Health Benefits of a Hot Toddy

If you’ve ever been offered a cocktail when you are feeling under the weather, there may actually be some benefit to sipping one in particular. The Hot Toddy, a hot beverage made with lemon, honey, and whiskey, is known to alleviate a sore throat and symptoms from the common cold and flu.

Originating in Ireland, the Hot Toddy has been served to those needing a sense of warmth and relief since the eighteenth century. Maybe you have witnessed your grandparents preparing one of these mugs of comfort during a spell of a seasonal virus or have seen them on a menu while you are out enjoying a spirited drink with others, but did you know of the drink’s medicinal properties? While perhaps your medical physician may not prescribe this as medicine over more common decongestants and pain relievers, many people report feeling warm from the inside out, able to relax, and soothed and relieved from the discomforts of seasonal illnesses after a cup or two. Sort of like a warm hug when your body could use some extra comfort.

So, how does this drink actually help you feel better? We have science to back it up. Heated beverages are known to help break down excess mucous and relieve chills and shakiness in those that are sick while lemon is known for its healing vitamin C and honey has antimicrobial benefits. Added to diluted whiskey and “patients” are often able to pause from their uncomfortable symptoms for a bit as their bodies heal and recover.

That being said, all things in moderation is an important guide to regard, especially when consuming any beverage with alcohol and added sweeteners. Best consumed in small doses and infrequently, Hot Toddies can only be served as as medicine to those 21 and over, should not replace a medical professional’s advice, and are best followed by a tall glass of water, some herbal tea, and plenty of rest and TLC.

Hot Toddy

Serves 2


2 cups water

3 ounces whiskey

2 tbsp. honey

2 tbsp. lemon juice

Lemon slices and dried cinnamon sticks, to garnish



1.      Bring water to a simmer in a teapot or saucepan.

2.      Add whiskey, honey, and lemon juice and stir well until honey is dissolved.

3.      Pour into two mugs or thick stemware.

4.      Garnish with lemon slices and cinnamon sticks.