Chamomile-Honey Hot Toddy


Hot toddy made with chamomile tea, honey, and whiskey. This nightcap will help you doze off in no time! Feel free to make this hot toddy with whiskey, rum, or brandy.

Photography Credit: Garrett McCord

What is a Hot Toddy?

Children who are having trouble falling to sleep are often prescribed a glass of warm milk to help them nod off. Their parents, having spent the night cajoling, ordering and begging their children to go to bed, may need something a bit stronger.

Enter this chamomile hot toddy. It’s a drink of whiskey, honey, and lemon mixed with chamomile tea to help you doze off in no time.

how to make a hot toddy

How To Make a Hot Toddy

Since the toddy is supposedly Irish in origin, purists insist that only Irish whiskey be used in the drink.

However, as the recipe became popular outside Ireland, spreading throughout Europe and North America, so did its boozy variations.

I say, use what you have in your liquor cabinet and most enjoy! Brandy, bourbon, and rum can all be used used in place of whiskey and make a delicious hot toddy.

Also, while certainly not traditional, I find the addition of chamomile tea really transforms this soothing, but otherwise ho-hum drink into a truly fantastic cocktail. The floral notes of the tea bring out the sweeter, spicier notes of the spirits and give the drink a more captivating flavor.

Other Warming Drinks to Try!

This post has been updated. Originally published December 2016.

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Chamomile-Honey Hot Toddy Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving

In addition, I find steeping a fresh slice of ginger in the hot water for a few minutes is nice if you’re feeling congested.


  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) whiskey, bourbon, brandy, or dark rum
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (from 1/2 fresh lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup boiling hot water (or up to 1/2 cup, if you'd like your toddy to be less strong)
  • 1 chamomile tea bag
  • Lemon wheel, for garnish (optional)


1 Combine the liquor, lemon juice, and honey in a small mug.

Chamomile Hot Toddy

2 Add the hot water and stir until the honey dissolves.

3 Add the tea bag and steep for 1 to 2 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea. Remove the tea bag and garnish with a fresh lemon.

Enjoy in bed with a favorite book.

Chamomile Hot Toddy

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Chamomile Hot Toddy

Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

More from Garrett

9 Comments / Reviews

No ImageChamomile-Honey Hot Toddy

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Ben

    Infuse calvados (apple brandy) with chamomile for 1 hour
    1.5 oz infused brandy
    1 oz pineau de charentes
    0.5 oz honey syrup (2parts honey 1 part water)
    0.25 is lemon juice
    Top up with 4 oz hot water

    Much better


  2. Caria

    I’ve made this toddy several times. Passed on the recipe to a few friends who loved it as well.


  3. Mindy

    It might be dangerous to mix alcohol and chamomile

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Debra Eliotseats

    Chamomile in a hot toddy is genius. I’m glad to have this recipe but am really perplexed why this isn’t the traditional drink for the cold and flu season (and for a sleeping aid!) :)

  5. Christina

    Sounds delicious, and I hate to be a buzzkill here, but alcohol is known to interfere with sleep. While it will help people feel drowsy, it actually reduces the quality of sleep (specifically REM sleep), particularly in the second half of the night, and can in fact keep people awake.

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