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This Apple Cider Hot Toddy is the ultimate cozy drink! Spike it with bourbon for a delicious spiked hot beverage.

Apple Cider Hot Toddy
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Looking for a drink to warm up on a chilly evening? A hot toddy is one thing, but even better? Try an Apple Cider Hot Toddy! Apple cider is the ideal balance in a hot toddy: it brings just the right sweet tart nuance to the flavor. Mix one up as a single serving, or make a big batch for guests like a spiked cider. Either way, you’ll love this warming beverage!

Ingredients in an apple cider hot toddy

A hot toddy is a mixed drink made of liquor, hot water, and honey, often made with lemon, spices, or tea. It’s got a long history: originating in India, it was standard in Britain as early as the 1780’s. By the mid-1800’s it had spread: Americans were prescribing it as a cure for the common cold.

Some hot toddy recipes use water as a base, like our Classic Hot Toddy. Others use tea, but the best idea we’ve found? Apple cider. It adds a great amount of flavor and compliments the liquor perfectly. Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this apple cider hot toddy recipe:

  • Apple cider
  • Bourbon
  • Honey (or pure maple syrup)
  • Lemon
Apple Cider Hot Toddy

Use bourbon, or any of these alternatives

Bourbon and apple cider is a classic combination: in fact, we’ve got several apple cider cocktails that feature this pairing (like Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail, Spiked Apple Cider, and Whiskey and Apple Cider).

But don’t want to use whiskey? The Hot Toddy was classically made using any of these liquors:

  • Any type of whiskey, including Scotch or Irish whiskey (you can also use rye)
  • Rum, which was commonly used in America in the 1800’s (try a Rum Hot Toddy)
  • Brandy, another American spin (try a Brandy Hot Toddy)

Whatever the case, the cider melds seamlessly into the liquor, making this drink incredibly easy to sip.

How to make an apple cider hot toddy

The hot toddy in its purest form is more of a restorative drink to sip by the fire than a cocktail to serve at parties (though you can do that, too!). Here’s how to make an apple cider hot toddy:

  • Mix: In the serving glass, stir together 3 tablespoons bourbon with 1 tablespoon honey.
  • Add hot cider: Pour in ½ cup hot apple cider.
  • Add lemon: Squeeze in a lemon wedge.
Apple Cider Hot Toddy

Or, make it for a crowd!

Want to make apple cider hot toddy recipe for a crowd? You can do that too. Here’s how to make a batch that serves 8 at once! Warm the following on the stove until hot but not boiling:

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 ½ cups bourbon
  • 4 tablespoons honey

Then garnish the glass and serve! Speaking of…

Garnishes for an apple cider hot toddy

There’s no need to garnish a hot toddy, especially since it’s not intended as a fancy drink. But, you can if you’d like! It makes it look more festive and interesting, as well as adding a little flair to the flavor. Here’s what you can add:

  • Orange slice (this really adds to the flavor)
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Star anise
  • Whole cloves
Apple Cider Hot Toddy

More hot drinks

Love a good warming drink in the fall or winter? Here are some of our top hot drinks to try:

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Apple Cider Hot Toddy

Apple Cider Hot Toddy

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


This Apple Cider Hot Toddy is the ultimate cozy drink! Spike it with bourbon for a delicious spiked hot beverage.


  • ½ cup apple cider
  • 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) bourbon whiskey*
  • ½ tablespoon honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1 orange wedge
  • For the garnish: 3 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, and 1 star anise (optional)


  1. Warm the apple cider on the stove or in a microwave to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, or very hot but not boiling.
  2. In the serving glass, stir together the bourbon and honey. Pour in the hot apple cider.
  3. Garnish with a orange wedge, squeezing in the juice, and the cloves, cinnamon stick, and star anise (if using).
  4. Variation for 8 servings: Warm 4 cups apple cider, 1 ½ cups bourbon, and 4 tablespoons honey on the stovetop until hot but not boiling. Go to Step 3 to garnish each glass.


*If you prefer, you can substitute rum or brandy.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Mavis says:

    We are talking about sparkling apple cider right? I can’t find regular..

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We generally use non-sparkling but it should work.

  2. Henrietta Scales says:

    I will try most of the drinks especially the Apple Cider Hot Toddy.

  3. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!