When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Hot Toddy!

| Featuring , , ,

The hot toddy is believed to have gotten it’s name from the Indian tadi. It is said that the British added spices to liquor to recreate the flavors of the tadi. What’s a tadi you ask? Tadi is a fermented drink made out of the sap of a toddy palm (I think it can also be made from regular coconut trees).

Hot Toddy by Indiaphile.info

A gash is made on the tender shoots near the top of a toddy palm, a clay pot is placed over the gash to collect the sap. This sap is allowed to ferment to make an intoxicating alcoholic beverage known as tadi. Tadi tapping requires a lot of skill because it must be harvested by hand. That means that someone has to physically climb up the super tall palm tree to both place and retrieve the clay pots.

Hot Toddy by Indiaphile.info
Toddy Palm. Photo by Srinivasa Krishna

My family made frequent trips between our city home in Bombay and our farm home three hours away when we were kids. My brother and I would often play “spot the tadi” on the long drives to entertain ourselves.

Keeping our eyes peeled for the toddy palms with clay pots tied to them provided us with endless hours of entertainment. We especially loved it if we were lucky enough to see someone climbing the tree to retrieve the tadi.

Although I have never actually tasted tadi, I have had the delicious fruit of the toddy palm. Us Gujaratis call it tadgola. It looks like a miniature coconut, it even has a thin outer husk. Once the husk is removed, you get a translucent, juicy fruit that looks a lot like a lychee and tastes like a tender young coconut.

Try some of my other favorite bourbon drinks, like Chai Bourbon Fizz and Mississippi Delta Infusion.

Hot Toddy by Indiaphile.info
Hot Toddy!

Hot Toddy

Puja Thomas-Patel
A hot toddy is a tea a classic tea and whiskey drink that got its name in India.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 135 kcal


  • 1 cup water double the water if you don’t want it super strong
  • 4 slices of fresh ginger about 1/4 inch wide
  • 4 oz Bourbon
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice use less if you don’t like it too lemony
  • 2 cinnamon sticks each broken into two
  • 4 star anise
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 4 slices of lemon for garnish


  • Boil the water with the fresh ginger added in.
  • Line up four serving mugs and fill each with 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise and 2 cardamom pods.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of boiling water into each mug.
  • Add 1 oz of Bourbon into each mug and stir (at this point, I usually take out all the spices except the star anise)
  • Serve hot garnished with a lemon slice.


Feel free to use either whiskey, gin or rum if you prefer and to switch out the spices to your tastes.


Serving: 3ozCalories: 135kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 8mgPotassium: 100mgFiber: 2gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 10IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 1mg
Keyword whiskey
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. I’ve never actually had a hot toddy but seeing a couple of hot toddy’s appear in the overview of the entries for the challenge I am now very tempted to make one myself and it is certainly cold enough! Love your image!!

  2. My wife and I had many hot toddys during our time in Kolkata. I’ve been trying to recreate it for a while now but it was never quite right. Your recipe is perfect. Thank you.

  3. Winter is a torment for me but with these amazing drink ideas kept me warm throughout. Of course more of it is left so I cant wait to explore the entire list.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating