Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy

By Mark Hinds | Updated May 20, 2021

Hot toddies are one of the best ways to warm up in the winter. Although you never know what you’re going to get when you order one – I mostly get quizzical looks from bartenders that say, “Hey, what are you 85 years old.”

The reason I like them so much is for how well they warm you up when you’ve been outside in the winter. They also work great when you’re feeling sick, make one before you go to bed and it will help you sleep through the night. Make two, and they’ll help you sleep through the morning.

According to Imbibe, one of the best books on the history of cocktails, this isn’t technically a toddy, it’s a whiskey skin because of the lemon peel, but since I’ve been calling them toddies since long before I read the book and since no one these days really knows what a toddy is, and because I don’t want to have to ask bartenders for a drink that has the word skin it, I’m going to keep calling this a toddy.

That being said, a big shout out to David Wondrich, who wrote Imbibe for his recommendation to use a peaty scotch in toddies, which turns a good drink into a great drink.

Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 toddy


  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cube Demerara sugar
  • 1/2 shot scotch – the peatier, , the better
  • 1 piece lemon peel
  • 1 bag jasmine tea


  • This is pretty easy, so hold on.
  • Heat up 1 cup of water using a microwave, kettle, blowtorch or whatever to the point where the water is steaming, but not boiling.
  • In a large mug place 1 cube of sugar and a 1/2 shot of scotch. Pour in the hot water, add one strip of lemon peel, and the tea. Stir everything until the sugar dissolves. After you’ve let the tea steep for a couple of minutes you can pull the tea bag out and do whatever you want with it.
  • Drink to your heart’s content.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate based on available ingredients and preparation.

Mark is an experienced food writer, recipe developer, and photographer who is also Umami’s publisher and CEO. A passionate cook who loves to cook for friends, he can often be found in the kitchen or by the grill testing new recipes.

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