Whiskey Hot Toddy

A Whiskey Hot Toddy is a great winter time libation especially when it’s cold and dreary. It’s also very soothing if feeling under the weather.

Whiskey Hot Toddy with Brown Sugar, Honey and Lemon

I have been feeling dead to the world but I thought I would share this Whiskey Hot Toddy with you because it made me feel better. I can’t seem to catch a break; after 4 weeks of a nonstop cough and sleepless nights I can’t deny I was getting weary. So like I’m sure all of you would do, dying be damned, I forced myself to get to the grocery store for cat food.

Our local grocery just happens to have a clinic inside of it (seriously); when I walked by I decided to stop for some advice; you know, thinking enough was enough?

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Well, the good news is that I am apparently not sick enough to be hospitalized but with the symptoms of pneunomia I have what is referred to as ‘walking pneumonia.’

I haven’t been sick like this in a very long time but really, no big surprise. After months and months of nonstop stress and exhaustion, this body of mine had nothing left for a fight. Damn you Airborne, you failed me when I needed you most!

So, I’ve been relegated to actually acting sick and ordered to get some bed rest. Like lay in bed. I think they meant ALL DAY.

That is so hard, I have pictures to hang and recipes to make and, and, and…and I guess I will listen because I want this scourge to be gone I tell ya!

I decided that I would try this Whiskey Hot Toddy; one of those home remedies to help relieve this cough.

One I made for a friend recently to soothe her raw throat and dry hack. It might be considered an old wives tale mixture of bourbon, honey and lemon; but it does taste and feel good.

A hot toddy, also known as hot whiskey in Ireland, is typically a mixed drink made of liquor and water with honey (or, in some recipes, sugar), herbs (such as tea) and spices, and served hot.

Hot toddy recipes vary and are traditionally drunk before retiring for the night, in wet or cold weather or to relieve the symptoms of the cold and flu.

In How to Drink, Victoria Moore describes the drink as “the vitamin C for health, the honey to soothe, the alcohol to numb.” Pretty accurate!

It’s just an old fashioned Whiskey Hot Toddy if taken as a libation. OK, I’m ready to libate; if it’s whiskey I need to sleep through the night at least it’s in a concoction that sounds yummy.

Whiskey Hot Toddy with Brown Sugar, Honey and Lemon

I did take the liberty of spicing it up a bit and it hit the spot. I added a bit of brown sugar and used star anise and cinnamon for spices but experiment with any of the warmer spices you love.

I can imagine nutmeg or ginger or cardamon off the top of my head. I’m fading fast but this is good enough not only for what ails you but a great warming drink for those nights we are still sure to have before the warmth of spring starts to creep to our doorstep (which by the way we would like to have please hurry).

Cheers. And goodnight.

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Whiskey Hot Toddy – A Classic Cocktail

A wonderful warm libation for winter sipping, especially comforting if under the weather.
5 average from less than 50 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktails, Whiskey
Cuisine American
Calories 167 kcal


  • 2 ounces bourbon whiskey
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 strip lemon peel
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup boiling hot water


  • Place all the ingredients into a glass and stir with the cinnamon stick. Top with boiling water and stir a bit more. Sip carefully; it’s HOT!


Nutrition Facts
Whiskey Hot Toddy – A Classic Cocktail
Serving Size
1 Beverage
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword cocktail, hot toddy, whiskey
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  1. try 2oz rum, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/8 tsp ginger, 1/8 tsp cinamon, 1 tbsp raw honey (or to taste), a 1 tsp fresh lemon juice.

    mix all and tip with crushed ice.

    drink 30mins before sleeping and zzzzzzzz!

