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A hot toddy with rum is the best warming drink! Use white, aged, or dark rum for this easy recipe that’s been around for centuries.

Rum Hot Toddy
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Here’s a drink to lift your spirits: the Rum Hot Toddy! This hot beverage has been around for centuries, and with one sip you’ll know why. It warms you from your head to your toes (imagine that in those eras with no central heating!). Rum melds seamlessly into hot water and honey, which opens and accentuates its flavors. You can make this drink with white, aged, or dark rum: each adds different flavor components.

Ingredients in a hot toddy with rum

The hot toddy is a mixed drink made of liquor, hot water, and honey, often including lemon, or tea. It originated in India and was standard in Britain as early as the 1780’s! By the mid-1800’s, Americans were prescribing it as a cure for the common cold.

The original hot toddy was made with whiskey like Scotch. But once it spread to America, it was made with rum or brandy, which were the easiest to find spirits at the time. (It’s not like today, where you can get a bottle of just about any type of liquor at your liquor store!) Here are the ingredients you’ll need for a hot toddy with rum:

  • Rum of any type
  • Maple syrup or honey
  • Hot water
  • Lemon
Hot toddy rum recipe

Types of rum

You can use any type of rum for a hot toddy with rum, and each one adds unique flavor notes to the drink. You might think of white rum for Daiquiris and Mojitos, but it works very well in a rum hot toddy. An even better fit are aged and dark rum, which add intriguing flavor notes. Here’s how each change the flavor:

  • White rum has a straightforward flavor with a signature fruity finish
  • Aged rum, aka añejo rum, has notes of vanilla, coconut, almond, citrus, or caramel
  • Dark rum has a deep, caramel flavor and notes of cinnamon and spices

How to make a Rum Hot Toddy

A hot toddy is a cozy, restorative drink to sip by the fire (it was once thought to be a cure for the common cold). Because of that, it’s less of a fancy cocktail and more like making tea. Here’s what to do:

  • Mix: In the serving glass, stir together 3 rum with 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey. We like the mix of pure maple syrup with rum (honey can taste slightly medicinal, but still delicious!).
  • Add hot water: Pour in ½ cup hot water.
  • Add lemon: Squeeze in a lemon wedge.
  • Garnish: Add a cinnamon stick if desired.
Hot toddy rum

Serve it for a crowd

Entertaining and want to make this rum hot toddy recipe for a crowd? You can certainly do so: and it’s very easy to mix up. Simply heat up the following ingredients on the stovetop until hot but not boiling:

  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1 ½ cups rum
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or honey

Once it’s heated, garnish in the same way as the single serving. Squeeze in the juice from a lemon wedge, and add a cinnamon stick if you like. That’s it!

More hot toddy recipes

Love a good toddy? Here are lots of variations on the theme! Here are a few more hot toddy recipes we love:

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Rum Hot Toddy

Rum Hot Toddy

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

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


The hot toddy with rum is the best warming drink! Use white, aged, or dark rum for this easy recipe that’s been around for centuries.


  • 1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) rum of any type
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) pure maple syrup or honey
  • ½ cup steaming hot water
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  1. In the serving glass, stir together the rum and maple syrup (or honey).
  2. Pour in the hot water. Garnish with a lemon wedge, squeezing in the juice, and the cinnamon stick.
  3. Variation for 8 servings: Warm 4 cups water, 1 ½ cups rum, and 4 tablespoons maple syrup on the stovetop until hot but not boiling. Garnish with lemon and serve.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

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. Francine Ash says:

    Hi Sonja and Alex

    I made this today for my husband (and myself, of course!) as a surprise. He was feeling stressed, as he was working on the accounts for a Church charity. He absolutely loved the rum toddy – and it gave him the strength to continue with his work! We both loved the hints of cinnamon and lemon, and I used maple syrup, as you suggested. Although we live in Cyprus, it can be chilly at this time of the year, so we were glad of the warming effect of this wonderful brew! Your recipe will certainly be repeated here, and I will send it to my Family in the UK!
    Happy New Year!
    Best wishes

  2. Mike Johnson says:

    Why-oh-why would you express your volumes in millilitres? The entire alcohol world is rooted and displayed in ml. I’m american…I dont use the metric system…I get it…we use oz. Except for a few exceptions…liquor is one of them.

  3. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!