2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Backcountry Bartender: Hot Toddy--Old and New School

Learn to make the classic cold weather cocktail and get a primer on a new version that's sure to impress your tent-mates

by: Crystal Sagan

Learn to make a hot toddy this winter. (Crystal Sagan)
Learn to make a hot toddy this winter. (Crystal Sagan)

As soon as fall starts giving way to the first hints of winter, it seems like everyone has the same thought when it comes to cocktails: hot toddies.

By some accounts, the quintessential cold weather cocktail has been around for over two hundred years and in fact, it’s so loved that it has its own holiday. That’s right. January 11th is National Hot Toddy day.

There’s more than one way to mix a toddy but the core ingredients are timeless: hot water or tea, lemon juice, honey or sugar, and spirits. Toddies are most frequently made with Whiskey (including Scotch and Bourbon) Brandy, or Rum, with a garnish of lemon and some combination of cinnamon stick, cloves, and star anise.

First, we’ll show you how to whip up a traditional toddy, then shake it up with new school version of the tried and true classic.

Old-School Toddy:
For our traditional toddy, we’ll use Bulleit Bourbon, which holds a nice combination of oak, spice, vanilla, and honey and will lend itself nicely to an evening by the fire. If Bulleit isn’t your flavor, check out some other whiskey recommendations in our Manhattan recipe.

1 ½ oz Bulleit Bourbon
¾ oz Honey (try to find individual packets. These can be found at coffee shops or other fast food joints. If you can’t find any though, add honey to a baggie with bourbon)
1 Lemon Slice
4 oz Hot Water
1 Cinnamon Stick, for garnish and stirring

At Home:
Pour 1 ½ oz Bulleit Bourbon into a zip-top bag, roll up, and place in a wide mouth water bottle. You will need one cinnamon stick, one lemon slice, and one individual packet of honey for every toddy you plan on making. Bring a whole lemon and a knife if you’re planning on making more than a few.

On the Trail:
Start by heating water just below boiling. Add 4 ounces of hot water, the bourbon, honey, and a squeeze of lemon to a glass. Add the cinnamon-- which doubles as a stirring stick-- and stir until honey is dissolved. Enjoy!    

New-School Toddy:
This variation on the classic uses rum as the primary spirit giving it a Caribbean flair. 

4 oz Black Tea
1 ½ oz Black Rum (try Cruzan Black Strap)
½ oz Ginger Simple Syrup
1 Lemon Slice
2 Cardamom Seeds
1 Cinnamon Stick, for garnish and stirring

At Home:
To make the ginger simple syrup, cut a one-inch long piece of ginger into slices. Add ginger and equal parts sugar and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow to cool before pouring ½ ounce syrup into a zip-top bag with the rum, and then place inside a wide-mouthed water bottle. Plan ahead and bring one packets of black tea and lemon slice for each cocktail. As with the traditional toddy,  bring a whole lemon and a knife if the number of drinks corresponds.

On the Trail:
Prep is almost the same as for the Old-School Toddy, but starts by brewing the black tea. Add 4 ounces of hot tea to a glass, then add rum, simple syrup and a squeeze of lemon. Stir with cinnamon stick, add cardamom seeds and enjoy the warmth.

Have your own toddy recipe?  Share it in our comments section below.

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -


Jan 31, 2014

Backpacker sure likes the idea of people getting loaded in the backcountry, huh? So which one is it Backpacker. To I follow the fear campaign about all the dangers you promote or do I just get ripped?

Star Star Star Star Star
Jun 05, 2013

Erery customer satisfied with our china nfl jerseys, they are promised best quality in the market, and our service is the best. Good jerseys is the life of our company. Hope to do more business with you. Hope you can have a try for our jerseys.
china nfl jerseys wholesale, cheap jerseys from china, 2013 new style nfl jerseys sale, cheap new nfl jersey, mlb jerseys for sale
baseball jerseys for sale, cheap mlb jerseys
nba jerseys cheap for sale, cheap nba jerseys
Australia basketball jerseys sale. Australia soccer jerseys cheap.

Star Star Star Star Star
May 19, 2013

Cheap china jersey sale, china jersey cheap, new nfl jersey cheap, 2013 new nfl jersey sale, nfl jersey 2013, cheap baseball jerseys
sf giants jersey cheap, baseball jersey for sale, wholesale nba jerseys, wholesale nhl jerseys,
wholesale nike nfl jerseys, new nfl jersey wholesale
cheap mlb jerseys, cheap nhl jersey
cheap nba jerseys, wholesale mlb jersey, cheap nhl jerseys

Jan 03, 2012

My favorite toddy; Rum, Hot water, Ginger tea, a pinch of cayenne and a pat of butter.

Jan 05, 2011

Whiskey and instant lemon/lime Gatorade served hot. Sounds funky, but tastes good. Prep is easy and it replaces electrolytes.

LA Maroon
Nov 17, 2010

Ditto on the Hot Toddy for a head cold of any kind.
Much better then any PM cold medicine.

Toddies are warm in two ways on the trail.
Whiskey Warm and Caliente Warm

jimmy beam
Nov 16, 2010

tang and bourbon it works try it simple to make and a pleasant taste

Nov 14, 2010

One packet dark chocolate hot chocolate mix
2oz. peppermint schnapps
use a candy cane as a stirrer.

Nov 12, 2010

For those days I have a sinus cold:
Start with your favourite hot tea - mine is Earl Grey.
Add 1/2 to full packet of NeoCitran (in my case cold&sinus).
Add honey to taste.
Add 1 oz. whiskey or scotch.
Sleep peacefully.

Nov 12, 2010

In my experience, hot toddies can be MUCH simplified based on the tenet that everything tastes better on the trail...especially if preparation time is short! My version of a backpacker's hot toddy: boiling water + tea of choice + whiskey-based flavored liquor (such as Bailey's). No need to fuss with honey, sugar, or spices. Cheers!

Nov 12, 2010

For those days I have a sinus cold:
Start with your favourite hot tea - mine is Earl Grey.
Add 1/2 to full packet of NeoCitran (in my case cold&sinus).
Add honey to taste.
Add 1 oz. whiskey or scotch.
Sleep peacefully.


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
Falling in the backcountry
Posted On: Aug 20, 2014
Submitted By: Grizzly James
The Political Arena
How ISIS got rich
Posted On: Aug 20, 2014
Submitted By: Ben2World

View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions