Hot Toddy

This hot toddy recipe is perfect for cold nights! It's cozy, warming, and bright, made with whiskey, lemon juice, ginger tea, and maple syrup.

Hot Toddy

How cute is this hot toddy?! It’s one of our favorite cocktails to make throughout the holiday season. Dressed up with orange slices, pomegranate seeds, and fresh thyme, it’s warming, festive, and bright. Mix one together, put on some smooth holiday jazz, light a candle or turn on your Christmas tree. You have the perfect recipe for a cozy night in!

Overhead shot of whiskey, maple syrup, ginger tea, orange slices, and pomegranate seeds

Hot Toddy Recipe Ingredients

A famous cure for a sore throat or the sniffles, a classic hot toddy is made with hot water, whiskey, honey, and lemon juice. To elevate mine from home remedy to fun cocktail, I add a few unconventional ingredients to the recipe:

  • Hot steeped ginger tea – Instead of using the traditional hot water, I make my hot toddy recipe with freshly brewed ginger tea. It adds an extra warming bite to the drink.
  • Dark whiskey – Try rye, bourbon, or your favorite Irish whiskey. I’m a fan of Bulleit, Koval, and Black Box.
  • Fresh lemon juice – It brightens up the dark flavors in this warming whiskey drink.
  • Maple syrup – For sweetness. I love the maple flavor here, but honey is also delicious. It’s more traditional, too.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Two hot toddies with orange slices and pomegranate seeds

How to Make a Hot Toddy

Making this hot toddy recipe couldn’t be simpler! Here’s what you need to do:

  • First, steep the tea. Bring 8 ounces of water to a boil, pour them over a ginger tea bag, and allow it to steep for 3 to 5 minutes. The longer you steep the tea, the stronger the ginger flavor will be!
  • Next, mix in the remaining ingredients. Pour the hot tea, whiskey, lemon juice, and maple syrup into a heat-resistant liquid measuring cup. Stir to combine and divide the mixture into two mugs.
  • Then, taste and adjust. My #1 tip for making great cocktails at home? Adjust them to suit your tastes! If you want a sweeter hot toddy, add more maple or honey. Wish yours were brighter? Squeeze in extra lemon. Do you prefer a stronger drink? Stir in an extra splash of whiskey. Have fun finding a balance of flavors you love!

Overhead shot of hot toddy cocktails in glass mugs

Finally, garnish and serve! If you want this hot toddy recipe to feel really fun and festive, you can’t forget the garnishes! Dress up your mug with orange slices, pomegranate seeds, fresh thyme, or lemon peel. Apple slices and warming spices, like clove studs, cinnamon sticks, or star anise, are nice here too.


Hot toddy recipe

More Favorite Cocktail Recipes

If you love this hot toddy recipe, try one of these cocktail recipes next:

Cheers, friends!

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Hot Toddy

rate this recipe:
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves 1
This hot toddy recipe is perfect for cold nights. Made with ginger tea, lemon juice, and maple syrup, it's warming and bright.


  • 8 ounces hot water
  • 1 ginger tea bag
  • 3 ounces whiskey, (We like Bulleit, Koval, or Black Box.)
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce maple syrup or honey
  • For garnish: orange, apple, or lemon slices, pomegranates, fresh thyme, cinnamon stick, or clove studs


  • In a mug, pour the hot water over the tea bag and steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Squeeze the tea bag and discard.
  • Pour the tea, whisky, lemon juice, and maple syrup in to a liquid measuring glass, stir, and pour into 2 serving mugs or glasses.
  • Adjust sweetener to taste. Serve with desired garnishes.


Use these ratios as a guide - if you like your cocktail less boozy add more tea, if you like it brighter, add more lemon, if it's too strong/tart, sweeten it with a little extra maple syrup.



5 from 12 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Sabrina from

    yes a great antidote to chill, in the best way too, so thank you, love all of these citrus flavors too, thank you

  2. Laurie

    This recipe was amazing! We side by side tested it with another hot toddy recipe on a super snowy October day. This recipe won by a landslide!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Laurie, I’m so thrilled it won! 🙂

  3. Rachel

    5 stars
    Made this with Stash ginger tea and it was delightful! Also, love the glass mugs in the photo – mind telling me where they’re from!?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Rachel, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! The mugs are from IKEA 🙂

  4. anxietynaturopathtoronto

    5 stars
    Thank you Jeanine and Jack. Ginger Tea makes everything healthier and spicier. Love it!

  5. Corrie

    Which ginger tea do you recommend? This sounds lovely for the snowy New Years we’ll be having!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Corrie, I love Traditional Medicinals tea!

  6. Gaby Dalkin

    Such a perfect way to end 2018!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.