A hot toddy can soothe your spirit and warm you up when you are feeling under the weather. This Smoked Hot Toddy is the best, warm whiskey toddy recipe we've ever tried.
As the weather turns cold, the season for hot beverages begins to heat up. As the Holidays roll in some go for mulled wine or hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick. But when I want a timeless classic that works all year round, I go to a hot smoked Irish whiskey toddy. I have seen many versions of this over the years and this recipe is from our cooking assistant Christina. It only takes five simple ingredients that you probably have in your pantry to create this warming soothing beverage.
What is a Hot Toddy?
A hot toddy is a drink made with liquor, typically bourbon, whisky, brandy, or spiced rum. The drink is often spiced with cinnamon or nutmeg and sweetened with honey or maple syrup. It can also be used as a home remedy to help relieve the symptoms of the flu or cold symptoms like a sore throat.
Ingredients for Smoked Hot Toddy Recipe
Tea - We like to use Irish tea for a hot toddy. Irish tea is a type of black tea that is produced in Ireland. The leaves are typically used to make a strong, dark brew that has a distinctively malty flavor. Irish tea is also sometimes used as the base for Irish coffee. But don't fret if you haven't got Irish tea. Any black tea will work well here.
Whiskey - Since we are using Irish tea, let's also use Irish Whiskey. Irish whiskey is made from a mix of grains but must contain at least 40% barley. The whiskey is then aged in wooden casks for a minimum of 3 years. Irish whiskey has a distinctively smooth taste, due to the use of pot stills during distillation. If you don't have any Irish whiskey on hand, go for an American bourbon for a delicious substitute. It will add a little more spice to the cocktail.
Honey - Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance produced by bees and some related insects. Bees produce honey from the nectar of flowers. They store it as a primary food source in wax structures called honeycombs. The variety of honey produced by honey bees (the genus Apis) is the best-known, due to its worldwide commercial production and human consumption. Honey is collected from wild bee colonies or from domesticated beehives.
Lemon Juice - Fresh lemon juice is the best. Lemon juice is made by squeezing the juice from fresh lemons. The juiciest lemons will have thin skin and feel heavy for their size. To get the most juice possible, roll the lemon on the countertop before cutting it in half and juicing it. Squeeze it over a small strainer to keep any pulp and seeds out of your drink. we will also use a slice of lemon as a garnish.
Sugar - You can just use honey to sweeten this drink, but if you have a bit of a sweet tooth, white sugar will do the trick. It dissolves easily and quickly into the hot tea.
How to make a Smoked Hot Toddy
First Step - To brew black tea, you want the hot water temperature anywhere from 180°F to boiling water. You will step the tea for about five minutes. I put the water into an oven-safe measuring cup and placed it in the preheated smoker at 225°F. Once the water reaches 180°F, place the tea bags into the water and let it steep while still in the smoker for five minutes.
Optional Step - If you want an even richer smoke flavor and aroma, select a wood chunk or smaller piece, like chips. I used cherry wood. Light it until there are flames and it is burning, then place your tea mug over the wood. The fire will go out, but the smoker will build up and adhere to the glass. Putting the glass over the burning wood chip is a great way to create a warmed mug. Having a clear serving cup is great because you can watch the smoke build up.
Some Hot Toddy Variations
Classic - If you want a classic hot toddy recipe, just skip the smoking part. This is an easy one to make.
Apple Cider Hot Toddy - Don't use tea. Instead, use 8 oz of apple cider per serving. Heat until warm and simmer with star anise, whole cloves, a slice of fresh ginger, and an orange slice. Use either whiskey or rum to add booze to this drink.
Final Step - Once the tea is done steeping on the smoker, place the measuring cup onto a trivet and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir gently to fully dissolve the sugar and the honey. Then turn your smoked glass over and point the hot toddy into the glass. Garnish with a lemon slice or wedge. Enjoy!
Try some of our other Cocktails
Rosemary Gimlet - A some fresh herbs to this classic cocktail for a delicious result.
Lavender Lemonade Cocktail - Refreshing twist on lemonade. This is a perfect year-round option.
Strawberry Sour - This is a sweet and sour treat. Perfectly balanced for an easy crowd-pleaser.
Apple Cider Martini - Classic flavors of apple and cinnamon in this delicious cocktail
- 16 oz irish tea steeped on the smoker
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 oz Irish Whiskey
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- On your smoker, heat up 16 ounces of water to close to boiling. We don't need a rolling boil to steep the tea. Keep the smoker temperature at about 225°F and keep the lid closed so the hot water absorbs extra flavor from the smoker.
- Once the water reaches 180°F, place the tea bags into the water and steep it for about five minutes, still on the smoker with the lid closed.
- Meanwhile, gather the remaining ingredients and measure out the appropriate amounts. You will add this to the tea when it is done. Stir the tea and remaining ingredients together, pour into a serving cup, and enjoy.
Smoked Glass (OPTIONAL)
- As an optional step, if you don't have a cocktail smoke top, you can first smoke the tea mug that you will use to serve the hot toddy. Use a foil line pan and place a small wood chunk or wood chips on the foil. Ignite it with a pastry blowtorch then cover it with your tea mug. The flame will go out and smoke will fill the mug. Flip the mug over right when you are ready to pour the hot toddy into the glass and serve immediately. Enjoy!