The Washington Post

Honeyed Hot Toddy

Honeyed Hot Toddy 1.000

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Spirits Jan 26, 2023

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.

Active time: 10 mins; Total time: 15 mins


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 1 servings

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

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

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.

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.

Recipe Source

From Spirits columnist M. Carrie Allan.

Tested by M. Carrie Allan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 203

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 0g 0%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 1mg 0%

Total Carbohydrates: 17g 6%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 17g

Protein: 0g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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