Bourbon Hot Toddy

Warm up with this Bourbon Hot Toddy inspired by the classic American spirit of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.  In addition to being an ideal drink when the weather is cold, a hot toddy is a great cure for colds and sore throats.

Hot Bourbon Toddy

Hot Bourbon Toddy

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.

Kentucky Bourbon barrel Credit Buffalo Trace Distillery

Kentucky Bourbon barrel Credit Buffalo Trace Distillery

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.

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.

A souvenir sampler of Wild Turkey bourbons

A souvenir sampler of Wild Turkey bourbons

If you don’t have American Honey Bourbon liqueur, just substitute a good quality bourbon or whisky. I’m a fan of Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon…the  warm, caramel notes and smooth character makes it a great choice.

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!

A Microplane zester/grater is a handy tool for grating fresh nutmeg

A Microplane zester/grater is a handy tool for grating fresh nutmeg

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, but any heatproof mug will do.

Ingredients for hot bourbon toddy

Ingredients for bourbon hot  toddy

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. Then, pour in the boiling water. Pop in a twist of lemon or orange for garnish and use a cinnamon stick for a stir stick.

That’s it! Sip carefully and enjoy the winter weather.

A Bourbon Hot Toddy is an ideal deal drink at Christmas

A Bourbon Hot Toddy is an ideal festive drink for the holidays

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.  I’d love to hear from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious recipes from around the world.

5 from 5 votes
Hot Bourbon Toddy
Bourbon Hot Toddy
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins

Warm up with this bourbon hot toddy. The lemon and honey combination is also perfect for fending off a cold or flu.

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: alcoholic drink, hot bourbon toddy
Servings: 2 drinks
Calories: 180 kcal
Author: Michele Peterson
  • 3 ounce honey bourbon liqueur or if using whisky, 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
  1. Pour bourbon into a heatproof container.

  2. Add honey, lemon juice and grated nutmeg.
  3. Pour boiling water into the container.
  4. Stir until the honey is dissolved.
  5. Distribute among two large mugs.
  6. Add a twist of lemon or orange peel and a cinnamon stick to each mug.
Recipe Notes
  • 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.  
Nutrition Facts
Bourbon Hot Toddy
Amount Per Serving
Calories 180
% Daily Value*
Sodium 17mg 1%
Potassium 23mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 22g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 18g
Vitamin C 19.9%
Calcium 5.3%
Iron 1.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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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 warm-up drink when the weather is cold, a hot toddy is a great cure for colds and sore throats. #recipe #winter

Originally published in 2014
Updated November 2018

Michele Peterson
Michele Peterson
Dividing her time between Toronto, Mexico and Guatemala (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is an award-winning writer, blogger, editor and publisher who specializes in travel, cuisine and luxury lifestyles.
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Showing 16 comments
  • Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek

    Okay, I admit, I bought the honey bourbon because of the bottle. (We’re turkey farmers) but I LOVE it on cold winter’s night. My Hot Toddy recipe is a bit simpler than yours- just water, lemon juice, honey and the Honey Bourbon heated – but it is SO good!

  • Sherel Purcell

    Hot rum and bourbon? I want one like 10 minutes ago!

  • Lesley Peterson

    I love dark rum, nutmeg and hot toddies! I’ve never tried one with honey bourbon before, I must get my hands on some and try it–soon.

  • esperanza

    Ahem, I feel a cold coming on. A hot honey bourbon and rum toddy is just the remedy!

  • Johanna

    Oh yum, what a lovely remedy. Err, with or without a cold.

  • Suzanne Stavert

    YUM YUM YUM! Please share your “boozy finds” with me any day!

  • Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru

    Oh yes, please! Nothing like a toddy to ward off the chill. Even if it’s not cold. 😉

  • noel

    It’s a cold and rainy day here in San Francisco, this would be the perfect drink today, so yes please!

  • Irene S. Levine

    Looks like a perfect winter drink and you really look AT HOME in that distillery! 🙂
    Every good wish for the holidays!

  • The GypsyNesters

    Nothing like a hot toddy on a cold winter night. Love it, thanks!

  • Carole Terwilliger Meyers

    Love your souvenir boozes! My most recent one is Brennivin liquor from Iceland–a schnapps that is called “firewater” and known as “black death.” It’s made from fermented potatoes and flavored with caraway seeds. I find that it isn’t as scary as touted–it goes down easy and gives me a good night’s sleep. Wish I’d brought home more.

  • Rhonda Albom

    I could use a hot toddy right about now. Fun post.

    (Visiting from Travel Photos Monday)

  • A Cook Not Mad (Nat)

    One of Tim’s favourite winter drinks.

  • Anita @ No Particular Place To Go

    It’s hard to picture the warm glow a hot toddy can bring one while we’re here in Cartagena, Colombia but I well remember sipping a few on cold nights when we lived in Montana. Your recipe looks delicious, especially the Guatemalan rum which I remember tasting when we were there a couple of years ago.

  • Donna Janke

    I’m not fond of rum, but this toddy sounds great, especially as I am battling off a cold at the moment.

  • alison abbott

    Yum Michele-I can already feel my cheeks getting rosy from your recipe. This would be the perfect drink for an outdoor skating party I have coming up. Cheers!

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