Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy

In the days before central heat, anything that added warmth to winter was a good thing, including punch.

Because a hot toddy requires its base liquor to have a fair amount of body, use a single-malt Scotch rather than a blended one. Single malts are generally distilled in pot stills, which create spirits with a heavier body than column stills.

Serves 13
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  1. 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  2. 1/2 cup demerara or turbinado sugar
  3. 1 quart water
  4. 2 1/2 cups Scotch whiskey
  5. Nutmeg, freshly grated
  1. Combine the lemon, sugar and water in a 2 to 3 quart slow cooker set to high. Cover and heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves completely, 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Add the Scotch and stir to combine. Set the slow cooker to low and serve warm with lemon slices and nutmeg.


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  1. 1

    This recipe had me stumped for a bit, but then I realized I was over cooking the lemons. My toddies kept coming out very sour. I wonder if Alton has an idea of what the breaking point is for boiling lemon slices, the cross over between lemony and fresh, and tonic-y and sour.

  2. 3

    Farris, anyone can drink their alcohol the way they prefer. If you enjoy your single malt neat that’s great so do I , but if anyone wants to mix it go right ahead. I actually make my Hot Toddy with 10 year old Irish Whiskey
    fill a Mug 3/4 ways boiling water
    add 1 tsp raw sugar mix until dissolved
    add 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
    add 2 ounces Bushmills 10 year old Irish Whiskey
    thrown in a lemon peel studded with 4 whole cloves
    mix add enjoy!!!!

  3. 5
    Julie Sheppard

    Mr. Brown – Your recipe, while delightful, has exhibited a serious flaw. Scotch, be it blended or nay, is NEVER referred to as “whiskey”. Fail, AB.

    • 7

      I know a lot of Scots that would disagree with you. Either way, if you are nit-picking over the spelling, I’m sure when Alton moves to the UK, he’ll change the way he spells just for you.

    • 8
      Richard Moeller

      That’s funny Julie, all of the Scotch in my house says scotch whiskey on the bottle, even the bottle I bought in Scotland. Do you check your information before you post it, or are you just always right so you don’t have to ?

  4. 9

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much.
    I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

  5. 10

    This is basically what my mother gave us a cold medicine when we were small. Now, in the depths of the winter chill I often fix myself a toddy nightcap. 12 ounces of decaf Red Rose tea, 2 ounces of brandy. No extra sugar or flavorings but use a good brandy. E&J or Paul Masson VSOP are both much better than their price would indicate.

  6. 12
    Terry Goodale

    ALP, while you cannot completely cook off all the alcohol in whiskey, if you were to keep the mixture at a temperature between 174 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit uncovered, eventually the alcohol content would be negligible. (perhaps 1 hour)

  7. 13
    Terry Goodale

    Of course there are many variations of the hot toddy. My wife’s family would make it with bourbon, honey, lemon, and hot water. This was viewed as more of a “medicine” than a holiday drink or punch.

  8. 16

    When I was a child me mom would make us “cold medicine” whenever we had a cold or the flu. Two fingers bourbon, a shot of lemon juice, a dollop of honey and fill the mug with hot tea. I don’t know about medicinal properties but we sure felt better after that.

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