Hot toddy

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For other uses, see Hot toddy (disambiguation).
A hot toddy
Information board highlighting the hot toddy at "Ye Olde Red Cow pub" in London

A hot toddy, also hot totty and hot tottie as well as hot whiskey in Ireland, is typically a mixed drink made of liquor and water with honey (or, in some recipes, sugar) and spices and served hot.[1] Hot toddy recipes vary and are traditionally drank before going to bed, or in wet or cold weather. 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."[2]


A hot toddy is a mixture of a spirit (usually whisky, rum, or brandy), boiling water, and honey (or, in some recipes, sugar). Additional ingredients such as cloves, a lemon slice or cinnamon (in stick or ground form) are often also added. The drink can also be made with tea instead of water.[3]

A common version in the Midwestern United States uses golden Ginger Ale, lemon, honey and Bourbon whiskey.[citation needed] In Wisconsin, brandy is often used instead of bourbon.[4]

A common version in Ontario typically consists of heated ginger-ale, honey, and either whiskey or brandy. It is often recommended to heat the ginger-ale before adding the whiskey or brandy, otherwise the heating process will reduce the alcoholic effects of the liquor.[citation needed]


It has been suggested that the name comes from the toddy drink in India,[5] produced by fermenting the sap of palm trees. The term could have been introduced into Scotland by a member of the East India Company.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Definition of Hot Toddy". Princeton WordNet. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Nigel Slater (March 13, 2011). "Nigel Slater's classic hot toddy recipe". The Guardian. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ Poister, John H. (1999). The New American Bartenders Guide (2nd ed.). Signet Reference. p. 612. ISBN 0-451-19782-8. 
  4. ^ "Wisconsin Winter Toddy". Princeton WordNet. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "Glossaries: India". Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie Archive. Macquarie University. 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2012. Toddy: palm wine made from the sap of the palmyra palm. 
  6. ^ "Hot Toddies". Conan's Pub. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  • MacKay, Charles. A Dictionary of Lowland Scotch (1888)