Happy Hot Toddy Day

It’s National Hot Toddy Day, so let us pause for spicy celebration. On this January 10, we toast the cocktail too often enjoyed while feeling under the weather. These drinks are delicious, and we’d like to recognize Hot Toddies as something more than just a common cold-influenced nightcap.

A Hot Toddy has so much room for creative adaptations. The drink consists of spirits, spices, hot water, citrus, and sweetener. The classic Hot Toddy recipe is typically a shot of Bourbon, a teaspoon of honey, hot water, a lemon wedge, a cinnamon stick, and fresh nutmeg.

The preferred spirits are typically brown and sweet; like rum, brandy, whiskey, or even tequila. Bourbon whiskey is my favorite for Toddies since it has a sweet, vanilla flavor. If you are using rum, try to avoid spiced rum since it will distract from whatever spices you plan on using.

Honey is the most popular sweetener, but you could also use maple syrup, agave nectar, or simple cane sugar.

Nutmeg, a cinnamon stick, and a few cloves are the typical spices for a Hot Toddy. Other spices worth trying are allspice, star anise, cardamom, Indian coriander, mace, and juniper.

Hot water fuses everything together, but you can substitute tea as well. Chamomile, black tea, lemongrass, and spearmint are some tasty tea choices.

In sum, you should have a potent, mildly sweet, and modestly spiced beverage that’s sure to restore benevolence.

My favorite Toddy is a spin on the classic—Bourbon, lemon, honey, cinnamon, and clove all make an appearance. I use chamomile tea instead of water and mace instead of nutmeg. I find that both of their milder flavors let me taste everything else in even proportions. The mace also looks like a flame, and flaming drinks just look plain cool.

Don’t let my recipe stop you. Try adding a slice of fresh ginger or galangal root. Switch out the lemon for orange, grapefruit, or kumquat. Unless you’re baking, recipes are suggestions not instructions. If you discover the perfect Hot Toddy Ratio, please share your recipe with us.

Happy Hot Toddy Day!

Geoff Marshall is Web Content Manager at the Spice House. He loves writing stories and recipes for the blog. When he’s not nose deep in one of Tom and Patty’s many spice encyclopedias, you’ll find him daydreaming of dinner prep or riding his bicycle.


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