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The fast and smooth Hot Toddy

Updated on December 29, 2011

Hot Toddy, Not Just for Old Movies Anymore

Perfect for a cold day, the hot toddy is simple to make
Perfect for a cold day, the hot toddy is simple to make

Think back on old movies. That's where I first heard reference to a Hot Toddy. And of course, when the weather gets cold and Christmas rolls around, that's another time to think of this yummy drink. But I propose we don't use an excuse to make this simple but warm and soothing drink. Just do it! Anytime!

Last week my daughter and I were in the local CVS store shopping for Christmas gift wrap and bows when we stumbled upon a large display of brandy. $6.99 for the whole bottle? How could we resist? But what do we do with brandy? (we're not big drinkers). The weather was unusually cold for Southern California that evening, and with our bottle of brandy in hand, we decided to figure out how to make a "hot toddy" utilizing our new purchase.

The result was a soothing, drink that took away the winter chill, went well with our snowman cookies and left us wanting to make this drink again....and again. It was relatively simple and it made us wonder why we didn't make this more often. Here's how we did it:

Here's what you need

Some type of black tea (I suggest Constant Comment but any tea is fine)

Cinnamon Sticks and cloves (optional, and not needed if you're using Constant Comment)

Brandy (one ounce per mug)

1-2 TBSP honey (to taste)

1 lemon

First off, brew a good pot of tea

I don't always have cinnamon sticks laying around, but I do always have Constant Comment tea. This is a great tea for hot toddy-making because it has cinnamon and clove in it already. It's a strong and fragrant tea, and one bag will make an entire pot of tea.

So for starters, go ahead and brew that pot of tea.=. Any black tea will do. Lipton or Tetley is fine. Like I said above, I used Constant Comment for my hot toddy. If you just have regular tea bags, that's fine too. With regular tea -- If you have cinnamon stick, add that to your water along with a couple cloves. This will add a little spice to your toddy.

While the tea is brewing, get out your mugs and put a tablespoon of honey in each (add more or less to taste -- more honey if you like things sweeter; less if you don't). Next, use a hand-held juicer to sqeeeeeeze in some lemon juice on your honey, and stir. And then add 1 ounce, or a shot glass of brandy to the lemon/honey mixture.

Add a squeeze of fresh lemon
Add a squeeze of fresh lemon
Add a one ounce shot of your brancy
Add a one ounce shot of your brancy
Finally add the tea
Finally add the tea

Mixing up your toddy

And now for the brandy. Pour in a 1 ounce shot of brandy into each mug. Stir.

At this point, your tea should be nice and darkly brewed. Slowly (while stirring) add hot tea to your honey til your cup is filled.

That's all there is to it. Now all you have to do is enjoy!

Note that i'm not making this as a fancy drink but rather just a "comfy" drink that you can make anytime. To fancy it up, use nice mugs, add a lemon slice or a cinnamon stick before service.

Serve with cookies.


We hope you enjoy your Hot Toddy! Remember, it's not just for holidays and movies. Next time you're curling up with a good book, or watching a movie, make yourself a toddy and relax.


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    • Moon Daisy profile image

      Moon Daisy 5 years ago from London

      Wow, I want to try this. I think I'll use whisky though, as somebody suggested. I love all kinds of tea, and this sounds like a tea with a twist! Perfect for cold winter days..

    • profile image

      Dame Scribe 5 years ago

      I once got a hot toddy variation except the tea was mixed with rum. I was knocked out for the night and got very much needed rest. I had a seriously dry hacking cough at the time, yeah, joy of colds. :) Great hub!

    • KeithTax profile image

      Keith Schroeder 6 years ago from Wisconsin

      A hot toddy clears the sinuses and puts me right to sleep. Like a baby.

    • Ahnoosh profile image

      Ahnoosh 6 years ago from Southern California

      Sounds wonderful. Perfect for this weekend. Happt New Year to you!

    • itsmonkeyboy profile image

      itsmonkeyboy 6 years ago from London, UK

      Hi Ahnoosh, you use similar ingredients to be honest. Except wine. We quite often cheat and buy Schwartz spice packets you mix into heated wine, and these days you can just buy the stuff in a bottle and heat it up.

      But I made it a few weeks ago and we heated some brown sugar in a large pan, then added some grated peel from lime and lemon along with the juice from clementines, a little grated nutmeg, a few cloves, a split vanilla pod, a few star anise and a stick of cinnamon. And of course a couple of bottles of red wine! All heated together (don't boil or you'll reduce the alcohol level) and that's it. It's gorgeous and so nice on a cold night. In fact I may have to do it again soon, take some pictures and write a hub about it! Although I have to admit it was a Jamie Oliver recipe.

    • Ahnoosh profile image

      Ahnoosh 6 years ago from Southern California

      ooo, i've never had hot mulled wine. how do you make that?

    • itsmonkeyboy profile image

      itsmonkeyboy 6 years ago from London, UK

      Sounds delicious! We've been keeping ourselves warm with hot spiced mulled wine of late, but this hot toddy sounds marvellous. I may have to buy a little brandy now. Thank you for sharing.

    • peepingtomb profile image

      peepingtomb 6 years ago

      One of the few drinks I haven't tried... and I have all the ingredients. The temp is 52 this morning in FL. I think I may be having one of these before the days out.

    • dommcg profile image

      dommcg 6 years ago

      That's a great recipe. You can also try it with Whisky instead of brandy for an alternative flavour.

    • SherryDigital profile image

      Sherry Duffy 6 years ago from Here. There. Everywhere. Currently: Portland, OR

      Mmm.. I love a hot toddy.