My Recipe Box

Bourbon Hot Toddy


Serves one.

  • To learn more, read:
    Warm as a Toast
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 102

While a hot toddy can’t cure a cold or the flu—as it was thought to do when the drink was invented in the late 19th century—it sure can soothe the soul.

Visit our Drinks page for dozens more soothing cocktail recipes like this one.

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  • 2-1/2 fl. oz. (5 Tbs.) bourbon
  • 1 fl. oz. (2 Tbs.) honey
  • 3 small lemon wedges
  • 3 whole cloves

Put a kettle of water on the stove to boil.

Put the bourbon and honey in a coffee mug. Squeeze the juice from two wedges of lemon into the mug. With a knife, poke 3 holes in the rind of the remaining lemon wedge and push the cloves into the holes. Pour 4 fl. oz. (1/2 cup) boiling water into the mug and stir well to dissolve the honey. Add the clove-studded lemon wedge and let steep for a couple of minutes before drinking.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 290, Fat (kcal): 0, Fat Calories (g): 0, Saturated Fat (g): 0, Protein (g): 0, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0, Carbohydrates (mg): 36, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 0, Sodium (g): 0, Cholesterol (g): 0, Fiber (g): 0,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Thanks for a great soothing cocktail. For my taste, would use slightly more lemon and slightly less honey.

Yes, my mother did, too. A tablespoon each of bourbon, honey, and lemon juice by the bed, taken a teaspoon at a time, for a cold or cough. Lemon for the vitamin C and to cut the stickiness, honey to soothe and kill germs, and bourbon for disinfection and sleep. Like you, sixty years later, I still use it as the first line of defense.

This is a tried & true recipe from way back. My mother used to make it for me if I had a cough when I was a little girl. However, she only used a teaspoon of whiskey. Seventy years later I make it like this recipe with the addition of nutmeg. It has often been said, "It doesn't cure the cold or cough but you feel a lot better." The warm honey soothes the throat and warms the chest. Give it a try.

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