Warm up with this classic hot cocktail, Hot Toddy Recipe with Tea! Known for its cold fighting powers this drink will warm you up and clear your fuzzy head with warm cinnamon, tea, honey, lemons, and whiskey!
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The Best Hot Toddy Cocktail
Hot Toddy’s are one of my secret new favorite things. To be honest I did’t try a hot toddy until more recently in my adult life and it was a game changer.
From helping relieve cold symptoms to warming me up on a windy and snowy night the Hot Toddy gets made quite frequently during the winter months in our house.
So how does a Hot Toddy help with a Cold or Cough?
It kind of sounds like a total wife’s tale right? And to a certain degree it is, let me start right now by saying a hot toddy does not in any way heal a cold or make it go away faster. At best it will alliveiate the symptoms of a cold momentarily, but in my experience those few relaxing moments are so worth it.
So these are the ideas behind why a hot toddy helps you feel a bit better during a cold:
- Whiskey is a natural decongestant, known to dilate mucus membranes (gross), if you are stuffed up it might momentarily clear you up.
- Lemon is rich in vitamin C, which some studies have suggested might help shorten a cold, I don’t know if the amount of lemon juice in here will actually do anything but believing is probably half of it.
- Honey is known to help relieve a sore throat.
- And hot tea to help soothe.
At the end of the day I am not a doctor and so must use this recipe with your own discretion.
How to make a Hot Toddy with Tea
It seems there are basically two trains of thought for a classic hot toddy, one made with tea and one made with just hot water.
I am team tea. Not only to enjoy the extra flavor but I think it helps soothe a bit more. I use black tea when I don’t mind the caffeine or for a caffeine free version I use the herbal tea rooibos.
Once you decide if you want to use black or rooibos tea then you have to decide what kind of whiskey you want to use.
In my opinion this is one of those drinks where any kind of whiskey is good. So I say just choose your favorite!
*I will note when I make a hot toddy I tend to not use the more expensive bottles and will usually reach for something like Maker’s Mark or Jack Daniels. But not all the time, like in the photos for this post I used Whistle Pig and it made a darn good drink!
So now that you have made your decisions let’s see how easy this cocktail is!
You will need:
- cinnamon stick
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tea bag
For a complete detailed list of the ingredients continue towards the bottom of the page.
In a small sauce pan add the cinnamon stick and water. Over medium-high heat bring to a boil. Once it hits a boil take off the heat. Add the tea bag and steep for 5 minutes.
Remove tea bag and stir in the honey until it dissolves.
In a large mug add the juice of half a lemon, whiskey, and the tea with the cinnamon stick for a garnish. Drink while still warm.
Try some variations!
- Add in some apple cider for a flavorful fall twist
- Add fresh ginger to the water for more flavor and ginger is known to help calm a stomach
- Not a huge whiskey person? Try it with rum instead
- Try different teas! Use Earl Grey, Irish Breakfast, Green, or any of your favorite herbal teas
- Add a few cranberries to the water with the cinnamon stick for a fruity version
You might also like:
- Milk Steamer
- Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail
- Chai Spiced White Hot Chocolate
- Chai Tea Concentrate
- Simple Vegetable Rice Soup
- Chicken & Rice Soup
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 2 ounces bourbon/whiskey
- 1 black or rooibos tea bag
- In a small sauce pan add cinnamon stick and water. Over medium-high heat bring to a boil. Once it hits a boil take off the heat. Add you tea bag and steep for 5 minutes.
- Remove tea bag and stir in the honey.
- In a large mug add the juice of half a lemon, bourbon/whiskey, and the tea with the cinnamon stick for a garnish. Drink while still warm.
For a caffeine free version of this drink I recommend the herbal tea called rooibos, it has a very similar taste to black tea (some might describe it as 'smokier') but with no caffeine, if you don't mind the caffeine any blend of black tea should be delicious here.
I have made this with many different whiskey's and I would have to say they are all good in this drink, but if I had to pick though I would choose a sweeter American Bourbon like Maker's Mark for this drink.
I add the cinnamon stick at the beginning to get a real bold cinnamon flavor, if you want it a little more subtle just add it when you add the tea bag to the water. I also recommened using a stick and not ground cinnamon, ground cinnamon will leave your drink gritty feeling.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 18gProtein: 1g
Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.