10 Best Whiskeys For A Hot Toddy

A hot toddy is a warm, boozy drink many of us turn to during the cold winter months. MasterClass says the cocktail supposedly first came about in Scotland in the 18th century and has since been said to help soothe symptoms of the common cold. That makes sense since the main ingredients include honey, lemon, and hot tea (or hot water), all of which are soothing for a stubborn sore throat and chills. But this, after all, is a cocktail, and it also includes whiskey. That may or may not help a cough that won't quit, but either way, we're going to enjoy it.

Speaking of whiskey, there are plenty that can be used when whipping up an at-home hot toddy, but some are better than others. Liquor.com says whiskeys that have notes of vanilla and caramel work especially well in a hot toddy as they offer just the right amount of sweetness (when paired with the other ingredients). To help you craft your cocktail like a pro, we've found the 10 best whiskeys for a hot toddy.

Four Roses Yellow Label

We have to admit, we're big fans of Four Roses. It's a pretty smooth drink on its own (or with a sphere ice ball) and its Single Barrel is one of our top picks for a solid Old Fashioned. But we're here to talk specifically about the Four Roses Yellow Label. According to Four Roses, this bourbon is nice and mellow with a long and soft finish, and we can't agree more. No wonder it's one of our favorites. But with notes of honey and spice along with hints of fresh apple on the tongue, Four Roses Yellow Label makes for a great addition to your hot toddy.

According to Difford's Guide, this label is aged around 5½-to-6 years and blended in roughly 200 casks helping to provide those warm vanilla and caramel flavors we love so much, and that accompany the hot toddy in the best way. 

Jameson Irish Whiskey

When it comes to whiskey, Jameson knows what it's doing. There's a lot that goes into creating the Jameson Irish Whiskey, and we say it's worth it. To create this masterful spirit known for its smooth taste with delicious traces of nut and vanilla, pot still and fine grain whiskey are triple distilled, and then aged in oak casks for four years, says Jameson.

The Spirit of Business says Jameson Irish Whiskey is a global best-selling Irish whiskey, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that there is an actual Jameson hot toddy out there for all of us to enjoy. According to Bevvy, this spin on the classic warming cocktail comes from the NYC bartender Jane Danger who created a spiced tea syrup that is made with black tea and sugar to help enhance the hot toddy flavor. But you can customize your drink to your liking, with or without the syrup. Just don't forget the Jameson for this one.

Wild Turkey 101

Wild Turkey says its 101 bourbon is aged for six-to-eight years in American White Oak barrels that are then covered in what is called an "alligator char." For those who aren't familiar with this type of char, WhiskeyStories explains it is very heavy and gives off the look of the actual skin of an alligator. We know it sounds different (and also kind of cool), but this char can help pack some serious flavor. The result for Wild Turkey 101 is both sweet and bold with an aroma of oak and vanilla and a spicy finish.

Even though it's a higher proof than other whiskeys, VinePair says that doesn't get in the way when it comes to the overall taste and aroma of Wild Turkey 101. According to Epicurious, the 101 proof adds just the right amount of heat to help sustain any other ingredients added to it making for a winning cocktail, which is why it's one of the best whiskeys for a hot toddy in our books.  

Buffalo Trace Bourbon

When you want a bourbon that won't let you down, you go with the old standby. Buffalo Trace Distillery says it has been perfecting the art of crafting its bourbon for over 200 years and in that time has been granted plenty of awards to prove its place in the industry. Don't just take our word for it, either. Take a sip of this bourbon and just try not to enjoy a mix of molasses and vanilla on the nose with brown sugar and oak on the tongue, making for a flavorful combination — which is why we think it's one of the 10 best whiskeys for a hot toddy.

Diving for Pearls says it's the subtle note of honey that also helps make Buffalo Trace 101 a winner for hot toddies, while Whiskey Raiders states the gentle warm finish with hints of caramel and vanilla makes this bourbon one to remember. Sounds delicious to us.

Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey

Don't you just hate when some seem to have it all? Well, Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey is that someone, or, well, something, but we can't be mad at it. This bottle is a triple threat when it comes to whiskeys. Not only is it made with three different types of grain, but it's then triple distilled and includes a blend of three Irish whiskeys (grain, malt, and pot still), says Tullamore D.E.W. With this diverse combination of whiskeys, you can expect a flavorful sip that is both sweet and fruity with just the right amount of spice.

