Many drinks are meant to invigorate and refresh, but the warmth from a toddy has always carried a more mellow tone. Though known for soothing a cough, its restorative mixture of lemon, honey, spices and hot water packs a punch when mixed with a solid dram of whiskey or brandy. Since the toddy’s creation centuries ago, many variations have popped up, and this one, from Middle Branch — part of the Milk & Honey family of bars — is particularly pleasing.

As a Colorado native, Middle Branch owner/bartender Lucinda Sterling had to reach for a craft spirit from her home state in making this drink. Stranahan’s unique Colorado whiskey is a rich complement to the fresh pressed apple cider and ginger notes from the Domaine de Canton liqueur. Instead of grated nutmeg and cinnamon, Sterling uses a softer spiced tea blend, allowing the whiskey and lemon to not be overshadowed by baking spice.

Going down all too easily, thankfully the toddy’s pour-and-go preparation means the only trick is making sure your water is hot enough and that you can handle the glass as you gleefully sip away to good health. Enjoy.

Hot Toddy

Servings: 1 cocktail

1½ ounces Elijah Craig Bourbon
¾ ounce honey syrup
2 pieces lemon


  1. In a glass coffee mug, combine two lemon wedges with bourbon and honey.
  2. Top with hot water and grated nutmeg and cinnamon over the top of the drink.

The Warm Embrace

Servings: 1 cocktail

1 ounce Stranahan’s Colorado whiskey
1 ounce Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
½ ounce fresh pressed apple cider
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
2 ounces Celestial Seasonings cinnamon apple spice tea


  1. Build ingredients together in a sour glass.
  2. Top with hot water and garnish with an apple slice.

Prep time: 3 minutes
Difficulty: Easy