Apple Hot Toddy (Modern) on a table in a Studio
(Scott Suchman for The Washington Post/food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)
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Apple Hot Toddy (Modern)

Jerry Thomas’s apple toddy recipe, from his classic “How to Mix Drinks” bartender’s manual, first published in the late 19th century, calls for half a baked apple. But if you don’t feel like waiting 40 minutes for an apple to bake, and then figuring out how to stuff that hot mushy apple into a mug while leaving room for brandy, sugar and boiling water, try this recipe for a nice apple-forward toddy. Use a dark, robust-flavored maple syrup. Note that the mixing technique suggested here, in which you float one half of a Boston shaker inside another that’s full of hot water, helps preserve as much heat as possible — if you don’t have a Boston shaker, you can make this drink in a small metal bowl set over a small pan of simmering water (a makeshift double-boiler).

From Spirits columnist M. Carrie Allan.


measuring cup
Servings: 1
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 ounces apple brandy, such as Laird’s
  • 3/4 ounce maple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce apple liqueur, such as Berentzen
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • One (3-inch) cinnamon stick, for garnish (optional)


Time Icon Active: 10 mins| Total: 15 mins
  1. Step 1

    Thoroughly clean the inside and outside of both tins of a Boston shaker.

  2. Step 2

    In a small pot or kettle, bring the water to a rolling boil. Fill a heatproof mug with some of the boiling water to keep the mug warm while you make the drink.

  3. Step 3

    Pour about 1 cup of the boiling water into the smaller tin. Lower the larger tin into the smaller one (it will float in the hot water, but the bottom will be submerged, warming the ingredients). Keep the remaining hot water on the stove over low heat.

  4. Step 4

    In the floating tin, stir together the apple brandy, maple syrup, lemon juice, apple liqueur and Angostura bitters until combined and warmed through.

  5. Step 5

    Discard the hot water in the mug, then pour the contents of the shaker tin into the emptied mug. Top with 3 to 4 ounces of the simmering water. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, if using, and serve.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    24 g

  • Sodium

    7 mg

  • Sugar

    21 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From Spirits columnist M. Carrie Allan.

Tested by M. Carrie Allan

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