    1. Yuck. Sort of; twice now I thought I was feeling well enough to get out for a bit and the next day I died. This stuff means business. I have made myself a prisoner of my own home through the weekend. It best be gone by then! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Karen…you know how frustrating it is too then. I think it’s another night for a toddy; like I told someone else, maybe for my dog. She is old and demanding and I could stand a break from her waking me at the crack of dawn maybe? 🙂

  2. Years and years ago I tried a hot toddy that my ex made up for me. I don’t know what he put in it but I was out like a light for ages and woke up with a headache but once that passed I was heaps better. I think that will work for you too. 🙂

    1. Thankful that didn’t happen to me…I did sleep a bit better; think I need another tonight. Or my dog does. 🙂

  3. Tomorrow is supposed to be cold and nasty which means it is the perfect day for staying in bed and taking care of yourself! Get better now! I’m calling you tomorrow. right now hubs made me your creme de violette cocktail. Yep-went and bought some! That’s what a job does for us! Let’s us buy liquor since no one gives it to us!

    1. Oh gosh we do need to talk and see what you think. And I need out of here…HELP? Still not great but SICK of being sick, you know?

  4. Though I never saw him make or drink one, my grandfather always said a hot toddy would cure all ailments. I hope he was right and that you feel better soon! Hopefully the clinic gave you some medication to knock this out of your system? Feel better soon, Barb!

    1. They gave me some antibiotics but nothing for the cough because it’s actually best if I get that stuff out of my lungs. Yay! Slowly improving; too slowly for my blood though I’ll tell you that! Thanks Holly; I’m pretty sure I’m not going to die so it’s all good. 🙂

  5. I’m so sorry you’ve been sick, Barb. It seems a lot of illness like this has been going around. This hot toddy is just the thing to soothe and comfort! I am a big fan of them (especially when watching Downton Abbey) and I love the spices you’ve added. I hope you are feeling healthy and energetic again soon. xx

    1. Thanks Hannah. My luck is I get sick seldom and when I do…well at least this time I’ve been hit hard. Felt better yesterday so moved a bunch of furniture. Big mistake. Back in bed today. This could take awhile. 🙂

  6. So sorry you have been under the weather….such a bummer and you are right ain’t nobody got time for that!!! Rest and get well soon. I love the addition of anise to your hot toddy I think I want one now and I’m not even sick!

    1. Thanks Sheila; I so over this…you start to feel like a prisoner after a bit. I want to ESCAPE!! I might have to make it suffice with another toddy though. 🙂

  7. You have earned your rest and your body will thank you for this down time, not to mention the hot toddy. Make, drink and repeat until you feel better. Take good care.

    1. I’m trying…I start to feel better so I do some more house stuff and then another step back. I’m too determined to get this house done; I think I need to revisit that and get determined to get over this bug. 🙂

    1. Now if I could just get Abbie to stop bothering me. It’s like being sick with a toddler when your husband is gone…remember those days. NO rest for the weary for sure! 🙂

  8. Sorry to hear you’re so sick! I hate having to stay in bed when I’m sick, but I know it’s a good thing to do. I don’t know if this hot toddy will actually help, but I sure do know you’ll be feeling better after you drink it! Nice drink, lovely pictures. Thanks.

  9. Sorry for anyone sick with a cough — my husband used to make this for me only he would squeeze in the juice and pulp of a grapefruit and an orange, along with a lemon, with an extra shot of honey — encourage me to drink as hot s possible then wrap up warmly and go to sleep. I don’t know if it was all that Vitamin C or a drunken stupor — but it worked!
    Also had good advice from a doctor with sense of humor: What you need is a French breakfast: a hot roll in bed with Honey!
    Feel better soon!

    1. You did sound bad the other day on phone. Was it all the talking you did to make me feel better that did it? I hope the hot toddy helps and you feel much much much better soon.


      1. I’m pathetic, it’s true. A bit better today so going to venture out for a bit. Going a bit stir crazy. Hoping I won’t regret it tomorrow!

    2. It did help me sleep a couple of nights; that was nice and thanks for the chuckle, though laughing right now causes a coughing fit! 🙂

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