The Best Whiskeys To Put In A Hot Toddy

Cold and rainy winter weather can almost always be turned around by a hot toddy — that is, if you're not already suffering from a cold or the flu. Hot toddies were once touted for their ability to cure the flu or colds, and distilleries will likely still claim it. While the lemon slice packs some vitamin C, a toddy's "cure" is more so due to the drunken sleep it can bring on (via Uproxx).

If you're not familiar with hot toddies, the drink is made up of boiling water, a squeeze of lemon, honey, and whiskey. While any whiskey can really be used to make a hot toddy, some are better than others.

It's important to keep different kinds of whiskey in mind too. You might be aware that all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. Bourbon tends to be sweeter, which some like in their hot toddies. Other types of whiskey include American single malt whiskeys, and don't forget about Irish whiskey, too (via My Recipes). Scotch whisky is another option as well (via Healthline).

What to look for in a whiskey

When selecting a whiskey for hot toddies, there are a few characteristics to keep in mind. Sweet notes like caramels and vanillas work very well with the honey in a classic toddy. Notes of citrus can also be found in some whiskeys, which also compliments the lemon in the drink, too. Finally, warming notes like cinnamon or other spices are a beautiful addition to toddies (via Fatherly).

There are quite a few single malt whiskeys that are well-worth putting in a hot toddy — among them are Westward Whiskey and The Sexton Whiskey. Westward Whiskey was a two-time gold winner at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition (via Westward Whiskey), and its notes of lemon, orange peel, cinnamon, and dried fruits make it a wonderful pick for hot toddies (via Flaviar). The Sexton Whiskey is very aromatic with lots of sweet, dried fruit notes such as oranges and berries as well as caramel (via Distiller). The sweetness and fruit complement the lemon and honey in hot toddies beautifully. 

For a sweeter finish to a hot toddy, use bourbon. Larceny Bourbon and Angel's Envy Finished Rye are both great choices. Larceny Bourbon typically has a bite, but the other ingredients in a hot toddy round out the bourbon well. Angel's Envy Finished Rye is a high-quality pick for a top-shelf hot toddy. The bourbon adds caramel and demerara notes to the drink for a subtly sweet and smokey finish.