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Warm up with this Bourbon Hot Toddy inspired by the classic American spirit of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. In addition to being an ideal holiday or cold-weather drink, a hot toddy is a popular cure for colds and sore throats.
While it’s not going to solve any medical conditions, its soothing warmth of honey, spices and lemon might help you feel better!
A Bit about Kentucky Bourbon
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail features a stop in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. During my visit I met Master Distiller Jimmy Russell at Wild Turkey Distillery and learned about the craft of distilling fine bourbon.
He explained how bourbon is made according to time-honored traditions. The process begins with Kentucky corn, selected rye and barley malt, fresh limestone spring water and heritage yeast.
The mash then goes through several phases of cooking, fermenting and distilling. Then, it’s stored in hand-selected, charred white oak barrels and aged to maturity.
By law, bourbon must be distilled from no less than 51% corn, but the actual crafting of taste is in the hands of the Master Distiller.
One of the most intriguing products at Wild Turkey Distillery is American Honey, a smooth liqueur made of pure honey and premium Kentucky bourbon. It’s perfect straight out of the bottle, chilled in the freezer, or on the rocks.
Best Type of Bourbon to Use for a Hot Toddy
Although American Honey bourbon liqueur is fabulous to sip straight up after dinner, it also works beautifully in a hot toddy.
What is the difference between honey bourbon and bourbon? Honey bourbon is a liqueur of pure honey and bourbon whiskey. Bourbon is simply pure Kentucky bourbon. Honey bourbon is much sweeter than bourbon.
If you don’t have American Honey Bourbon liqueur (or another brand such as Evan Williams Honey Bourbon), just substitute a good quality bourbon or whiskey.
I’m a fan of Four Roses Yellow Label bourbon. Its warm, caramel notes, sweetness and smooth character makes it one of the best bourbons for a hot toddy.
Just increase the honey in your Bourbon Hot Toddy to taste.
Importance of Nutmeg in a Bourbon Hot Toddy
It’s important to use fresh nutmeg when making your Bourbon Hot Toddy. In this easy recipe, bourbon meets fresh nutmeg from Grenada, known as the Spice Island of the Caribbean.
Not only do you get the fantastic aroma and flavour punch of freshly ground nutmeg but it add a boost of wellness to your drink. Nutmeg is a soothing spice offering many benefits.
Its properties offer a calming effect that’s good for insomnia and an aid for indigestion. It even treats bad breath!
It’s easy to add nutmeg to your hot toddy (and many other recipes). I recommend purchasing a Microplane zester/grater. It’s much better than trying to use a spice grinder because a little bit of fresh nutmeg goes a very long way and if you use a spice grinder, much will go to waste .
It’s easy to grate fresh nutmeg. Once you have your ball of nutmeg, crack it open with a mallet.
Remove the shell and, holding your microplane at a 45 degree angle, grate as much nutmeg as you’d like. Store the remaining unused nutmeg in the refrigerator once it has been cracked open.
How to Make a Bourbon Hot Toddy
You don’t need any special equipment to make a hot toddy. I often prepare mine in a mug I picked up while cruising Germany’s Christmas Markets, adding a truly global taste to this winter drink.
If you have a clear glass mug, that’s the best for a classic look. But any heatproof mug will do.
- honey bourbon or bourbon
- fresh grated nutmeg
- fresh lemon
- boiling water
1. Boil fresh water. Allow the boiled water to rest for one minute.
2. Once you’ve got your heatproof mugs in place, add the bourbon, honey, fresh lemon juice (also great for battling a winter cold) and grated nutmeg into the mug.
3. Then, pour the boiled water into the mug.
4. Next, pop in a twist of lemon for garnish and use a cinnamon stick for a stir stick. You can even stud the lemon with cloves if you’re feeling fancy.
If you’d like to make your hot toddy without lemon, a slide of fresh orange is a great option.
5. That’s it! Sip carefully and enjoy the winter weather.
If you try this hot toddy recipe or any other recipe on the blog, please be sure to rate the recipe and let me know how it turns out in the comments below.
More Amazing Cocktail and Bourbon Recipes
Bourbon Hot Toddy
- 3 ounce honey bourbon liqueur or if using bourbon whiskey, add an extra tablespoon of honey
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice fresh
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh nutmeg grated
- 2 1/2 cups boiling water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 twists of lemon or orange peel
- Boil fresh water. Allow the boiled water to rest for one minute.
- Pour the bourbon into a heatproof container.
- Add honey, lemon juice and grated nutmeg.
- Pour boiled water into the container.
- Stir until the honey is dissolved.
- Distribute among two large mugs.
- Add a twist of lemon or orange peel and a cinnamon stick to each mug.
- If you don't have fresh nutmeg, just substitute dried nutmeg.
- A bourbon or rye whiskey is a good substitute for honey bourbon liqueur...just add more honey to taste.
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Dividing her time between Canada, Guatemala and Mexico (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is the founder of A Taste for Travel. Her award-winning travel and food writing has appeared in Lonely Planet’s cookbook Mexico: From the Source, National Geographic Traveler, Fodor’s and 100+ other publications.
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