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

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
Nutrition Facts
Ginger Apple Hot Toddy
Amount Per Serving
Calories 119 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 7mg0%
Potassium 173mg5%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 27g30%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen
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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Egle sandboxmonster December 21, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Count me in not only for hot toddy but with feeling awkward watching sex scenes with my parents! But here multitasking comes in hand – usually when I watch something with my family at the same time I read book or magazine so when the sex scene comes I dive into reading, takes awkwardness away as miracle 🙂

  • Reply Margherita December 21, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Anise, cinnamon, and nutmeg a perfect triptych!

  • Reply Jessica December 21, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Yum! Sounds like just the thing to cure my cold 🙂 I might have some tomorrow with one of these mince pies:

  • Reply Abby @ The Frosted Vegan December 21, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Oh my yum! I loooove making up versions of ho toddys as well, my fav uses apple cider from TJ’s!

  • Reply christin December 21, 2012 at 6:49 am

    so worse than watching sex scenes with your family is watching them with your boyfriend in the room. like so awkward. and yes, i’m almost 30 and i can’t handle it.

  • Reply Allyn December 21, 2012 at 7:00 am

    My family has always been pretty open about sex, yet I still die a little inside whenever there’s a sex scene in something that we all watch. Ugh, I want to throw up just thinking about it.
    I love a hot toddy. We like to make a big pot of this when it’s gross outside and we have friends over:

  • Reply Christina @ The Beautiful Balance December 21, 2012 at 7:20 am

    I hate whiskey and I would happily drink that entire pot full!

  • Reply Chloe Moon December 21, 2012 at 7:45 am

    I never knew what a hot toddy was…I always heard about it though! Hmmm…maybe I’ll try it out!

    Ergo – Blog

  • Reply Stacey December 21, 2012 at 8:16 am

    I love your fun party sparkly nail!

    When I was a kid and we’d be watching a movie as a family and some illicit scene snuck on, my parents would make usput our hand over our eyes. Super effective; I know. As a 27 year old grown woman, I still do the exact same thing if I happen to be watching a movie with my parents and some kind of sexy times flash across the screen. I can’t help myself!

  • Reply elle | nutritionella December 21, 2012 at 9:12 am

    I’m SO making these – we’re doing Christmas with our best friends this year and I have a feeling they’ll be a huge hit!

  • Reply Becky @ Olives n Wine December 21, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Making a delicious drink is ALWAYS the perfect way to avoid an awkward situation with the fam! Yours looks especially delightful!

  • Reply Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen December 21, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Oh my gosh, I didn’t know that other people had this hangup too. My mom and I have a pretty open relationship, so I don’t really care about watching inappropriate stuff with her, but it’s kind of mortifying with my dad. My sister and I came up with the brilliant solution of googling “insert movie name here” + “parents guide” before suggesting movie options to our dad now. That way you can find out exactly how much nudity and sexytime you’ll have to sit through, and make an alternate decision if necessary.

    Anyway, this drink looks delicious! I’m all about drinking my booze hot this time of year!

  • Reply Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking December 21, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Bahahaha! I still feel it is so weird watching movies with sex scenes with my parents. It gets to be that weird deafening silence where nobody even breathes because everbody is so uncomfortable, sigh, the holidays!

  • Reply Katie @ Blonde Ambition December 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Ginger & bourbon are a match made in heaven.

    Sex scenes and parents/grandparents are not!

    Funny story, when I was like 14, I asked my grandma to take me to see Austin Powers in Goldmember. Now THAT was awkward…But also kind of hilarious.

  • 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.

  • 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 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 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 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 lapiubelladitutte December 24, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Yammie and perfect for the holidays indeed!!!

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

    gifted bulliet so totally making this this weekend mmm 🙂

  • 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 Drinks to Warm You Up! | Mod City Mag December 28, 2012 at 5:02 am

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  • 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 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.

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  • 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 11 San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl 2020 Drink Ideas – ZOOM VIRAL trending hot news & lifestyle travel sport just hot viral January 29, 2020 at 12:08 am

    […] Both warming and golden, this apple and ginger hot toddy from A Cozy Kitchen has dual purpose and will keep your guests feeling comfy even if the game goes into overtime. You can find the complete recipe here. […]