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The 7 Best Whiskeys for a Killer Hot Toddy

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by Hunter Branch

Easy Hot Toddy photo: Heather Wibbels

When winter comes, so do hot toddies.

And few things can warm you up and quell cold symptoms quite like this beautiful drink.

But when it comes to making one, there’s one question I get asked all the time…

“What whiskey should I use?”

And it’s a great question because there are literally 100s of whiskeys to choose from.

To make things even more complicated, different whiskeys have drastically different flavor profiles—some of which don’t complement a hot toddy as well as others.

It can be incredibly overwhelming.

So in this article, my goal is to take away the confusion through 7 can’t-miss whiskeys that go great with hot toddies.

This list contains both affordable and top-shelf options so you can find a great bottle regardless of your budget.

Let’s dive in.

(These are not listed in any particular order.)

1. Larceny

This wheated bourbon is often compared to Maker’s Mark but is lesser-known than its red-waxed counterpart.

It’s a crowd-pleaser—with a sweet and balanced flavor profile.

It’s not going to blow you away, but it’s an incredible value option for your hot toddy at ~$25 for 750ml.

2. Four Roses Yellow Label

Four Roses Bourbon in a white box
photo: Hunter Branch

As the #1 budget option on the list, Four Roses’s standard option is a great buy.

You can grab a 750ml bottle for around $20 and it has a simple, sweet, and mellow flavor profile.

While it could technically be considered a bottom shelf option, it could hold its own against more expensive bottles in blind taste tests.

3. Maker’s Mark

Makers Mark bottle on a table
photo: Hunter Branch

One of the most iconic bourbon brands out there, the standard Maker’s Mark offering is a solid pick.

It has a “classic” sweet and simple flavor profile that works well in a hot toddy.

If you like your hot toddy on the sweet side, this might be your best option for under $30 (you can grab a 750ml bottle for around $28).

4. Angel’s Envy Finished Rye

Coming in as the most expensive bottle on this list by far (~$100 for 750ml), Angel’s Envy Finished Rye is a great pick if you’re looking for a top-shelf option.

Many claim this is the best whiskey they’ve ever tasted.

And its unique flavor profile (coming from being finished in rum casks) brings a sweet, yet complex component to a hot toddy.

If you’re looking for a unique hot toddy and have the budget, this one is for you.

5. Woodford Reserve

You can’t go wrong with Woodford Reserve’s famous standard bottle in your hot toddy.

It’s a bit pricer than most whiskeys on this list (~$40 for 750ml) but comes with a spicier, more complex flavor profile.

If you’re looking for a more expensive bottle and like a spicy hot toddy, this is your best bet.

6. Buffalo Trace

Frequently referred to as the best budget bourbon, Buffalo Trace’s standard offering is a can’t-miss bottle for your hot toddy if you happen to find it.

Big emphasis on “if” depending on your location.

Buffalo Trace is usually readily available across the United States, but it often sells out quickly.

But if you do find it, it’s worth using in your hot toddy because it’s a middle ground between a sweet profile like Maker’s Mark and a spicy one like Wild Turkey 101.

You can buy a 750ml bottle for ~$30.

7. Wild Turkey 101

Wild Turkey 101 in a white box
photo: Hunter Branch

Like a spicy hot toddy?

Wild Turkey 101 is for you.

With higher rye content and proof than most bourbons on this list, it’ll add some flair to your drink.

It’s also extremely affordable—coming in at ~$25 for 750ml.

You Can’t Go Wrong With Any of These Whiskeys for Your Hot Toddy

Every whiskey on this list makes a great hot toddy.

Some will be sweeter, some spicer.  Some will be more expensive, some affordable.

But regardless of which you choose, you can’t go wrong.

The important thing is to enjoy your exceptional hot toddy.

And now that you have a great whiskey picked out, you can make sure your recipe is just as great.

Heather has some incredible ones that you can choose from:

  1. Easy Hot Toddy
  2. Cinnamon Toddy
  3. Bourbon and Beer Toddy
  4. Quarantoddy

Hunter Branch is the owner of Bourbon Inspector—a blog designed to help you find great bourbons, accessories, and ways to enjoy America’s native spirit.

By on November 2nd, 2021
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About Hunter Branch

Hunter Branch is the owner of Bourbon Inspector—a blog designed to help you find great bourbons, accessories, and ways to enjoy America’s native spirit.

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4 thoughts on “The 7 Best Whiskeys for a Killer Hot Toddy”

  1. Over the years I have used Crown when making my Hot Toddy’s. However, recently I have ventured down a bourbon “rabbit hole” and have been tasting and testing various bourbons. I have tried 4 (Larceny, Makers Mark, Woodford and Buffalo) out of the 7 so far on your list. Last night I tried the #7 on your list, Wild Turkey 101. I must say this choice made the best toddy I have ever made. Not taking anything away from the others on the list, especially Woodford and Buffalo, but the 101 offered a different kind of flair and spiciness to the drink then I’ve experienced. IMO its the perfect bourbon for what a Hot Toddy is supposed to do. Warm you up and bring you comfort. Thank you for posting this list.

    • I agree that WT makes an excellent toddy! So much of what we love in a cocktail comes down to personal choice and I’ll say that I have a lot of fun going through a list of bourbons to find the “best” one for a particular cocktail. Experiments with flavors can be so much fun!


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