Holiday Happy Hour Drinks: A Hot Toddy

by Pamela

hot toddy, holiday drinks, hot buttered rum

Scarves and mittens are one way to warm up, but a hot toddy is a more delicious way to do it! Holiday drinks to warm us up and make us feel all cozy is what we want this time of year. And while the typical hot toddy involves hot tea and brandy, this hot toddy is a little more special. Break out the cider and the spiced rum because this isn’t grandma’s hot toddy recipe.

Yeah, I know all about the traditional hot toddy and how it’s supposed to be some hot water, spices, whiskey (or brandy) and a slice of lemon. Oh, to ‘jazz’ it up you could replace the plain ol’ water with tea but bleh…that still sounds kind of bland. Why not do a mash up of a hot toddy and a hot buttered rum?

While melted butter is a must when eating steamed Maine lobster, or a baked potato, it’s not exactly something I want in my cocktail glass. I just can’t drink things that are heavy and rich. Remember my peppermint martini recipe from last year? No thick and gloppy cocktails! That’s probably why I don’t partake in the annual egg nog glugging at holiday parties.

I think holiday drinks should be easy to make and easy to drink. Who wants to mess around with an ingredient list that’s longer than your 6 year old niece’s Christmas list? Besides, you’ve got mixing and mingling to do…spending your time tending bar does not allow you to mix, mingle or stuff your face with holiday goodies (diets be damned people…it’s the holiday).

This hot toddy is another one of those great cocktail recipes that you can mix up by the batch and just keep some back stock handy in the kitchen. Worried about how you’re going to keep it warm? I’ve got a couple of suggestions for you. You can either break out your slow cooker, and just keep the toddy in there on a low setting or pull your heating pad out of the closet. Set your heating pad on a heat and moisture safe surface, turn the setting to low (or maybe medium depending on how yours works), cover with a kitchen towel and then whatever table runner or table cloth you may want. Set a punch bowl on top of the heating pad that’s filled with the hot toddy. This is actually a better way of serving it because it will just keep it warm and won’t really cook away any of the liquid.

We’ve been drinking this for about a week around here because I’ve been playing around with the ingredients. What I really love about this recipe is that it’s completely flexible. You can make it as simple or as complex as you like. Anyway you make it, it still tastes like it’s got a lot of seasonal ingredients in it.



Recipe: Apple Hot Toddy


  • 2 Cups Apple Cider
  • 2 – 3 ounces Spiced Rum
  • Optional Ingredients
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • Nutmeg
  • Allspice


  1. Pour cider into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  2. Continue cooking cider until it has reduced by 1/4 (leaving you with 1 3/4 cups apple cider)
  3. While the cider is reducing, you can also add a cinnamon stick, a dash of nutmeg, and/or an allspice berry (or dash of allspice if you have it in ground form).
  4. Strain out the cinnamon stick and allspice berry.
  5. Add 2 – 3 ounces of spiced rum to the cider.
  6. Pour into glasses and serve.

Quick notes

If you’re making this ahead, you can make up the cider reduction, let it cool then refrigerate until ready to use. Warm the cider and then add the rum just before serving.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Diet tags: Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 2

Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)

Recipe by Pamela Braun.[/print_this]


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Alex @ Intoxicology101 December 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Can’t go wrong with Cider this time of year. Thanks for sharing !

jasi December 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm

yum. spiked apple cider is always a welcome holiday tradition.

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