Thanksgiving is just days away and I hope you’re feeling relaxed, prepared, and excited to spend time with the people you love. Today I’m sharing the perfect hug-in-a-mug cocktail recipe to help you do all of the above.
This 5-ingredient apple cider hot toddy is my extra flavorful take on a traditional hot toddy that’s guaranteed to warm you up on the coldest day. Not only is it SO incredibly easy to make, but it’s also filled with cozy spices, easy to double for a crowd, and truly the perfect cocktail for celebrating the holiday season.
I’ve included tips for keeping this hot toddy warm so that guests can enjoy it all evening long (best nightcap ever), plus simple ways to customize it and even make it less strong if you prefer. Surprise guests or the host over the holidays with this incredible drink!
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What is a hot toddy?
A traditional hot toddy recipe is made with hot water, whisky or bourbon, honey, and lemon. It’s almost like a boozy tea, is incredibly easy to make, and is a classic winter cocktail for cozying up.
Ingredients in this apple cider hot toddy
We’re jazzing up a traditional hot toddy with some extra flavor and spices to make it that much more delicious. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Apple cider: that’s right, we’re adding apple cider to this hot toddy for sweetness and apple flavor! It pairs perfectly with the rest of the ingredients.
- Bourbon: I like the deep flavor that bourbon adds to this cocktail, but you can use whisky if you’d like.
- Orange slices: a hint of citrus adds a lovely brightness to your drink. We’re adding orange instead of lemon for a fun twist on hot toddies!
- Spices: you’ll be simmering the cocktail with cinnamon sticks and star anise pods for that ultimate coziness.
- To garnish: I like to top off each glass with fresh apple rounds and a cinnamon stick.
Customize your hot toddy
The best way to customize this apple cider hot toddy is to choose your favorite dark liquor to add to it! Whisky, bourbon, brandy, and even dark rum would work in here, it all depends on your taste preferences.
Can I make it less strong?
Sure! Feel free to lower the bourbon amount to 1 cup if you prefer a less strong drink.
Delicious apple cider hot toddy in 2 steps
- Combine the ingredients. Add all of your (except the garnishes) to a large pot and simmer over medium heat for about 15 seconds.
- Ladle & garnish. Serve up the hot toddy into mugs or glasses, garnish with a cinnamon stick and an apple round, and enjoy!
Easily adjust the servings
This full recipe serves about 8 people, but you can absolutely double it to serve a larger party.
Alternatively, feel free to cut the recipe in half to serve 2 people. Perfect for date night!
Keep this hot toddy warm at parties
Serving a party? Keep the apple cider hot toddy warm by placing it in a slow cooker on “warm.” If it will be out for more than two hours, I recommend removing the whole spices so that they don’t make the drink bitter.
If making the recipe a day in advance (or if you have any leftover), remove the oranges and whole spices before storing, as they could turn the drink a bit bitter.
More festive cocktails
- Monique’s Naughty & Nice Holiday Punch
- Rebecca’s Mulled Wine
- Spicy Blood Orange Margarita
- Rebecca’s Pomegranate Margarita
Get all of my healthy cocktail recipes here!
I hope you love this wonderful apple cider hot toddy recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
Apple Cider Hot Toddy
Cozy and delicious apple cider hot toddy made with simple ingredients for a wonderful, warm holiday cocktail! This easy hot toddy recipe has the perfect amount of sweetness and spice and is great for all of your fall and winter gatherings. Options to double, triple, or even cut the recipe in half for all group sizes!
- For the cocktail:
- 6 cups apple cider
- 1 ½ cups bourbon
- 4 orange slices (from half an orange)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise pods
- For serving:
- Thinly sliced apples
- Cinnamon sticks
Add all ingredients (except apple slices) to a large pot or dutch oven and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Use a ladle or measuring cup to serve into mugs, then garnish each mug with a cinnamon stick and thinly sliced apple round. Cheers!
Feel free to keep the remainder simmering over very low heat for a couple of hours.
If making the recipe a day in advance, remove the oranges and whole spices before storing, as they could turn the drink a bit bitter.
Feel free to lower the bourbon amount to 1 cup if you prefer a less strong drink.
If you want to make it for 2 people, feel free to cut the recipe in half.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats