Heat up that Hot Toddy cocktail with some flavorful twists on a classic

Spiced Up Hot Toddy, photo provided by Death Wish Coffee
Spiced Up Hot Toddy, photo provided by Death Wish Coffee /

While grandma might have said that the hot toddy might cure what ails you, the classic cocktail does not have to be stuck way back in time. Even though the warm cup nestled in the hands offers a promise of soothing satisfaction, the flavors do not have to be one note. It is time to heat up that Hot Toddy cocktail with a twist.

Whether it is a chilly day that calls the warm beverage to the glass or something else, the belief that this cocktail can cure an ailment, or just liking the taste, has people supping. Yes, the winter season can often be about the hot toddy. Although some people might prefer an adult hot chocolate or never stray from their signature sipper, the spirited season can sometimes entice drinkers to fill that cup to the brim.

Generally, a hot toddy is whiskey, hot water, and lemon. Many recipes add some spices. The idea is that the warmth combined with the whiskey is soothing, not just with flavor but also with the temperature. Even if warm cocktails might not be your cup of tea, it can be that comforting sipper when the winter chill cuts to the bone.

How to shake up the flavor in a Hot Toddy cocktail

From changing the liquor to adding some more spices, there are plenty of twists and shakes that can appear in the glass. Since the basic cocktail is versatile, the beverage lends itself to being a little creative.

Since the espresso martini is having a moment, more people are experimenting with coffee flavors in the cocktail glass. Although there will always be an Irish coffee or just adding a splash to that brew, a more robust flavor that is perfection on a chilly day is Spiced-Up Coffee Toddy.

Created by Death Wish Coffee, the Spiced-Up Coffee Today combined the celebrated coffee with whiskey, sugar and orange juice. Although some people might scoff at the idea of orange juice and coffee, the flavor combination brings a delicious brightness to the mix.

Hot Toddy cocktail spiced up hot toddy
Spiced Up Hot Toddy, photo provided by Death Wish Coffee /

Here’s how to make a Spiced-Up Coffee Toddy


  • 8 ounces of freshly brewed Death Wish Coffee
  • 1 ½ ounces high-quality whiskey
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey or sugar
  • 1 ½ ounces orange juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


  • Simple. Mix ingredients well in your favorite mug

Although lemon is often the primary flavor in Hot Toddy, the Buchanan’s Spiced Pear Scotch Toddy puts the favorite winter fruit front and center. It makes the cocktail juicy.

Combined with the spices, it captures the comfort. And, since the spices are warmed on the stove, it fills the kitchen with alluring aromas.

Buchanan’s Spiced Pear Scotch Toddy


  • Makes four servings
  • 2 cups Spiced Pear Juice
  • Alt. 2.5 cups Store Bought Pear Juice; 2 Cinnamon Sticks + 5 Whole Allspice Seeds
  • 6 Whole Cloves
  • Combine in a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower temp and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • 0.4 oz Buchanan’s Special Reserve
  • 0.2 oz Honey
  • 0.2 oz Lemon juice

Glassware: 6 oz hot toddy mug or glass mug

Garnish: fresh pear slices + lemon peels + anise seed pods


  • Divide ingredients into four mugs as followers for 1 serving:
  • 1 oz Buchanan’s Special Reserve
  • 0.5 oz honey
  • 0.5 oz lemon juice
  • Top with ¼ cup spiced pear mixture (strained into mug)
  • Garnish: Slice of pear, lemon peel and anise seed pod

Although the Hot Toddy might be associated with chilly days and snowy nights, the classic cocktail can take a tropical detour. Sammy’s Beach Bar Platinum Rum shakes up a sandy, not snowy, twist with its Sammy’s Hot Tiki Toddy. Here’s how to make one.

Hot Tiki Toddy Hot Toddy recipe
Hot Tiki Toddy by Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, photo provided by Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum /

And if all else fails, remember Cutwater Spirits has a simple offering with its Heaters line. Simply add hot water and enjoy. It is the ultimate cocktail hack.

What is your favorite Hot Toddy Cocktail recipe? Are you sipping on one this winter season?