Honey-Buttered Hot Toddy

candy-cane hot cocoa and honey-buttered hot toddy
Photo: Lennart Weibull
Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 10 mins

Gussy up a traditional hot toddy (made with whiskey, honey, lemon, and hot water) by whisking butter and spices into the honey first. Use high-quality ingredients—orange-blossom or clover honey, cultured butter, vanilla paste, and a little pour of Cointreau—then add slices of lemon and stir with a cinnamon stick.


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened

  • ¼ cup clover or orange-blossom honey

  • 3 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt (we use Diamond Crystal)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

  • 12 ounces blended whiskey, such as Canadian Club

  • 4 ounces triple sec, such as Cointreau

  • 4 ounces fresh lemon juice plus slices for serving

  • Boiling-hot water and cinnamon sticks (optional), for serving


  1. In a bowl, whisk together butter, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla until smooth. Cover; refrigerate until firm and flavors have melded, 2 hours. (If desired, transfer mixture to a piece of waxed paper or parchment and shape into a log before chilling, to slice into portions for serving.)

  2. For each serving, put a generous 1 tablespoon chilled honey butter, 1 1/2 ounces whiskey, and 1/2 ounce each triple sec and lemon juice in a mug. Pour 6 to 8 ounces hot water over top. Stir; garnish with lemon slices and a cinnamon stick (if using). Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

The honey butter can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week, or frozen for up to a month. We like the smooth taste of blended whiskey in this sip, but for more robust flavor, you can use bourbon or rye; or, for a slightly smoky note, try Scotch or mezcal.

For a nonalcoholic version, omit the whiskey and swap the triple sec for an equal amount of fresh orange juice.

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