Hot Toddies are the favorite warm drink on a cold night. Whether for cold symptoms or just to warm up on chilly nights. This Cranberry Apple Hot Toddy is brimming with flavors of the winter season. Steaming hot with boozy flavors of apple, cranberry, honey, lemon and more! Perfect for cozy fireside evenings.
A classic hot toddy recipe is as well known as a cold remedy for chilly evenings as it is for a warm cocktail for cold days.
We fell in love with this hot cocktail after a Scottish friend made his Glasgow Hot Toddy on a visit during a particularly bad cold season. It has the classic ingredients of scotch whisky, honey, hot water and a clove-studded lemon wheel.
This Cranberry Apple Hot Toddy is the perfect drink on a snowy night! It has all the classic hot toddy ingredients with apple and cranberry to add extra flavor of the season.
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Honey. This sweetens the comforting cocktail. Honey’s anti-bacterial properties may be what gives a hot toddy cocktail the reputation of having health benefits for a sore throat too. If preferred you can sweeten it with agave nectar or maple syrup for a different flavor too. You’ll use 1 tablespoon honey.
Bourbon. This is our whisky of choice to blend with the apple and cranberry flavors. You can substitute another type of whiskey like Irish whiskey, or Scotch. Maker’s Mark is a great bourbon brand to use or any bourbon you love.
Apple Cider. Filtered or unfiltered apple cider can be used. If you can find fresh apple cider, use that! It has the best flavor.
Cranberry cocktail. Use actual cranberry cocktail not cranberry juice. The sweetness of the cranberry cocktail is needed to balance the flavors in this classic hot cocktail.
Boiling water. This brings the hot cocktail to life. In a classic hot toddy the amount of hot water is a bit ‘to taste’ depending on how diluted you want the ingredients to be. We suggest using a 10-12 ounce glass mugs and hot water to fill which with the volume of the other ingredients would be about 5-6 ounces. Always taste to adjust to your liking.
Garnishes. Calling these ingredients garnishes is a bit of a misnomer. These extra ingredients add to the flavor and in the case of lemon to the throat soothing impact of the hot cocktail, not just a ‘look’ as garnish usually does. You’ll need a cinnamon stick and a lemon slice. You can also pop in some thin apple slices and cranberries (for appearance).
How to make a Cranberry Apple Hot Toddy
This cocktail is very fast and easy to make!
- Combine the honey, bourbon, apple cider and cranberry cocktail to a glass mug (see Expert Tips below).
- Fill with boiling water leaving some room at the top to accommodate the garnishes.
- Stir to dissolve the honey and add a lemon slice and cinnamon stick. Serve hot!
Heat your mug before making the hot toddy. To keep the cocktail hot pour some boiling water into the mugs as you assemble the ingredients for the cocktail. When ready to mix pour out the hot water; the mugs should be warm and ready for the hot toddy. Our favorite mug to use is a glass mug to see the ingredients inside.
Use good quality whisky. Any cocktail benefits from the quality of the liquor. Use good quality whiskey to feel your best after drinking it.
Not a whisky drinker? Substitute rum; either dark rum or spiced rum if that is more to your liking.
Frequently Asked Questions
‘Hot’ because the drink is served hot. The word Toddy comes from a drink in India made from palm sap. The earliest reference is from 1786 and means a drink made of liquor, hot water, sugar and spices. (source: Wikipedia)
Sure! To make a non-alcoholic version leave out the bourbon or whiskey and adjust the other flavors to your preference.
There are a few things about a classic hot toddy recipe that potentially feel better when you are sick. It’s a hot drink which is soothing; it can make a sore throat feel better, help a stuffy nose clear out and just make you feel comforted. Honey has anti-bacterial properties. Lemon has vitamin C and can also help with a sore throat and to break up congestion.
More recipes you’ll love!
Cranberry Apple Hot Toddy
- 1 10-12 ounce Mug or heatproof glass
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 1 1/2 ounces Bourbon
- 1 1/2 ounces Apple Cider
- 1 ounce Cranberry Cocktail
- Boiling Water
- 1 slice Lemon
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- Suggested garnish: thinly sliced red and green apples, fresh cranberries
- Add the honey, bourbon, apple cider and cranberry cocktail to the glass.1 tablespoon Honey, 1 1/2 ounces Bourbon, 1 1/2 ounces Apple Cider, 1 ounce Cranberry Cocktail
- Fill with boiling water leaving some room at the top to prevent overflowing when garnish is added.Boiling Water
- Stir to melt honey. Add the lemon slice and cinnamon stick (and apple slices and cranberries if desired). Serve immediately.1 slice Lemon, 1 Cinnamon Stick
Originally published: December 14, 2017
Kelly Hutchinson says
My mom always made hot toddy’s during the holidays. She would have loved this recipe!
Toni Dash says
Awe! I love that.
Cranberry is my favorite. It is perfect for drinks this time of year, for sure.
Pam Wattenbarger says
Cranberry and apple are two of my favorite winter flavors. This hot toddy sounds perfect as the cocktail for Christmas parties.
AnnMarie John says
As the days and nights get colder, it’s easier to enjoy hot drinks more! I think this one’s something I’ve never tried before and I’d love to make it.
I bet that drink smells amazing and the taste would of course be delicious too. A great holiday drink.
You had me at the title. This sounds and looks amazing!!! Perfect for my winter nights ahead.
Diana Lopes says
This drinks looks so delicious!! Thank you for sharing the recipe, I’ll definitely try it!
Bill Sweeney says
I love a good hot toddy, especially if I’ve been out in the cold for a while, or a little under the weather. I’d like to make this! I notice you don’t specify a particular bourbon. I like mine with Crown Royal!
I love this festive holiday version of a hot toddy. I love to warm up with one of these during the cold winter months.
valmg @ Mom Knows It All says
Oh my that sounds tasty! I love apple cider, this recipe sounds like a modified version especially for adults on a cold winter day. I’d try it!