Capture the warmth and flavor of a classic hot toddy without the alcohol. My favorite recipe for a non alcoholic hot toddy combines a soothing blend of black tea, honey, fresh lemon juice, and whole spices. The warm drink is a perfect way to embrace the holiday (and cold) season! For more fun, entertain your guests with one of these mocktail recipes!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- My simple, non alcoholic hot toddy recipe is perfect for all ages, from little ones to adults.
- Whip up a mocktail version of a hot toddy without alcohol using only five ingredients, and it tastes just as satisfying as the classic drink!
What is a Hot Toddy, and is it Good for You?
A hot toddy is a warm cocktail traditionally made with whiskey, honey, lemon juice, and hot water. People commonly serve the drink during the winter as a remedy for cold and flu symptoms.
While my recipe doesn’t include whiskey, warm liquids, like black tea combined with honey, help relieve sore throats and coughs. Some studies have shown that honey can be more effective than over-the-counter cough medicines, especially in young children over one year.
History of a Hot Toddy
The hot toddy we enjoy today has a long history dating back to the 1600s in India, where it was known as “taddy.” The hot drink featured fermented sap mixed with sugar and spices. The recipe later spread to Great Britain and the US to include whiskey.
Historically, people used the drink as a remedy for colds and other ailments. Although there isn’t concrete evidence to support a hot toddy as a cold remedy, the drink can provide comfort during the cold winter or while dealing with symptoms of the common cold.
My non-alcoholic version of the drink carries the comforting warmth and flavor of a hot toddy without using alcohol! It is perfect for warming you up on chilly nights or when you want a soothing beverage.
What You Need to Make this Recipe
- Black Tea: Use tea bags or loose tea leaves for this recipe
- Whole Spices: Infuse the tea with deep aromatics like cinnamon sticks, black cloves, and star anise. If the anise flavor is too strong, you can omit it.
- Honey: Honey is my favorite sweetener, but you can try maple syrup, agave nectar, or simple syrup such as cardamom simple syrup or honey lavender simple syrup. Feel free to experiment with how much honey you prefer in the drink. I tend to hold back personally, but if you have a sweet tooth, add more honey until it is right for you.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a perfect way to finish my non alcoholic toddy.
Additions and Substitutions
- Create a Spicy Version: Steep the tea with red pepper flakes, cayenne powder, or Thai chiles for some heat. You can even use Mike’s Hot Honey as your sweetener since it has a nice kick to it.
- Use a Different Tea: Black tea is delicious, but I have had good results with green tea and dandelion root tea.
- Try an Alcohol-Free Spirit: Replace black tea with an alcohol-free bourbon, or change it up with non-alcoholic gin, brandy, rum, or mezcal. Something to keep in mind if you have concerns about alcohol due to health, religious, or personal reasons is that the distillation process removes a majority of the alcohol content. However, the final product can contain a very small amount of alcohol.
- Experiment with Flavor Combinations: Add a slice of fresh ginger, orange zest, orange peel, or a sprig of rosemary. You can also make grapefruit, apple cider, or cranberry-flavored toddies for holiday events or gatherings.
How to Make Non Alcoholic Hot Toddy
The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Fill a mug with boiling water.
Step 2: Add the tea bag or loose leaves using a tea infuser, cinnamon stick, cloves, and star anise. Let it steep for 3-5 minutes.
Step 3: Stir in the lemon juice and honey. Garnish with a lemon wheel, and enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s in a traditional hot toddy?
Classic hot toddy recipes feature whiskey, honey, lemon juice, and hot water with garnishes like cinnamon, cloves, and star anise.
What are the best non-alcoholic spirits for a hot toddy?
If you choose to bypass black tea, consider non-alcoholic spirits such as whiskey, rum, or gin.
Non Alcoholic Hot Toddy
- 1½ cups (6 ounces) hot water
- 1-2 black tea bags or 1½ – 3 grams loose black tea leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 black cloves
- 1 star anise
- 2-3 teaspoons honey
- 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Fill a mug with boiling water.
- Add the tea bag or loose leaves using a tea infuser, cinnamon stick, cloves, and star anise. Let it steep for 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon juice and honey. Garnish with a lemon wheel, and enjoy.
- The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.