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Bourbon and Beer Toddy

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Bourbon and beer toddy in a clear mug with a cream float and orange wheel garnish
Bourbon and Beer Toddy

Well hello there, toddy of my dreams! I’m here to advocate both bourbon AND beer together in this Bourbon and Beer Toddy. I put them together because I was dreaming of bourbon and beer festivals and hope that someday soon we’ll return to those fabulous outdoor events.

This combination shocked me. The beer syrup, made from a porter I’d had in the fridge for months, became thick, malty, chocolatey and full of coffee notes once made into a syrup. It blended beautifully with the bourbon and lemon. 

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What’s a Hot Toddy?

One of the simplest drinks to make, it’s one I grew up drinking when I had a cold or cough. At its simplest, the hot toddy is whiskey, lemon, hot water and a sweetener, usually honey.

Tips to Perfect Your Toddy

Bourbon and beer toddy in a clear mug with a cream float and orange wheel garnish
Bourbon and Beer Toddy

Heat your mug while you’re gathering your ingredients. Instead of having the cocktail do the work of warming the mug, take the time to heat your serving mug. You can either fill it with hot water, or I put mine in the microwave with water in it to heat.

This keeps the drink warmer longer as you sip it. And this is a cocktail meant to sip.

Toddies are fabulous cocktails to play with in their variations. You can use hot tea or hot apple cider in place of the hot water. You can use maple syrup or any other syrup as the sweetener. You can also vary the spirit you use. While whiskey is traditional, toddies work well with rum, aged spirits, and even a balanced gin!

Why You Should Stop Everything and Make This Beer Syrup

This syrup is magical. It doesn’t taste like beer to me. It reminds me of beer in its malted flavor, but as it reduces down beer becomes sweet and syrupy. It tastes a bit of chocolate and coffee since I used a porter beer. It’s as thick as maple syrup and has notes of baking spices in it. It’s something you could eat by the spoonful.

But let’s save it for cocktails and desserts instead.

One caveat: making this syrup will absolutely make your house smell like a beer hall. To make the syrup, add one can of porter beer and a cup of light brown sugar to a saucepan. Reduce over low heat until it’s thick and syrupy. It’s very easy to burn, so take your time reducing it. If you scorch it, you won’t want to use it for cocktails. 

Watch the pot while you heat it. If the beer is not flat it will easily boil over. Guess how I figured that one out.

Making the Beer and Bourbon Toddy

Bourbon and beer toddy in a clear mug with a cream float and orange wheel garnish
Bourbon and Beer Toddy

What I love about the toddy is that it’s built in glass. You don’t need to get out a mixing glass or a shaker. For this toddy, I added the beer syrup, lemon juice and bourbon to a heat-safe mug, stirred it and added the hot tea.

If you top with the beer syrup-infused cream, pour it over the back of a spoon onto the surface of the toddy so you have a clean float on the top of the beer and bourbon toddy. If you wish, add a star anise or cinnamon stick, or an orange wheel.

Other toddies and hot drinks you might enjoy

Recommended Bar Tools

You don’t need every slick, beautiful bar tool out there, but there are several I’ll recommend. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, that does not affect the cost of the items below.) My favorite pieces usually come from the Cocktail Kingdom section of Amazon:

You may already have these bar essentials, but just in case:

Bourbon and beer toddy in a clear mug with a cream float and orange wheel garnish

Bourbon and Beer Toddy

Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktailHeather Wibbels
The most magical toddy of all had chocolate malt and coffee flavors from a porter beer syrup that melds beautifully with a great mid-proof bourbon and a little winter-spiced tea. 
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Course Drinks
Cuisine Bourbon Cocktail
Servings 1


  • ½ oz beer syrup*
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • 1.5 oz bourbon use 95 proof or higher
  • 4-6 oz winter spice tea
  • Beer syrup-infused whipped cream optional**
  • Garnish: star anise, orange slice, cinnamon stick


  • Put hot water in a heat-proof mug to warm it. Make a cup of winter spice tea and let it steep while building the cocktail. Empty the heat-proof mug, add the beer syrup, lemon and bourbon and stir. Add 4 to 6 ounces of hot tea. Pour 1 oz of beer syrup-infused whipped cream over the back of a spoon to float on top of the cocktail. Garnish with an orange wheel and star anise or cinnamon.


*Beer Syrup
  • 1 bottle of porter beer 
  • 8 oz of brown sugar 
Reduce over very low heat for 45 min to 1 hour, barely simmering. Let cool completely and refrigerate.
**Beer syrup-infused whipped cream
  • 2 oz whipping cream
  • ½ oz beer syrup
Combine the two in a small jar and shake until very thick.
Keyword beer syrup, bourbon, cream, hot cocktail, hot toddy, lemon, tea
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

By on December 3rd, 2020
Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktail

About Heather Wibbels

Heather Wibbels is a whiskey and cocktail author (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching and designing cocktails, drinking cocktails, and teaching cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location.

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