Ginger Apple Hot Toddy


Hot Toddy

Oh the holidays! How I love you. So many presents. So much warmth. So much food. And of course, so much family time. And of course, I love sipping on a Ginger Apple Hot Toddy.

Over the next few days, you might find yourself in a typical holiday scenario: piled into the den, grandma and dog included, watching a movie that the whole family, after a ridiculous 15-minute debate, has finally decided on.

At first everything will be fine, the movie will be moving right along, you might even be having a little fun…until, the film’s two lead actors start to kiss and get all attracted to each other while on this random killing spree/adventure.

You think nothing of it, until their kissy-face-action starts again, and then next thing you know, you’re watching a sex scene with grandma. This is terrible, guys. This is what awkward is.

Hot Toddy

Even though grandma has birthed five children, and her children have birthed children, it doesn’t matter! Watching sex scenes with grandma/mom/dad is embarrassing.

What you need is a scapegoat, a reason to high-tail it out of the family den. Sure, you could fake a “I have to go tinkle” situation, but you risk returning and it still being on!

My vote is for this scenario: popcorn-making or even better, hot toddy-making…

Hot Toddy

My hot-toddy-making/consuming obsession has been in high-gear for the last month.

I realized that not every hot toddy was treated equally.

Some employ rum, gin or bourbon. (Bourbon, hi!)

Others like their hot toddies to have the flavor of tea, think Earl Grey or English Breakfast, heavily-spiked.

Other people are purists and like it with hot water, a squeeze of lemon, honey and whiskey.

In the past month, I’ve had more than 5 or 6 different takes on this drink, and the one you see pictured is my favorite.

I start with unfiltered apple juice (and I used my favorite, Martinelli’s). And then add spices like freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon and star anise. I add a few slices of lemon, a heaping tablespoon of honey and a few glugs (weird word) of bourbon.

I’m a little heavy-handed with the bourbon, so I apologize. (Not really.)

This variation is one that I’ve decided I love the best.

The recipe time on this is about 15 minutes.

Ginger Apple Hot Toddy

0 from 0 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serving Size: 6
Calories: 119kcal
Ginger Apple Hot Toddy is a classic hot toddy with ginger and apple flavors. This drink has delicious warming spices and the perfect amount of whiskey bourbon.


  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 2/3 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 whole cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger, from a 1-inch knob
  • 4 lemon slices
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


  • Add apple cider, bourbon, honey, cinnamon sticks, star anise, grated ginger, lemon and nutmeg to a medium pot and place it over medium heat.
  • Slowly bring the mixture up to a gentle simmer; once the mixture reaches a simmer, bring it down to low heat and steep for
  • 10 minutes. Divide mixture between 4 to 6 mugs and garnish with cinnamon sticks, star anise or lemon slices.


Feel free to add more sugar if you like. This isn't super sweet. 
To Make Ahead: 
You can make this ahead by completing the recipe and then cooling down to room temperature. Store in the fridge for up to a week. Reheat over low to medium heat and serve. 
CuisineAmerican, English
Keywordhot to make a hot toddy, hot toddy, hot toddy drink, hot toddy recipe, hot toddy whiskey, what is hot toddy
Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 173mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen
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Recipe Rating

  • Reply Bradley December 13, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Does the simmering burn off much of the alcohol or does the recipe (heavy handed with the bourbon) account for some of that?

    Are there any twists that anyone has done on this? Maybe adding a vanilla bean or two to the mix to sweeten it a bit?

  • Reply Molly January 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Wow, where did you get those BEAUTIFUL insulated glasses? I’ve seen some online, but none quite as elegant/smooth/gorgeous as those.

  • Reply Regina December 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Love, love, love this recipe – thank you so much for it!!! My husband and I made a coupla these while we made your AMAZING Salty Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies ( for Christmas and it was pretty much the best night ever. Thanks again!!

    • Reply Adrianna December 28, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      Oh yay! Those cookies are awesome. I love ’em. Glad you liked both.

  • Reply Eileen December 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    A hot toddy sounds like it would definitely hit the spot! I fall into the purist category–although I do go for bourbon instead of whiskey. Your version sounds delicious!

  • Reply Let Me Eat Cake December 27, 2012 at 9:40 am

    gifted bulliet so totally making this this weekend mmm 🙂

  • Reply Jennifer December 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Only I don’t even make an excuse I just high-tail out of there! Except for one excruciating occasion where I had to watch BROKE BACK MOUNTAIN OF ALL THINGS!! with my mom. Thank god grandma wasn’t there. The scumy dirty feeling stuck with me for weeks!

  • Reply Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe December 24, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I love hot toddies! (PS. Toddy looks weird as plural…)
    And hells to the yes – watching sex scenes with any family member makes me highly uncomfortable. I must only be a half-way adult too.

  • Reply Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up December 24, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Most recipes I see for hot toddy’s do NOT sound appealing to me, but this one sounds good. Might just have to try it out!

  • Reply lapiubelladitutte December 24, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Yammie and perfect for the holidays indeed!!!

  • Reply Johnna December 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Hahah…I read the opening of your post out loud to my mom and siblings. We’re drinking hot toddies that I cooked up earlier…(:

    • Reply Adrianna December 23, 2012 at 8:16 pm

      HAHA! That’s awesome.

  • Reply joelle (on a pink typewriter) December 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    So I was in a sorority in college, and we had this silly cheer about being “hottie totties.” Even though the whole thing was kind of ridiculous/awkward most of the time (i.e. yelling “hottie tottie” at the top of your lungs in a crowd), it made me, since then, want to try a real hot toddy. Long story short, I can’t wait to try your recipe!

  • Reply Alice E December 22, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I’ve never tried a hot toddy, but this looks tempting. I never had the sex scene thing arise with my folks, mostly because they didn’t watch many movies and neither do I at home. But, for me, embarassing was going to a special movie preview (Disclosure) with folks from the office where I worked. It had a very hot scene and I was very uncomfortable!

  • Reply Lillian December 21, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    I love hot toddy’s too! I have a recipe on my blog for ‘Hot Buttered Cider’… I’ll have to try yours also! Thanks for sharing! Happy Holidays!

  • Reply Christina December 21, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    THIS is what I’ve been missing in my life. Watching sex scenes with my grandma/mom…can stay missing.

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