We are running out of time. Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Thank goodness I’m not in charge of the cooking. Maybe you are prepared. Perhaps you already have your menu planned, your ingredients purchased and your best stretchy pants washed and ready. I don’t know how you do it.
I, for one, am still wearing my pajamas and wondering how I’m going to meet my work demands, drive five hours home and bake cranberry cornbread before the day is over. Somehow these things will all happen. They always do.
As cliché as it may sound, this holiday season I am trying to focus on what I do have (a sweet puppy dog, caring friends) rather than what I do not (a dishwasher, a life partner). Gratitude is never a bad idea, right? In keeping with that theme, I am not going to dwell on the three disappointing recipes that I made this weekend. None were worthy of your Thanksgiving table.
Instead, I thought I’d share my go-to warm cocktail for cool weather, because maybe you have not yet determined your beverage situation for tomorrow.
This cocktail is everything that I think cocktails should be: simple, light and plenty sip-able. We’re basically talking about a hot toddy, made with tea instead of plain water, that is sweetened with a splash of real apple cider instead of honey. While nothing groundbreaking, the ingredients are somehow rather spectacular together.
Other recipes use a lot more apple cider, which makes them overwhelmingly sweet. This drink isn’t so heavy that it’ll spoil your appetite for mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Cheers to the holidays!Print
Apple Cider Hot Toddy
- Prep Time: 3 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 minutes
- Total Time: 6 minutes
- Yield: 1 drink 1x
- Category: Cocktail
This apple cider hot toddy recipe is light and warming, perfect for the holidays. The quality of ingredients goes a long way here, so be sure to use real, unfiltered apple cider (it should be murky). Locally produced cider tends to be fresher and contain fewer (if any) additives. Spiced cider is good, too. Recipe yields 1 cocktail.
- 1 cup water
- 1 green tea or black tea bag (I like Tazo China Green Tips)
- 1 ½ ounces rye whiskey or bourbon (I like Bulleit)
- 1 ounce real apple cider
- ½ small lemon
- Suggested garnishes: thin, round slices of lemon, a cinnamon stick, and star anise
- Bring the water to a simmer and carefully pour it over the tea bag into a standard-sized mug, leaving about an inch of room in your mug for the whiskey and cider. Let the tea steep for a few minutes, then discard the bag so the tea doesn’t get bitter.
- Pour in the whiskey or bourbon and a hefty splash of apple cider (adjust these amounts to suit your tastes). Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and garnish with lemon slices, a cinnamon stick and a star anise. Sip up.
- Are you, too, experiencing an unseasonably warm holiday? For a similar, chilled drink, try whiskey with club soda, a splash of apple cider and a big squeeze of lemon.
▸ Nutrition Information
P.s. If you are looking for a last-minute Thanksgiving dish, you might check out my collection of Thanksgiving recipes on facebook.
Ah, this is perfect. I do love a hot toddy. Happy Thanksgiving!
As you said, the work does always seem to get done. And if it doesn’t it will still be there tomorrow, to be quickly forgotten as it melds within another set of deadlines, where the experiences we share with one another are the memories we will remember. Thank you for becoming a friend this year, so excited for what’s to come for all of us in the future. Like sharing this cocktail with you!
I’m so glad to call you my friend, Heidi. Looking forward to clicking glasses and sharing ideas with you, so soon!
Happy Thanksgiving Kate! :D
Art & Lemons
I like what you said about gratitude. I’ve had similar thoughts of late, be grateful for what’s in my life now.
This recipe is revolutionary! I love warm apple cider and hot toddies but somehow never thought of putting the two together. I’m glad you did! Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Laura (Tutti Dolci)
This toddy looks so comforting! Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Kate!
Even though we don’t celebrate thanksgiving here, I think it’s never a bad idea to take a few moments to really think about what I’m grateful for. Cocktails like this being a prime example ;)
Sue in RI
This sounds delicious. I might even brave the pre-turkey day insanity at the market to get some cider (the only missing ingredient). And, although I am sorry for the disappointing recipes you tried this week, I am grateful that you screen them for us blog readers so that we are spared that particular disappointment.
Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving and even more to be grateful for in the coming year.
Thank you, Sue. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. I am very particular about the recipes I post; I would hate for a visitor to invest time and money into a recipe and end up disappointed. You can’t please everyone but I sure try!
Ahh! Hot toddies are the #1 best part of the holiday season. Please enjoy them for me (times two) since my drinking hiatus i.e. pregnancy has me sticking to the sparkling cider this year.
Will do, Crystle. Hope you’re feeling well. If you want to switch things up, try “spiking” your tea with a splash of apple cider. Delicious.
Happy Thanksgiving to you, my American friend. And yes, gratitude is always a good idea (and having some stretchy pants at the ready). Simple, but effective. Hope you’re making it through all of the holiday madness with a big old smile on your face and some toasty bourbon goodness in your hand.
Happy holidays to you, my Canadian friend. Wish we lived closer so we could clink our glasses of bourbon and share some laughs.
love this! I had a apple cider margarita last week with Lori. We made it up, so good!
Yum! I do love me a hot toddy. Come to think of it, hot apple cider is pretty great too. Good thinking. Looks like I need to stock up on some whiskey this weekend.
This is like the perfect drink when you’d just want to relax and read a book in the morning.
Sounds way better than the gin and tonic with a splash of margarita mix my brother tried to serve me today. Haha happy Thanksgiving to you and Cookie!
Lori @ RecipeGirl
What a perfect drink for a chilly fall weekend. Love it!
Looks really yummy! I’ll have to try it soon!
What a fun cocktail, Kate! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving…
I’ve actually never tried a hot toddy–but I do love the sound of it! (and it looks good, too:)
Cool novel idea, not sure about the green tea though… I think black is better. Which one do you prefer?
I actually really like using a delicate green tea for this cocktail. It ends up tasting more strongly of lemon and bourbon than tea. Black tea seems to be the more traditional choice. Either way, I think you’ll enjoy it.
Gina @ SoLetsHangOut
This looks so cozy. I could definitely go for one of these. We have so much rain headed our way and it is getting really chilly! :)
Can’t believe I’ve only just stumbled upon your website. I just happen to have a rye whiskey, apple cider, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and lemon juice handy, too – no fresh lemons, unfortunately, but I’m looking forward to trying it tonight! Might make it with a chamomile herbal tea or lavender since I don’t want any caffeine this late.
Perfect! Hope you enjoyed the hot toddy last night, John.
This sounds so yummy. I was wondering could you convert this to a crock pot option so you could keep it warm and serve it to a large group?
Hi Liz, I’m sorry for the slow response. You could, for sure, but I think you’ll need to brew the tea separately before adding it to the crockpot. I’d plan for about 6 ounces hot water per tea bag, per serving. Not sure how big your crock pot is, but this recipe should multiply pretty easily.
I just found this in my old bookmarks, there are good things hidden in there!
One question, in England we call the non-alcoholic drink “apple juice” and the alcoholic type “cider”
I understand that in the US the first is called “cider” and the one with alcohol “hard cider”
So I’m guessing the ingredient in this recipe is non-alcoholic apple juice. Is that right?
Hi Sannse! I’m sorry for the confusion. You’re on the right track. Around here, apple juice is a clear, pressed juice from apples. Apple cider is more murky because it is less filtered/kind of cloudy, and probably contains some spices. Hard cider has alcohol in it. So, if you can find unfiltered/spiced apple juice over there, that would be perfect!
That’s great! Thanks for replying :)
This version is sheer genius. Not nearly as sinus-penetrating or as cloying as either the classic hot toddy or hot apple cider. Southern California is not apple country, so with no fresh cider at hand, I used Trader Joe’s bottled Honeycrisp apple cider and Knob Hill bourbon in the gigantic Costco bottle. The squeeze of lemon (Meyer, from our backyard) was the perfect finish. Thank you! Definitely going to be in heavy rotation till spring.
I’m glad you liked it, Kathy!