The Hot Toddy is a famous drink that's been a fan-favorite for years. It's easy to make, it tastes good, and it's even been said to help with colds. While the Hot Toddy does have some beneficial ingredients, you might want to reconsider if you think about making one to rid the common cold.

Hot Toddy in a mug on a table

The Hot Toddy Recipe

The recipe for a Hot Toddy is pretty simple and doesn't take a lot of ingredients.

You'll Need:

  • 1 ounce of bourbon
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup hot water or brewed tea
  • 1 lemon slice


  • Pour the hot water into a mug and steep the tea for about two or three minutes.
  • Remove the tea bag and add the honey.
  • Add whiskey.
  • Squeeze lemon juice in and add lemon slice.

There are recipes that call for a few more ingredients but definitely add to the drink to give it a little something extra.

hot toddy with lemon slice in a glass

Health Benefits of the Hot Toddy

Usually, the Hot Toddy has some honey and lemon juice in it, which have benefits to them, especially when it comes to squashing those cold symptoms. Studies have shown that honey "is used in the treatment of eye diseases, bronchial asthma, throat infections, tuberculosis, thirst, hiccups, fatigue, dizziness, hepatitis, constipation, worm infestation, piles, eczema, healing of ulcers, and wounds and used as a nutritious supplement." Honey has also been known to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. "Many evidences suggest the use of honey in the control and treatment of wounds, diabetes mellitus, cancer, asthma, and also cardiovascular, neurological, and gastrointestinal diseases," the study said.

Additionally, lemon is also known to be a great help when it comes to staying healthy. Lemon is a great source of Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, citric acid, and helps to flush out the body of any gunk. According to a study published in 2013, Vitamin C also "protects the immune system, reduces the severity of allergic reactions and helps to fight off infections."

Though, there have been countless studies and facts regarding the harm of alcohol consumption. One study wrote, "Alcohol consumption has been linked to pulmonary diseases, including tuberculosis, respiratory syncytial virus, and ARDS. Alcohol disrupts ciliary function in the upper airways, impairs the function of immune cells (i.e., alveolar macrophages and neutrophils), and weakens the barrier function of the epithelia in the lower airways." The study also mentioned that consuming alcohol when your immune system is already weakened won't make it any better.

hot toddy in a mason jar

While a Hot Toddy does include ingredients that offer health benefits, you may want to just stick with over the counter medication to rid that cold.

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