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Beeble’s Perfect Hot Toddy Recipe

The ‘Hot Toddy’, in its most basic form, is essentially a cocktail composed of alcohol, sweetener, hot water and a citrus. Therefore, due to the sheer simplicity of the drink, its history is a commonly disputed topic. Three prominent stories are frequently referred to relating to its origin.

Beeble Hot Toddy Cocktail Recipe
Beeble Hot Toddy

The first links the drink’s origin to 17th century India, whilst it was part of the British Empire. Its name is believed to have stemmed from the Hindi word ‘Taddy’, meaning ‘beverage from fermented palm sap’ (even though the Hot Toddy cocktail doesn’t actually contain any palm sap!). By 1786, it was officially documented as ‘a beverage made of alcoholic liquor with hot water, sugar and spices’. The idea was then appropriated by Britain where it became known as the ‘Hot Toddy’.
Another popular story describing the drink’s origin refers to a 19th century doctor named Robert Bentley Todd. He frequently prescribed a drink of hot brandy, canella (white cinnamon), sugar syrup and hot water to his patients as a remedy for flu and the common cold. Therefore, some believe this is where the cocktail’s name may have come from.

Robert Bentley Todd

Robert Bentley Todd - 19th century Irish doctor

The final story of the Hot Toddy’s origin states that it was invented in Scotland during the 18th century. Consequently, some Scots today argue a cocktail is not a ‘real Hot Toddy’ unless it is made with water from Tod’s Well in Edinburgh.

 An unquestionable history of the Hot Toddy is its regular use throughout history as a remedy for colds and flu. This is due to the natural vitamin C found in the citrus fruit used (which supports the immune system), the numbing effects caused by the alcohol and the natural soothing effects of the honey. All of these effects can significantly reduce symptoms, hence the common medicinal use of the drink. However, today doctors are more likely to prescribe hot honey and lemon beverages without the alcohol as it is a slightly less necessary ingredient! 

There are now numerous variations of the ‘Hot Toddy’ which exist and most bars/ pubs serve it slightly differently. Some mixologists use rum or brandy instead of whisky. In addition, in Canada, maple syrup is often used as the sweetener as opposed to honey. There is also a vast array of spices which can be added to the drink such as cloves, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. All of these bring out slightly different notes from the spirit used. 

We like to make our ‘Hot Toddy’ using a Christmas selection of spices, which complement the Beeble Honey Whisky perfectly.

Hot Toddy using Beeble Honey Whisky

Hot Toddy Recipe:

Prep time: 7 mins

 Total time: 7 mins

 Serving size: 1



·       50ml Beeble Honey Whisky

·       150ml boiling water

·       Juice of half a lemon, squeezed

·       ¼ tsp ground cinnamon

·       ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg

·       1 cinnamon stick

·       2 cloves (slightly ground using pestel and mortar)



  1. Fill a heat-proof glass with boiling water and let it stand for 1-2 mins to warm

  2. Empty mug and half-fill with the 150ml of fresh boiling water

  3. Add all other ingredients to glass and stir

  4. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a cinnamon stick

  5. Enjoy!


Beeble’s Top Tip: If you have the time, gently heat the whisky, lemon juice and spices before adding the hot water to ensure the drink is piping hot to serve!

Perfect for a cold winter’s evening curled up next to the fire : )

Written by Hester 

Beeble Honey Whisky next to fire

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