This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy.
This hot toddy with bourbon is a classic warming winter drink for cold weather! It’s fast and easy, made with lemon, honey and hot water.
Need a warming drink for cold weather? Try the Bourbon Hot Toddy! This one will warm you from head to toe, with a tasty kick from the whiskey. Pour boiling water over a shot of bourbon, then top off with lemon and spices. It’s perfect for sipping on chilly evenings: exactly why the hot toddy was invented in the first place! Here’s how to make a hot toddy with bourbon.
What’s a bourbon hot toddy?
The hot toddy has a long history (read about it here). In the early 19th century it was thought to be a cure for colds! It makes a lot of sense after you try it: this drink definitely puts a warmth in your chest and the back of your throat! The bourbon hot toddy is a hot whiskey drink for around the fire in the evening (not really a fancy winter cocktail for entertaining). While it can be made with any brown liquor like rum or brandy, we like it best with bourbon whiskey.
What’s in a bourbon hot toddy? The ingredients you need are:
- Bourbon whiskey
- Honey or maple syrup
- Hot water or tea
Today, there are all sorts of variations on this theme, from cranberry to run to gin hot toddy recipes. In ours, we’ve used bourbon, and maple instead of honey since it’s our drink sweetener of choice. (Plus, sometimes the flavors lemon and honey together give us a medicinal vibe. Anyone else?)
Change up the liquor!
While the hot toddy with bourbon is most common, you can use other brown liquors. Here are a few different ways to change up the hot toddy:
- Rum: Try aged rum or dark rum instead of whiskey for a sweeter flavor. Try Rum Hot Toddy.
- Brandy: Use brandy to bring in notes of dried fruit and citrus. Go to Brandy Hot Toddy.
You can also use apple cider instead of hot water! Go to Apple Cider Hot Toddy.
How to make a bourbon hot toddy
The hot toddy with bourbon is humble and made for quick and simple preparation at home! All you have to do is:
- Boil: Boil some water in a tea kettle.
- Mix: Mix together 1 tablespoon honey and 3 tablespoons bourbon (1 ½ ounces).
- Pour: Pour in ½ cup hot water and garnish with a lemon wedge, squeezing the juice in as you add it.
Ways to step up the bourbon hot toddy: with garnishes!
For this bouton hot toddy recipe, we’ve added some fancy spices since we had some left over from our hot apple cider! None are necessary, but they add a nice visual element and subtle flavor:
- Cinnamon stick: looks festive and adds a hint of spice
- Whole cloves: often added to spice up a hot toddy
- Star anise: completely optional, but adds a nice touch
Star anise is the most unique of these whole spices. It’s star-shaped and has a subtle black licorice flavor. It’s available at most grocery stores. If you can’t find it, you can also buy star anise online.
More hot drinks & winter cocktails
- Try the ultimate hot drink, Mulled Cider! Or add splash of rum to make Spiked Cider
- Go for a big pitcher of Fall Sangria or Apple Sangria
- Pair cider with bourbon and lemon in an Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail
- Make the best party drink, Mulled Wine, with orange, cloves, cinnamon, allspice and honey
This hot toddy recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar free, and naturally sweet.Print
The hot toddy with bourbon is a classic warming winter drink for cold weather! It’s fast and easy, made with lemon, honey and hot water.
- 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) bourbon whiskey
- ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) honey or pure maple syrup
- ½ cup steaming hot water
- 1 lemon wedge
- For the garnish: 3 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, and 1 star anise (optional)
- In the serving glass, stir together the bourbon and honey (or maple syrup). Pour in the hot water. Garnish with a lemon wedge, squeezing in the juice, and the cloves, cinnamon stick, and star anise (if using).
- Category: Drink
- Method: Mixed
- Cuisine: Cocktail
Keywords: Hot Toddy Bourbon, hot toddy recipe bourbon
More bourbon drinks
Got a bottle of bourbon to use up? Here are a few more of the top bourbon cocktails to have in your arsenal:
- Best Bourbon Sour The very best way to drink bourbon! Lemon, bourbon and simple syrup.
- Bourbon Sidecar A tangy spin on the classic Sidecar that’s classy and sophisticated.
- Maple Bourbon Smash Icy and refreshing! Like a citrus spin on a mint julep.
- New York Sour This stunning sour has a whiskey sour on the bottom and a red wine layer on top.
- Manhattan Cocktail This sophisticated whiskey drink has a long history.