Food & Drink

The Hot Toddy: A Spicy Winter Remedy

by Rebecca McCusker January 16, 2019
ReadThe Hot Toddy: A Spicy Winter Remedy Photo by Joanna Kosinska

Whether you’re throwing a winter party with friends or hiding under a pile of blankets nursing a cold, the hot toddy is the quintessential winter brew that’ll clear your sinuses, warm you up, and make you feel relaxed and cozy.

I had never heard of the hot toddy until one snowy morning in my early twenties when I called in sick for work. “Go make yourself a hot toddy,” my boss said. (First of all, what a cool boss.) I remember thinking, “I don’t know what that is, but it sounds British.” It turns out, the hot toddy we know today has Scottish origins, and even in the 18th century, it was considered a delicious remedy for the common cold.

So, stoke the fire, grab some blankets, and indulge in this spicy, sinus-clearing beverage that’s been a winter favorite for centuries.


1 oz bourbon
1 tablespoon raw, local honey
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup boiling-hot water
3 whole cloves
A slice of lemon (optional)
A cinnamon stick (optional)

Start by bringing the water to a boil in a kettle. Once boiled, pour the hot water into a mug.

Add the whiskey, honey, cloves, and lemon juice to the mug. Stir. Give it a taste test, and add more honey or lemon as desired.

Garnish with a slice of lemon and a cinnamon stick, and serve.

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