Today we’re making a whiskey toddy—but serving it cold! This cold toddy recipe is infused with all the warm spices of a classic toddy recipe just served over ice. And, if you would prefer to serve this as a hot toddy, I give an option for that too! 

Why I Love This Recipe

This is the ultimate winter drink! Rye whiskey is paired with a spice-infused earl grey tea syrup made with a seasonal mix of spices.

The result is a drink that’s bright, spiced and cozy, even when served over ice. And the best part—this is a batch cocktail which means you mix it up in a pitcher and let guests serve themselves—no bartending required!

Watch: How to Make A Cold Toddy

Grocery List

  • 1 orange + more for garnish
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 piece fresh ginger
  • 2 earl grey tea bags
  • Black peppercorns
  • Whole cloves
  • Honey
  • Rye whiskey 
  • Candied ginger, optional, for garnish

How to Make a Whiskey Toddy

  1. It’s really all about the sweet, spiced earl grey syrup. 
  2. Start by juicing the orange and lemons. Toss the spent orange halves and one spent lemon half into a saucepan.
  3. Add the whole spices, tea bags, and water and bring the mixture to a boil. 
  4. After a couple of minutes, remove the tea bags, add the honey and stir to dissolve, then allow the mixture to steep for a bit.
  5. Strain the mixture into a large pitcher and stir in the citrus juices, rye whiskey and some ice (or boiling water if you’re serving this warm). 
orange-colored cocktail in a rocks glass garnished with ginger and orange

Make Ahead Tips

  • Earl Grey syrup can be made and refrigerated up to 3 days ahead of time.
  • Entire cocktail can be made and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead of time.

Variations on this Recipe

  • Swap the rye whiskey out for spiced dark rum.
  • Make it more of a classic hot toddy and skip the orange—instead use honey and lemon, a few cinnamon sticks and ginger. Garnish with a lemon peel and cinnamon stick. Serve the hot toddy in a warm mug and any inkling of a sore throat will disappear.
  • Give it an apple twist by using apple cider instead of lemon or orange juice.

More Whiskey Drinks to Love…

Print
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orange-colored cocktail in a rocks glass garnished with ginger and orange

Cold Toddy Recipe with Whiskey

  • Author: Lauren Grant-Vose
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

All the flavors of a good hot toddy—served over ice. The perfect pitcher cocktail for the holidays!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 orange + more for garnish
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, cut into coins
  • 2 earl grey tea bags
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup honey (depending on sweetness preference)
  • 1 cup rye whiskey
  • candied ginger, optional, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Juice orange (should get ¼ cup) and juice lemons (should get ½ cup). Reserve juices then add both spent orange halves and one spent lemon half to a small saucepan. Crack cinnamon sticks in half and add to saucepan. Add ginger, tea bags, peppercorns, cloves, and water to saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to medium and simmer 2 minutes. Remove tea bags, stir in honey (start with ¼ cup and add more to taste. I usually use ⅓ cup.) and let mixture steep 20 minutes.
  3. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve; discard solids.
  4. Add spiced honey mixture to a large pitcher. Add orange, lemon juice, and rye whiskey. Add 1 cup ice and stir until completely melted and toddy is cold.
  5. Serve toddy over ice in rocks glasses; garnish with an orange twist (and candied ginger if you’re feeling fancy).
  6. To make this warm—skip adding the ice and instead add ½ cup hot water. Serve in mugs and garnish with an orange slice. Top each toddy with additional hot water to taste.


Notes

The earl grey tea syrup can be made and refrigerated up to 3 days ahead of time.

The entire cocktail can be made and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead of time.

Keywords: cold toddy, whiskey toddy

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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