Hot Toddy: The Cold-Weather Nightcap

What Uncle Les told us as kids was right – a good, late-evening cocktail does help you doze off more quickly. As the weather turns cold, we’re looking to ditch the glass of wine in favor of something more soothing – the hot toddy.  You can “toddy” many different cocktails, but a traditional hot toddy includes a few staples – bourbon/whisky or rum, hot water, lemon, honey and spices.

Like chicken noodle soup, this warm cocktail has been hailed by many as a cold and flu remedy. We’re not doctors, so we can’t say for sure whether a hot toddy heals you more quickly, but we can say from our experience it does make you feel better. Below is our go-to hot toddy recipe:



  • Fill your cup with hot water (to heat it up).
  • Meanwhile, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil.
  • Dump mug of hot water, and put bourbon, honey, sugar, lemon juice and cloves in the now-hot mug.
  • Pour boiling water over the other ingredients in the mug.
  • Garnish with a cinnamon stick (and optional slice of lemon).
  • Wrap your hands around the mug, inhale, and sip slowly.
  • Actually sleep.

Haven’t enjoyed a hot toddy before bed? Tomorrow (Saturday, January 11) is National Hot Toddy day in the U.S., so it’s the perfect time to try!