the whiskey out for two ounces of Rum, an ounce of Apple Spice Liqueur and a bar spoon of St. Elizabeth Dram.
Prefer Tequila to Whiskey? Dos Caminos Times Square offers up this version of the comfort drink that uses Chamomile infused Reposado Tequila with agave syrup to sweeten.
Like something with a hint of creaminess? Crown Royal’s Vanilla Hot Toddy! This simple drink is easy to mix and riffed on.