toddyWhether you’re under the weather, or just in the mood for something warm and comforting, the toddy is a sure bet to happiness. The basic toddy is a humble recipe, composed of a base liquor, honey, lemon, and tea.

You can dress a toddy up or down as much as you like, so if you’re feeling more ambitious, here is the recipe for our signature toddy.

 Capitol Cider’s Naughty Toddy:

  • 1.5 oz. Brown Sugar Bourbon
  • ½ oz. Shrub – see recipe below
  • ½ oz. Amaretto
  • ¼ oz. Lemon Juice – one good wedge squeezed into the glass will work

Brew the tea in a mug at about 2/3 full;  Add other ingredients.  Garnish.  Sip and Savor.  Repeat.

Description of Ingredients and Variations:

Bourbon – We really like the Brown Sugar Bourbon from Heritage Distilling Co. for this cocktail; they are based out of Gig Harbor. The bourbon is a little sweet with definite notes of cinnamon and brown sugar. It’s also great around a campfire.

Shrub – You can purchase a shrub or make your own.  Shrubs are a fun and easy way to make your home a little bit of a cocktail laboratory, letting you experiment with fermentation while making something that can add some interest to a basic cocktail or turn soda water into a creative non-alcoholic beverage for the whole family.

Capitol Cider’s House Shrub:


  • 1 ½ lbs oranges
  • 10 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 allspice seeds
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 10 cloves
  • ½ nutmeg kernel, grated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup champagne vinegar


  • Cut oranges into rings, leaving the skin on, layer in sugar
  • Let sit for 5 hours at room temperature, loosely covered to keep fruit fly’s away
  • Add vinegar and spices
  • Stir well
  • Let sit for a day at normal room temperature, if it’s very hot out, let sit for a couple days in the fridge
  • Pour the finished shrub through a cheesecloth lined strainer, and squeeze out the cheesecloth very well so that you use every last flavorful drop!
  • Cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks

Amaretto – This is a sweet almond liqueur from Saronno, Italy, in the northern region of Lombardy. There are also apricot notes in the amaretto that make it a really nice addition to this toddy.

Fresh Lemon – lemons contain vitamin C, citric acid, flavonoids, B-complex vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium (in fact more potassium than apples or grapes).  Fresh citrus juice is part of the healing magic of a toddy; fresh citrus juice.

Honey – whatever you have on hand will work. If you’re going to add raw honey, wait until the hot toddy temperature has cooled to 120 degrees, or you will lose some of the immune boosting antioxidants called phenolic compounds.

Earl Grey Tea – We love the bergamot this toddy. If you have a different sort of black tea that you prefer, go ahead and try it.  You can also experiment with chai tea, or for a decaf twist, try  spiced orange or raspberry zinger.

Garnishes we like are brandied cherries, orange slices, and cinnamon sticks.

Variations of toddy’s include:

  • Replace the bourbon with rum
  • Replace the shrub with apple bitters
  • Replace the amaretto with a fruit brandy like Finn River Pear.
  • Replace honey with agave (less robust flavor and just as sweet)
  • Use a clear liquor such as a gin or flavored vodka. Rosemary Vodka from OOLA w/ agave in place of honey creates a blond version of the toddy with more herbal the winter spice notes.