Mike's Recipes

Mike’s Hot Toddy

  • Prep Time
    5 Minutes
  • Difficulty
  • Servings


  • 1 1/2 oz bourbon
  • 1 tbsp Mike’s Hot Honey
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • Hot water
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Cloves
  • Lemon wheel

Not all Hot Toddy recipes will impress quite like this version created with Mikes Hot honey.  The hot toddy is undeniably a classic cocktail that does a stand-up job on its own, using its original ingredients as is. During the frost-bit winter months, a hot toddy creates the right dose of cozy to dial the heat up from the inside out.  For holiday parties to “ just because get-togethers, this perfect and easy hot toddy recipe made with Mikes Hot Honey can bring a little sweet heat to the festivities. This cocktail also doubles in offering a healing relief for when you’re feeling under the weather while also offering a soothing relief to a sore throat.

If you're looking for the best hot toddy recipe to elevate a cozy weekend indoors, keep reading. We've created an easy hot toddy recipe that has all the features of the classic beverage but with a kick of spice provided by our 100% pure honey infused with chili peppers.

What Is the History of the Hot Toddy?

Like many cocktails, the history of the hot toddy is a bit controversial. Some people believe that the drink originated in Colonial India and that its name comes from the Hindi word taddy, which describes a drink made from fermented palm sap. Other folks say that an Irish doctor named Robert Bentley Todd came up with the hot toddy recipe for colds and sore throats.

Whichever origin story is correct or (whichever one you choose to believe…we don’t mind.) We do know that by 1786, hot toddy had become an official word in England. As it was defined then, here's the classic hot toddy recipe:
  • Whiskey
  • Hot water
  • Assorted spices

How to Make a Hot Toddy

Whether you decide to prepare a hot toddy recipe for a cough or for a party, the process is easy. For our version, we keep it easy by substituting Mike's Hot Honey for sugar. To kick things off, You can start off by adding Mike’s hot honey to your mug and then pouring in a whiskey or bourbon spirit of your choice and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Following that, you slowly pour in hot water, add a pinch of cloves, drop in a cinnamon stick, and stir. Float a slice of lemon or orange on the top for a delectable finish with added flavor.


What Whiskey Is Best for a Hot Toddy?

When it comes to making a hot toddy recipe, bourbon is a great choice of whiskey. Bourbon is made with at least 51% corn and has a slight sweetness that other varieties of whiskey lack, and its flavor blends well with the perfect balance of sweetness and heat that you get from Mike's Hot Honey. In addition, all bourbon is aged in new charred oak barrels, giving the spirit slightly earthy notes that complement the cocktails other ingredients. You can use whatever type of bourbon you prefer when making this hot toddy recipe.


Variations on the Hot Toddy

If you want to mix things up, try these variations on the hot toddy using Mike’s Hot Honey:
  • Tea instead of hot water: In a hot toddy recipe, tea brings a new flavor. You can opt for classic black or green tea or even use an herbal variety to make a caffeine-free version.
  • Virgin hot toddy: If you want the flavors of a classic hot toddy but want to skip the alcohol, add orange juice and fresh finger to enhance the taste.
  • Hot apple toddy: Replace the hot water with hot apple cider to bring more sweetness and add a festive fall theme to the recipe.
  • Alcohol substitutions: Bring the earthy flavors of juniper to your cocktail by swapping gin for bourbon, or summon thoughts of the islands by using dark rum in place of bourbon.

How to Serve a Hot Toddy

When you're entertaining, consider serving hot toddies in clear glass mugs, so the esthetics of the cocktail can be seen. Pastries and breads can be a great companion for hot toddies, so consider placing a small square of warm classic cornbread served with Mike’s Hot Honey or a mini version of our Buttermilk Biscuits served on a saucer beside the mug.


Hot Toddy for Colds

As previously mentioned, some people swear by the hot toddy recipe for a sore throat, a cough, and other symptoms of colds. Read on for some answers to common questions about hot toddies as home remedies.


Does a hot toddy actually help a cold?

A hot toddy isn't going to cure a cold, but it may temporarily alleviate your symptoms.


Why do hot toddies work so well?

The potential benefits of drinking a hot toddy when you have a cold or a sore throat come from the ingredients used in the recipe:
  • Whiskey: Many cough syrups and liquid cold medicines contain as much as 10% alcohol to help you relax and fall asleep when you're under the weather.
  • Hot water: Hot liquids like tea and broth-based soups may help thin nasal congestion, allowing you to breathe easier.
  • Lemon juice: Like hot water, lemon juice can thin mucus. Plus, it's packed with vitamin C, which aids the immune system.
  • Honey: 100% pure honey like what goes into Mike's Hot Honey can be soothing when you have a cough or sore throat. Plus, it has anti-inflammatory properties and provides a dose of antioxidants for immune support.

Is it safe to drink a hot toddy for a cold?

Whether or not it's safe for you to enjoy a hot toddy when you're sick depends on your health history and other factors. If you're uncertain about safety, talk it over with your healthcare provider.

Add Mike’s, lemon juice, and bourbon to a mug.

Fill the mug with hot water.

Add a pinch of cloves and stir with a cinnamon stick.

Float a lemon slice on top and serve.

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