classic hot toddy cocktails on table

My amazing, wonderful, hilarious husband, Elliott, decided to take the blog reigns today for a guest post about cocktails (something he enjoys and I enjoy when, you know, I’m not growing an onion in my belly). In case you’re in need of a classic hot toddy for the holidays, for that nasty cold or because it’s got bourbon in it and that’s all you need to know… well, Elliott can fill you in more on how to make this tasty beverage (P.S. photos are still by me so the artist at work had both hands free to create his cocktails).

It’s 28 degrees and snowing in Minnesota today. I’ve just finished raking and bagging the last of the leaves. After my glasses fog up coming back inside, it’s time for something to warm me up. Because leaves are the bane of my existence.

How about something classic? How about something piping hot, sweet and containing alcohol? YES PLEASE.

Not just something classic, the classic. That would be the hot toddy thankyouverymuch (see what I did there, Stephanie?). There’s endless variations, but I like to start with the traditional: bourbon, lemon juice, honey and hot water. So let’s pretend it’s the 1800s and a hot toddy can cure you of that nagging cold or flu. Or the beginning of a long Minnesota winter.

ingredients on table to make the cocktails

I made these toddies with some Knob Creek bourbon I had on hand, the flavor was good, but quite strong. So, choose a less intense bourbon if you want a mellower drink. Or you could use Brandy or Cognac if you please. I suggest you use fresh lemon juice instead of that bottled stuff for flavor’s sake. And use good honey, it will make a big difference.

adding ingredients to cocktail glass

slicing lemon and adding juice to cocktail glass

You will not regret making this drink on a chilly winter eve. It’s super easy. And it really will warm you right up. Also, it’s best sipped near a roaring fire with frost on the windows. Watching Christmas Vacation will probably also enhance your drinking pleasure!

classic hot toddy cocktails on a table

P.S. For a non-alcoholic variation, leave out the booze and steep some tea in the water instead.

classic hot toddy cocktails on towel on table

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classic hot toddy cocktails

Classic Hot Toddy

  • Author: Girl Versus Dough's husband
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: 1 drink for one thirsty and chilly person 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: American


  • 2 to 2 1/2 oz bourbon, brandy or cognac
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons honey (to taste, I prefer 2)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters (if desired)
  • 4 oz boiling hot water


  1. Stir bourbon, honey, fresh lemon juice and dash of bitters in serving glass.
  2. Add boiling water.
  3. Stir once more.
  4. Garnish with lemon slice.
  5. Enjoy.

Keywords: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Winter, Holiday, Holidays, Warm