Nothing keeps the winter chill at bay like a hot toddy. This classic seasonal beverage has been a mainstay of the colder months for hundreds of years and is still enjoyed today. Essentially, a hot toddy is nothing more than a combination of liquor, water, sugar (or honey), herbs, and spices, served piping hot. Easy to make and wonderful to drink, it’s pretty much the perfect winter treat for adults.
One of my personal favorite types of toddies are those that include one of my other treasured beverages: tea! The herbal and bitter notes of tea pair surprisingly well with a wide variety of spirits and open up a world of flavor combinations. To get you started, here are three of the best tea-based toddy ideas!
Earl Grey and Bourbon
The combination of the bergamot found in Earl Grey tea and the sweeter notes of good bourbon results in a beautifully balanced beverage. Anyone who has ever had a good old fashioned know that citrus and bourbon go together wonderfully. Therefore it’s no surprise that the citrus notes in Earl Grey are an ideal match for the quintessential American spirit.
- 1.5 oz of bourbon
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 8 oz hot water
- 1 Earl Grey tea bag or whole leaf tea
- Orange peel
Heat the water and steep the tea in it for a few minutes. Add the sugar and mix until dissolved. Add the lemon juice and the liquor. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.
Black Tea and Rum
Another classic flavor combination is black tea and rum. Black tea is inherently bitter and rum is sweet; the combination of the two results in a wonderfully balanced drink.
- 1.5 oz of dark rum
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp lime or lemon
- 8 oz hot water
- 1 black (Ceylon) tea bag or whole leaf tea
- 1 slice of lime or lemon
Just like the previous recipe, this beverage follows the same method. Heat the water and steep the tea in it for a few minutes. Add the honey, the lime juice, and the liquor. Garnish with a slice of lime.
Chai Tea and Whiskey
Spicy, sweet, and creamy, chai tea is an ideal complement to good whiskey. Whiskey without any peat is ideal, especially if it has strong notes of vanilla.
- 1 chai tea bag or chai spice
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1.5 oz whiskey
Add 1/4 cup boiling water to a mug. add the chai, and allow to steep. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a pan or a microwave. Once steeped, remove the tea bag and add the milk to the steeped tea. Add the syrup and whiskey. Sprinkle with cinnamon.