Tipsy Bartender
We’ll jump into the surprisingly extensive history of the hot toddy cocktail recipe in just a moment, but first, here are some other warm cocktails that you’ll want to check out should you find yourself stuck in a cabin during a snowstorm: the Red Wine Hot Chocolate, the Peppermint Hot Chocolate, the Polar Bear Hot Chocolate, the Nutella Henny Hot Chocolate, the Hot Nutty Irishman, Hot Chocolate Shots, and the Amaretto Hot Chocolate. OK, now in terms of the actual history of the Hot Toddy — which is sometimes spelled Hot Totty or Hot Tottie — the story, as always, is pretty muddled. Apparently the Hot Toddy recipe may have been hijacked by the British after they colonized India. As the Hot Toddy Wiki notes, “The word toddy comes from the toddy drink in India, produced by fermenting the sap of palm trees. Its earliest known use to mean ‘a beverage made of alcoholic liquor with hot water, sugar, and spices’ is from 1786.” But VinePair, on the other hand, notes that there’s another origin story that “tells the tale of an Irish doctor named Robert Bentley Todd, who ordered his patients to drink hot brandy, cinnamon, and sugar water.” But VinePair goes on to point out that “the truth is [probably] a combination of the two stories, where doctors heard about the hot toddies from India and started incorporating them into prescriptions.” After its invention, the Hot Toddy recipe made its way to the American colonies, where it was made with both Caribbean rum and local brandy. Unlike something like an aperitif or digestif, the Hot Toddy isn’t necessarily a before- or after-dinner drink. Instead, it’s often used as a drink to enjoy specifically during cold weather. It’s also thought to be somewhat effective at combating the negative effects of having an illness like the common cold. As VinePair notes, “By the mid-19th century, the hot toddy had secured its place as the cure for the common cold.” In an unrelated addition, The Hot Toddy recipe Wikipedia page says that “Some believe the drink relieves 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.'” So if you’re looking for a good alcoholic drink that can help with cold symptoms, you have to try out this bad boy! Finally, as a little extra aside, here are a bunch of other whiskey cocktail recipes that you may want to check out: the Whiskey Sour, the Peach Whiskey Iced Tea, the Japanese Whiskey Smash, DIY Red Hots Whiskey, Melon Whiskey Sour Shots, and the Strawberry Whiskey Sour.

Related Drink Lists


Garnish: Lemon Wedge

  1. Squeeze the lemon juice into base of glass.
  2. Pour over honey and whisky and top with hot water. Stir well until honey is dissolved.
  3. Garnish with a lemon wheel.


Basic Bar Tools

Basic Bar Tools

More Like This
Trending Drinks

Scooby Snack Cocktail

Rokay, Raggy! Snack on this Mystery Machine-colored creamy cocktail with coconut rum, creme de banana, melon liqueur, pineapple juice, and whipped cream.


Bullfrog Cocktail

Get energized with this supercharged version of a Long Island Iced Tea. With four different liquors and an energy drink, this strong cocktail recipe is enough to keep you going all night long.


Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte

Yaaaaaaaaas, Ashley! If you’re looking for one of the best vodka fall cocktails as an accessory for your fall outfit, this pumpkin cocktail is it.


Test Tube Shots

These test tube shots are sure to spice up your Halloween party. They’re some of the spookiest Halloween shots with Malibu, black vodka, and grenadine for “blood” that looks real af.


Apple Pie Shooter

It really is as easy as apple pie with this two ingredient vodka shot. All you need is vodka, apple juice, and a squirt of whipped cream if you’re feelin’ freaky.


Halloween Jungle Juice

This massive Halloween punch is perfect for your next Monster Mash. It’s a fruity but strong jungle juice recipe with everything but the kitchen sink.


Dr Pepper Bomb

If you’re a fan of parties and Dr Pepper, this bomb shot recipe is for you because the amaretto and cola taste almost like the real thing.


The Sleeping Beauty Cocktail

With this gorgeous layered Hpnotiq drink, who needs a Prince Charming? Add some Kinky Pink liqueur and lemon-lime soda for a vodka cocktail recipe both Flora and Merryweather can agree on.


Green Tea Shot

Go green with this Irish whiskey shot! Even though this Green Tea Shot doesn't actually contain green tea, it still somehow tastes as if it does.


LA Water

We promise this version of a long island recipe is tastier than it sounds. Raspberry, melon liqueur, and blue curacao give this deliciously strong cocktail a color that resembles, well… The LA River.