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Nothing and I mean nothing beats a classic Hot Toddy on a cold winter day and today, I’m going to share with you the proper recipe which uses Scottish Whisky.

A classic hot toddy made with Scottish whisky in a vintage pheasant glass mug.
A classic hot toddy made with Scottish whisky in a vintage pheasant glass mug.

How to Make a Hot Toddy

There’s more than one way to make a hot toddy but the classic way, which uses  Scottish whisky is definitely the best, in my opinion.  This drink is typically enjoyed before bed or during rainy or cold weather (but it’s ok to enjoy it on any day if it suits your mood!).

What You’ll Need for This Recipe

  • Scottish Whisky
  • Boiling Hot Water
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Whole Cloves (4)
  • Ground Nutmeg
  • Honey
  • Lemon Juice

Getting Started

Start by getting yourself a good sized mug. This recipe calls for 1 cup of boiling hot water and a few other ingredients so the mug you use should be fairly large to fit everything. Put the kettle and get some water boiling. Once it’s ready, pour 1 cup of boiling water into your mug. Add in 2 ounces of Scottish whisky, 2-3 teaspoons of honey, 2-3 teaspoons of lemon juice, 4 whole cloves, a pinch of nutmeg and a cinnamon stick. You can give it a quick stir (I recommend stirring with the cinnamon stick) to mix together the ingredients) and then enjoy!

Close up of the Hot Toddy
Close up of the Hot Toddy

What is a Hot Toddy?

The Hot Toddy is a drink that combines lemon, Scottish whisky, honey, cinnamon and other spices along with hot water to create a soothing drink best enjoyed on cold or rainy days. There is also a National Hot Toddy day which is January 11th, so don’t forget to print this out and make yourself one!


Where Does the Word Toddy Come From?

There are two different ideas as to where the word comes from. One suggests that it’s origin is another drink which is called a toddy in India that is a type of palm wine made by fermenting the sap from Palm Trees.  The second theory is that it originates from a place called Tod’s Well which is a spring in Edinburgh. Wherever the true origin lies, I’m glad we have it today.

Hot Toddy, Garnished and Ready to Drink
Hot Toddy, Garnished and Ready to Drink

Who Invented the Hot Toddy?

There isn’t really an individual inventor per say according to what I’ve read. According to this article, the Hot Toddy was originally created as a means to cover up the poor taste of raw Scottish Whisky in the 18th century. A number of ingredients such as sugar, dates and more were added to make it taste better and it has evolved over time to the recipe it is today. There are, of course, numerous variations on the drink including one that uses hot ginger ale instead of hot water but the classic version is the one you see here.

Is a Hot Toddy Good for a Cold?

Is a Hot Toddy Good for Colds

When you look at the base ingredients of the drink (whisky aside) it does make sense that people tend to think of it as a means of treating (or soothing) a cold. According to another great article on the Smithsonian website, the spices help to stimulate saliva (which is good for a sore throat) and the lemon and honey combined will benefit mucus production.The Mayo Clinic has also stated that hot drinks might be soothing and might ease congestion by increasing mucus flow. In the end, if it makes you feel better then that’s all that matters.

Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Hot Toddy

  • This drink is also excellent with hot cider if you want some more bite and a more sour taste.
  • Use fresh lemon juice if you have it. It just tastes better than the stuff you get in the bottle.
  • When pouring the hot water into your glass, do so over a spoon to prevent the glass from cracking.
  • Avoid peated scotch for this particular drink, something smoother is probably better (unless of course peated is your thing).
  • Drink one on January 11 to celebrate National Hot Toddy Day!

However you enjoy yours, whether it’s sitting in front of the campfire, curled up in bed or (hopefully not) trying to recover from a cold.. I hope you enjoy!

Here are some other great cocktails to try:

  1. Stonewall Whisky Cocktail Recipe
  2. Maiden’s Prayer Cocktail
  3. How To Make A White Leprechaun Cocktail


Pin this recipe to your cocktails or drinks boards on Pinterest and don’t forget to follow @KitchenMagpie

How to Make A Hot Toddy #hottoddy #cocktails #drinks #whisky #lemon #cinnamon #colds

5 from 2 votes
How to Make a Hot Toddy
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins

Nothing and I mean nothing beats a classic Hot Toddy on a cold winter day and today, I'm going to share with you the proper recipe which uses Scottish Whisky.

Course: cocktails
Cuisine: Bar
Keyword: hot toddy
Servings: 1
Calories: 210 kcal
Author: Karlynn Johnston
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 fluid ounces whiskey
  • 2-3 tsp honey
  • 2-3 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  1. Pour the boiling water, whisky, honey, lemon juice and whole cloves into your mug of choice.
  2. Sprinkle with the nutmeg, then place the cinnamon stick in the mixture and put in the slice of lemon.
  3. Let the hot toddy stand for 3-5 minutes so that the flavours can meld together nicely and the drink can cool enough to drink, then enjoy!
Recipe Notes

There are many variations on this drink so feel free to play around with different spices until you find the perfect combination!

Nutrition Facts
How to Make a Hot Toddy
Amount Per Serving
Calories 210
% Daily Value*
Sodium 15mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 16g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 12g
Vitamin C 9.2%
Calcium 3.5%
Iron 1.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Hey guys, I'm Karlynn! Welcome to The Kitchen Magpie, my website full of family friendly recipes, cocktails & homesteading tales of chickens & cows from the family farm! Make sure to check out my bestselling cookbook, Flapper Pie & a Blue Prairie Sky ,stay tuned for info on my second cookbook!


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