RV Winter Cocktails – How to Make a Hot Toddy

What is a Hot Toddy?

Winter nights in an RV can bring the chills, and having a warm drink could ward off the cold while playing board games or just winding down the day. Knowing how to make a hot toddy can be handy as it will keep you warm and also ward off some of the cold and flu symptoms brought on by the cold weather. Read our article and find out How to Keep a Fire Going ALL Night.

hot toddy and honey

What’s in a Hot Toddy?

The origins of a hot toddy are not clear. However, the word toddy comes from “toddy,”  a drink from India made from fermenting the sap of palm trees. The modern definition of a hot toddy is a cocktail made from liquor mixed with lemon juice and honey, and hot water. Add other spices and herbs for additional flavor and zing. 

What is a hot toddy will differ based on where you are from and personal preference. A hot toddy base usually consists of three ingredients: a liquor, a sweetener, a spice, and the core ingredient, hot water. The three components can be varied using different mixture combinations according to preference. 

The base liquor of a hot toddy is usually whiskey; however, you can also use bourbon, gin, dark rum, brandy, or rye. You can make various hot toddy recipes from each liquor by experimenting and trying a few things. 

The next important ingredient for a hot toddy is sweeteners which bring out flavors and enhance the taste. The most common sweetener is honey, with known health benefits, especially for cold and flu symptoms. Others use maple syrup and white or brown sugar instead, but you may lose out on the health benefits of honey.

Spices are the third ingredient for the cocktail, lemon being the most common. Lemon can be substituted with other spices or combined or used as a garnish, such as cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper.

Hot water is the key ingredient for a hot toddy; you can also replace it with apple cider; note this will make your cocktail sweeter.

You can make a non-alcoholic hot toddy version using tea with the same benefits as an alcoholic version.

Hot toddy ingredients are available at your local grocery and liquor store.

How to Make a Hot Toddy

Making a hot toddy is quick and easy; here is a simple hot toddy recipe.

Time: 10 minutes 

Serving Size: 1 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Equipment Needed

  1. Saucepan or teapot 
  2. Mug
  3. Teaspoon
  4. Knife
  5. Chopping board
  6. Small bowl


  1. ¾ cup water
  2. 1½ ounces whiskey 
  3. 2 to 3 teaspoons honey to taste 
  4. 1 large lemon
  5. 1 cinnamon stick (optional)


  1. Wash the lemon, and after removing the ends, cut one thin round, and set it aside. Squeeze the juice out of the remaining lemon into the small bowl, don’t forget to remove the seeds.
  2. Using a saucepan or teapot, bring water to a boil and pour it into a mug.
  3. Add the whiskey, two teaspoons of honey, and two teaspoons of lemon juice. Stir until the honey completely dissolves in the mix. Taste, and if desired, add one teaspoon honey for more sweetness and one teaspoon lemon juice for more oomph.
  4. Use the lemon round and cinnamon stick to garnish and enjoy.
hot toddy and cinnamon

Hot Toddies Reduce Cold and Flu Symptoms!

There is no known cure for colds and flu, but once you catch it, you will experience many symptoms such as a headache, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, fever, general body aches, fatigue, and cough that cause discomfort.

A hot toddy is a mixture of lemon, honey, and whiskey, and some of the ingredients may help relieve some of these symptoms. 

Lemon, an antioxidant, is rich in vitamin C and helpful in treating and preventing the risk of getting a cold and flu. Lemon is also a common ingredient in sore throat medication, although there is little scientific proof that lemon can treat colds and flu.

Honey, which contains various nutrients, is rich in antioxidants and is also good for managing blood sugar levels, and is also strongly advisable for people with diabetes. 

Honey may also improve the health of your heart and is known to treat cold symptoms.

Honey is suggested for children over the age of 1 to take a dose before bedtime to improve sleep.

Spices have name health benefits. They contain a lot of vitamins and are high in antioxidants. They have anti-inflammatory properties such as cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Ginger helps reduce nausea and will help with breathing and soothe your throat. 

Spices, while they have many health benefits, the research is based on taking high doses, so taking a hot toddy long-term can not be relied on to help with the overall improvement of one’s health.

Liquor is an alcoholic drink that can cause dehydration and lower the immune system. Alcohol interacts with the benefits of the other ingredients of a hot toddy which may worsen the cold and flu symptoms. 

Alcohol can also interact with some cold and flu medication; therefore, exercise cautions if you take cold or flu remedies.

Despite the above, some of the ingredients of a hot toddy have many great health benefits. When you have a cold or flu, it’s best to get a good night’s sleep; thus, drinking a hot toddy right before bedtime will help you rest better.

Other Hot Toddy Varieties 

A hot toddy is a common drink in some parts of the world, and it has different variations of alcohol, sweetener, and spices.

The common ingredient of a hot toddy is water, but you can substitute it with hot apple cider for a much sweeter taste. 

The most common liquor for a hot toddy is whiskey, but other substitutes are brandy, gin, bourbon, rum, and rye. 

The sweeteners can also vary; you can use white or brown sugar or maple syrup. Spices like cinnamon, ginger cloves, ginger, and even cayenne pepper are also great for making a hot toddy.

For those that do not consume alcohol, you can make a non-alcoholic variation by swapping the alcohol with a tea of your choice. Whether it’s black, green, or spicy tea, it will provide the same benefits. Remember to sieve the tea if you are not using a tea bag.

Using the ingredients above, you can create various hot toddy recipes. It’s just a matter of experimenting with what you enjoy. 

There are so many recipes for hot toddies; however, the variations do not matter; the benefits are the same. A hot toddy will provide warmth and help improve the cold and flu symptoms.

Cup of Hot Toddy


Doctors often recommend not consuming alcohol when you have a cold or flu as it reduces the immune system function and may make the cold and flu worse. Alcohol may also interact with some cold and flu medication which can cause adverse side effects. 

Even though this is the case, a hot toddy can relieve some of the flu symptoms due to some ingredients having nutrients with known health benefits.

A hot toddy that contains alcohol may cause impairment, so please take it if you have no intention of driving your RV to the next destination or instead opt for the non-alcoholic version. 

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