Honeyed Hot Toddy 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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Honeyed Hot Toddy

Many upgrades have been made on the simple toddy, which in its early appearances contained nothing more than spirit, sugar and water — and, per early bartending manuals like Jerry Thomas’s “How to Mix Drinks,” was often served cold. But if you’re looking for a simple winter warmer, the combination of a richly flavored whiskey (try your preferred Highland or Islay single malt or an Irish pot still), honey and boiling hot water will steam you right up. Expressing a lemon peel over the surface and dropping it in gets you what Thomas would have called a “skin,” but we just call it delicious.

From Spirits columnist M. Carrie Allan.


measuring cup
Servings: 1
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Lemon peel, for garnish (optional, but recommended)
  • Whole nutmeg, for garnish (optional, but recommended)


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

    In a small pot or kettle, bring the water to a rolling boil.

  2. Step 2

    Add the whiskey and honey to a heatproof mug. If the honey sticks to the spoon, hold it over the mug and pour the boiling water slowly over the bowl of the spoon until the honey dissolves off. Continue to add more boiling water to the mug: You want 3 to 4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) water in total.

  3. Step 3

    If using, express a lemon peel over the surface of the drink, then drop the peel into the mug. Grate a little nutmeg over the top, if using, and serve.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    17 g

  • Sodium

    1 mg

  • Sugar

    17 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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