Spiked Hot Tea: A Trio of Warming Winter Toddies

Spiked Hot Tea: A Trio of Warming Winter Toddies

In my home, growing up, there were two remedies to treat a cold: sleep, and a hot toddy. Now, in my adulthood, I turn to a cozy, spiked hot tea for more than just the sniffles. A traditional hot toddy typically consists of a simply brewed black tea, lemon and honey, and an ounce or two of liquor. Today, we’re going beyond the traditional to explore how a new twist on an old favorite can make this one drink that’s perfect to serve and sip at any time!

Though the origins of a hot toddy are unclear, it’s believed among many to have first been served with regularity in Scotland in the 1700s. Perfectly sensible, right? A chilly country known for its love of tea -- the leap isn’t too far to make from there.
While that classic recipe for a spiked hot tea won’t steer you wrong, part of the fun of brewing up a cuppa is the art of making it your own. Read on to see how we’ve reinvented this classic favorite for a caffeine-free evening nightcap, the perfect accompaniment to a weekend brunch, and an afternoon tea party all-star.

Chamomile Comfort Nightcap Toddy

This particular cuppa is perfect for winding down at the end of a long day, or to provide a light nighttime comfort if you’re feeling under the weather.

  • 2 ounces brandy or vodka
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 cups brewed chamomile tea (try one with a hint of vanilla + mint or a touch of fruit for a twist)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice for a fruity blend, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract for pillowy vanilla sweetness

Pour tea into your cup, add in juice or extract, liquor, and honey. Stir, taste, and adjust sweetness to your liking.

Winter Mimosa Hot Toddy

This twist on a traditional orange + champagne brunch drink is the perfect accompaniment to brunch in the chillier months.

  • 2 ounces bourbon or whiskey
  • 2 tablespoons blood orange juice (freshly squeezed at home is great -- and you can use the rest of the orange for a unique and beautiful garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 cups brewed Candlelight Blend white tea or Noble Blend green tea -- find a blend with a twist of citrus for the best results

Pour tea into your cup, add in juice, liquor, and honey. Stir, taste, and adjust sweetness to your liking.

Teatime Decadence Dessert Toddy

An afternoon tea party is the perfect place to try out new flavors and fun brewing techniques with your fellow tea lovers. This dessert-inspired blend is a bit nontraditional, but makes for a perfect treat to end your afternoon with friends!

  • 2 ounces dark rum or bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups dark tea (a black or hearty honeybush blend with notes like coconut, chocolate, or maple is especially delightful here)
  • Optional: Top with a dollop of whipped cream for exceptional decadence

Mix your brewed tea with sweetener and liquor. Top with whipped cream if you like (and we recommend it!).

Feeling inspired and ready to go beyond the recipe? Here are some easy tips for flavor combinations that are sure to please as you stretch your creative tea-bartender muscles!
Gin pairs well with... fresh, herbaceous flavors such as green tea, sage, citrus, and fruit
Rum pairs well with... dark, rich flavors like black or puerh tea, chocolate, nuts, and berries
Brandy pairs well with... oolong tea, fruit, and sweet herbs
With these brews to keep you warm, there’s no doubt you’ll find a spiked hot tea blend that’s just right for you this winter.

Mary Heim

Mary is a midwest-based mental health professional with a penchant for good books, a great pun, natural health + wellness, sunny days, and strong tea. When she's not writing for Plum Deluxe, you can find her blogging about tea at Sororitea Sisters or on instagram @marebel623.
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