Whisky Advocate says a blended Irish whiskey, such as Tullamore D.E.W., is ideal for a hot toddy because the flavor combination is sweet with notes of honey that work incredibly well with this drink. With a spirit that has so much going for it, who can be surprised it's one of the best whiskeys for a hot toddy?

Monkey Shoulder

While a lot of the whiskeys we've already mentioned can both be good on their own and in a cocktail, Monkey Shoulder says their malt whiskey is made purely for mixing. This baby, started in 2003, was created specifically to be used in whisky cocktails. So, naturally, this brand is on our list of best whiskeys for a hot toddy. Grab a bottle and take a long inhale to enjoy scents of orange and vanilla along with spiced oak. You'll then be tasting warm vanilla that will help create a flavorful and well-balanced drink without overshadowing the other flavors. 

According to Drinking Hobby, Monkey Shoulder can still be enjoyed on its own, but it is the right option for making a hot toddy since the reason behind its creation was to mix cocktails. But it's also because it's a Scotch whisky and has a slight smokiness that adds a little something special to the cocktail.

The Sexton Whiskey Single Malt

According to The Sexton, its Whiskey Single Malt is made with Irish malted barley and then aged in sherry casks from Spain for about four years. All of this helps to offer a rich flavor with some hints of dried fruit and honeycomb to the palate. We say yes please to all of that. Also, who can say no to that cool bottle?

Causeway Coast Whiskey Reviews states since The Sexton Whiskey Single Malt has a powerful flavor profile of brown sugar, lemon, and cinnamon — all the classic hot toddy flavors in one bottle. However, that doesn't mean you should simply add some hot water to this whiskey and be done (though you can certainly try). This spirit is not too complicated and has a short finish of oak and brown sugar, which means The Sexton Whiskey Single Malt really works best when mixed in a hot toddy with all the fixings. 

The Famous Grouse

No one will deny that the Scottish know a thing or two about whisky. Case in point: The Famous Grouse. This Scottish whisky has been around for more than 40 years, says The Famous Grouse, and is a classic to many in Scotland. It's made with a blend of grain and malt whiskies and is filtered at high temperatures to achieve deep flavors. When you sniff this stuff, you'll smell a mix of citrus and shortbread with a taste of oak and cinnamon. Expect a super smooth finish that can last, too.

Flaviar says The Famous Grouse packs a punch but is good all around thanks to its wide variety of yummy notes on the palate, such as toffee, creamed malt, and a touch of smokiness. We can't help but agree that these are all the scents and smells we love to have in our hot toddies. 

Bulleit Rye

Bulleit Rye is pretty new to the market but still holds its own, making us happy to have it around today. According to Bulleit, this whiskey with rye and malted barley first came out in 2011 and has since been recognized for a variety of awards. Those oaky notes and super smooth flavor have us tasting vanilla, honey, and a lot of spice. That crisp finish also gets us every time, and we love how it lingers on the tongue long after.

Breaking Bourbon says Bulleit is bold yet sweet with flavors of graham cracker and molasses which we believe makes a great whiskey for a hot toddy on a cold night. Thanks to the process behind its creation, the spirit is aged in charred white oak barrels, says Cocktail Courier, which helps the Bulleit Rye pack in flavor that we love both for a hot toddy and on its own. 

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey 

Perhaps you're new to whiskey and are not yet ready for something overly bold that will linger on the back of your throat. Don't worry, you'll get there. But, for now, if you want a smooth and slightly sweet whiskey to kick things off, Jack Daniel's is your best bet. Jack Daniel's says the Tennessee Honey whiskey is made by blending its Tennessee Whiskey and honey liqueur (made with real honey) to provide a naturally delicious flavor. While this might be a great sipping whiskey for a beginner, we also say this is a no-brainer when it comes to being one of the best whiskeys for a hot toddy.

According to Drink Spirits, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey is not over-the-top sweet and keeps everything balanced thanks to the notes of cinnamon and spice. And even though this spirit is 70 proof, you won't walk away with that strong alcohol burn other potent whiskeys can offer.