The Hot Toddy is a substantially underrated cocktail. It’s a classic winter warmer that is both simple to make and deeply satisfying provided you use a good whiskey.
Of course, there are more than a few ways to skin a cat or make a drink, but the basic ingredients for a Toddy are six-to-eight-oz of hot water (or sometimes tea,) a two-ounce pour of whiskey, a tablespoon of honey, a teaspoon of lemon juice, and a garnish (usually a lemon wedge but sometimes a cinnamon stick is more appropriate.)
While the drink was created in Scotland, you can use nearly any style whiskey you like, but we think drams that play well with the other core ingredients work best. If you’re looking to take the chill out of the season or the steam out of a cold, here are five bottles to try in your Hot Toddy.
Made in Scotland’s tallest stills and aged 10 years in air-dried, white oak from the Ozarks, Glenmorangie Original is one of the most versatile single malts and a go-to on our bar. Because of its sweet and citrus-heavy notes, this whisky jams perfectly with the lemon and honey in a Toddy.
The Famous Grouse is a beautiful blend, the most popular in Scotland, anchored around malts from The Macallan and Highland Park. Fruity and floral, The Grouse mingles well with the honey and tea, if you are in need of a little caffeinated pick-me up.
When we are a bit under the weather, our favorite way to enjoy a Hot Toddy is with a nice peaty Islay single malt like Ardbeg 10. The hot water helps amplify the medicinal aromas, almost immediately alleviating minor cold symptoms. Of course, you don’t have to be sick to enjoy this one, a Toddy made with Ardbeg 10 is delicious even if you’re the picture of health.
Woodford Reserve is our go-to bourbon. It works in damn near any whiskey cocktail you can come up with and that’s why it’s is an anchor on our bar. Woodford is great in a Toddy thanks to it’s rich melange of citrus and cinnamon.
Wild Turkey Rare Breed
Ready to kick your Toddy in to high gear, get a bottle of Wild Turkey Rare Breed. Its’s a cask strength Bourbon that clocks in over 116 proof. Complimentary flavors and a mouthfeel that lets you experience the weight of the whiskey through the water make it ideal for a Toddy that will kick you in the teeth… in a nice way.
High West Double Rye
Feeling a little adventurous, give High West Double Rye a go in your Hot Toddy. The whiskey has classic notes of cinnamon, honey and clove, perfect for the cocktail and the rye spice adds a touch of extra warmth in your glass.