National Hot Toddy Day: Make One Today

Did you know that January 11th is National Hot Toddy Day?

If you’ve never had one of these classic drinks, read on to find out more about where it originated and how to make one for yourself at home.

A hot toddy is a warm cocktail of liquor, honey, water, herbs and spices. It’s perfect for curling up with on a winter’s day and some regard it as the perfect cure for a cold!

National Hot Toddy Day: The History

The history of the drink, along with its recipe, is contested. The word toddy comes from India, where it meant a drink made from fermented palm tree sap. The British adopted the idea and began to combine hot water with scotch whisky to warm up cold pub goers. The other story goes that an Irish doctor named Robert Bentley Todd began ordering his patients to drink a combination of hot brandy, cinnamon and sugar water. It then made its way across to us in America, where variations with rum and brandy were all made.

National Hot Toddy Day: The Recipe

The Classic

Makes 2

50ml whisky

3 tsp honey

1 cinnamon stick

1 lemon

2 cloves

Whisk the honey and whisky together, split between two heatproof glasses or mugs. Add half of the cinnamon stick to each and then top each of the mugs with 100ml boiling water. Add a splash of lemon juice to each, then taste and add more honey or lemon to your taste. Finish each drink with a slice of lemon studded with a clove.


Some people like to add tea to their hot toddies. Try it with earl grey for a lovely addition. You could use a teabag but the best thing is loose leaf tea in an infuser. If you want to add a bit of Canadian flavor, try replacing the honey with maple syrup.

You can use almost any spirit you like, but the best are usually whisky, rum or brandy. Try varying your spices too to enjoy different flavors. Pop in a cardamom pod or some star anise. You could also swap the lemon for orange!

National Milk Day

Not to worry if hot toddies aren’t your thing because today is also National Milk Day! Without milk we wouldn’t have our delicious cheese, so it’s definitely a day that we’re going to celebrate (albeit it with a hot toddy!). If you need to warm up but don’t need the liquor then a mug of hot milk with a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste and a pinch of grated nutmeg is the perfect thing. Nutmeg is actually proven to make you drowsy so it’s excellent if you’re heading off to bed for a good sleep. If it’s the morning, leave it out and simply enjoy a cosy moment to yourself.

Will you be making one this National Hot Toddy Day? Let us know in the comments below!

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