Hot Rosemary Toddy

by Katherine Perry

The hot toddy is the most famous, simple, and austere of the hot cocktails. This is the drink I go to as my healing potion. As we know it today, a Hot Toddy is simply a mixture of liquor (generally whiskey or brandy), a sweetener, spices or herbs, and a squeeze of citrus, topped off with hot water. But for me, within those parameters, anything goes.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1⁄4 cup rosemary leaves, plus additional sprigs for garnish
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 ounces of whiskey
Hot Rosemary Toddy

Ian MacLellan

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is fully dissolved. Turn off heat and add rosemary leaves. Leave to steep for at least an hour, or as long as overnight. Strain out leaves. (This simple syrup will last for months in the fridge and is great for all kinds of drinks, hot and cold.)

Combine 2 ounces of the rosemary simple syrup and 2 ounces of whiskey in a mug with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon). Pour in boiling water and stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge and rosemary sprig.

Yield: 1 serving