DIY, Occasions

Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Making the Perfect Holiday Drink

The month of December fills up pretty quickly with holiday parties, not to mention the holidays themselves.  With people attending so many parties, you want to make sure yours stands out as the best!  The winter holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s are great, festive times.  The only problem is that they take place during the winter, so for most of us that means it’s cold out.  A good idea then, is to welcome your guests in from the cold with a nice warm beverage.  Coffee and tea are toasty, but usually reserved for the end of a gathering to go with dessert.  You want a beverage to get the party started.  That’s right – it’s time to break out the booze.  Classy and warm, we think the hot toddy is the perfect holiday party drink.


The hot toddy has been around for a long time – colonists were already drinking it at the time of the Revolutionary War.  It likely originated in Scotland and eventually made its way across the ocean.  For a drink to have such staying power, it must be good!  The hot toddy has also been known as a cure for the common cold, so if you’re ever feeling under the weather you can think of this drink as delicious medicine.


Hot toddy recipes are really more of a suggestion/starting point than a strict, follow-to-the-letter type recipe.  The recipe below will make a great drink, but you should feel free to experiment with other flavors once you get the basic idea down.

The Perfect Hot Toddy:


  • 8 oz. bourbon, whisky, or brandy
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 4 earl gray tea bags
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

In a small pan over medium-low heat, warm the cider, cinnamon, honey, and whiskey until hot, stirring to dissolve the honey.  Make sure to take the pan off of the heat as soon as the mixture reaches the desired temperature or you risk cooking off the alcohol.  Once off the heat, add the tea bags and allow to steep for 2 minutes.  Remove the tea bags and squeeze in the juice of half a lemon.  Pour into mugs and garnish with the cinnamon sticks and lemon cut into thin wedges.


Serves 4, but can easily be doubled or quadrupled for larger gatherings.

If you want to serve hot toddies at a party you can easily serve them out of a slow cooker set to low, which will keep the beverage warm.  All you have to do is supply the glasses and the garnishes and your guests will be free to help themselves.


 If you’re looking for the perfect bar cart to prepare and serve your drinks from, we recommend the Sean Dix Cocktail Cart for some classic mid-century modern style.

1 thought on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Making the Perfect Holiday Drink

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