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Hot Whiskey Toddy With Cloves, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg

Nothing warms you up more than a hot toddy on a cold winter's day.

Nothing warms you up more than a hot toddy on a cold winter's day.

Perfect Winter Warmer

When the weather takes a turn for the worse and the cold wind slices through your clothes what you really need is a warm fire, a throw to snuggle under and a nice hot drink. A hot toddy is a perfect winter warmer.

I've found that a wonderful glass of hot toddy is the best thing to warm you up after a brisk autumn or winter walk and it is great for putting you in a Christmas or festive mood too. We always have this after our Christmas day walk, a much needed after dinner family ritual that helps us digest all that rich food.

The warm, spicy smell released as this hot toddy warms up on the top of the stove fills the whole house with such an amazing aroma that just says Christmas to me somehow. It reminds me of days long ago when my mother would spend hours at a time in the kitchen cooking up the most amazing things for us to eat at Christmas time. Things like Christmas cake and hot, spicy mince pies, this hot toddy has hints of all of those things and much, much more.

Hot toddy with cinnamon sticks and a slice of lemon

Hot toddy with cinnamon sticks and a slice of lemon

Wonderful Way to Welcome Guests

I always put a pan of this hot toddy mixture on to warm up when I am expecting guests, and it never fails to greet them with a welcoming scent. You can make this hot toddy mixture up in advance and keep it in a jug; in fact, the flavour is improved if the mixture is allowed to infuse for a while, use warm, not hot, water to help with the infusing. You can add extra spices if you want to, I've found that something like star anise goes really well in this toddy, or you can pep it up by adding more cloves and maybe even a little orange water.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

5 min

10 min

2 large or 4 small servings


  • 4 teaspoons runny honey
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • large pinch nutmeg, grated
  • 3 ounces whiskey
  • 3/4 pint apple juice, good quality
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4 slices lemon, for garnish


  1. Use thick, dishwasher-proof glasses for this drink as it is best served if the glass is warm. You can do this by standing the glasses in a bowl or clean sink filled with hot water, or pour hot water into the glasses and then tip it out just before filling with the toddy.
  2. In a large pan, add the runny honey, whiskey, lemon juice, apple juice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and a splash of hot water, depending on how strong or weak you want your hot toddy to be.
  3. Heat the liquid slowly but do not let the mixture boil, or even simmer, as this will impair the flavour and destroy the alcohol content.
  4. Place a slice of lemon into each glass and then pour in the hot toddy mixture. Delicious!

Variations and Tips

This hot toddy can also be made using rum, brandy, Jack Daniels etc. Simply follow the above recipe but substitute your own flavoured alcoholic beverage. Put an individual stick of cinnamon in each glass to make it extra special, you can leave it in when you inevitably have to top up people’s drinks. One of my own personal favourite toddy recipes uses Grand Marnier as its base, it tastes simply wonderful!

Be aware that this toddy is pretty powerful stuff. So don’t serve it to the designated drivers, or if you do then weaken it first by boiling to remove more of the alcohol and adding some extra water. It's always better to be safe than sorry. Drinking and driving are never a good mix. And of course, it should go without saying that this drink is most definitely not for children.

I hope that you enjoy this hot whiskey toddy recipe, it is one of my favourite winter warming drinks and never fails to provide a nice little pick me up. Have fun and stay warm this winter.

© 2010 Galaxy Harvey