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.
(Post may contain affiliate links.)
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
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
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
Did you try it? I love getting unsolicited DRINK pics from you when you try out a cocktail. Send them along to me on social media. Join me on my social channels at @cocktail_contessa on Instagram and Cocktail Contessa on Facebook and use the hashtags #cocktailcontessa and #bourbonismycomfortfood.
Want more cocktail content? Subscribe to my weekly newsletter here and get a free ebook of my favorite cocktails I can’t stop making!
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:
You probably already have these, but you may need them, too:
Bourbon and Beer Toddy
- 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.
- 1 bottle of porter beer
- 8 oz of brown sugar
- 2 oz whipping cream
- ½ oz beer syrup