Not much can fill us with more joy on a blisteringly cold day than cuddling up with a hot toddy, whether from the comfort of our couch or at our favorite neighborhood haunt. It warms us up from the inside out, instantly soothes any sign of an impending sore throat, and (bonus!) gets us nice and tipsy. What more could we ask for?
In case you’re not familiar with the hot toddy and—gasp—have never experienced it’s truly healing magic, here’s a refresher: It’s a hot cocktail, traditionally consisting of a spirit (usually whiskey, rum, or brandy) mixed with hot water or tea, honey, and lemon.
This simple, basic recipe has so much potential to be jazzed up, and we were feeling inspired to come up with new and creative ways to enjoy its warming, boozy goodness. To get some help with this, we turned to Lucinda Sterling of NYC cocktail bar Middle Branch to show us her different takes on the classic recipe.
Aside from being delicious, albeit slightly unconventional, they’re all surprisingly easy to recreate—no bartending experience necessary.
Below, find four spins on the classic hot toddy, and how to make them at home. Cheers!