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How To Make A Healthy Hot Toddy

by California Digital News


Traditionally made with lemon juice, water or tea, whiskey, honey spices like cinnamon, and sweetened with honey, Hot Toddy’s are a delicious classic comforting winter cocktail that warms the bones. 

Hot Toddy’s originated in India in the 1700’s, and for centuries variations have been used as a folk remedy to ease symptoms of cold and flu like sore throat, congestion and stuffy sinuses.

There’s no definitive research on whether a ‘Hot Toddy ’is the best method to kick winter bug symptoms, but the flavors are soothing and delicious. Relax in front of a roaring fire under a blanket and you have a little slice of Zen.

In our version, we’re replacing the hot water in the standard hot toddy recipe with antioxidant-rich green tea. 

But our recipe has another healthy boost!

We use Flora’s Mānuka honey and Ginger+Lemon Apple Cider Vinegar wellness tonic to sweeten and flavor our hot toddy. The Mānuka honey has floral, earthy, and caramel notes, while the Ginger+Lemon ACV adds a dash of herbal tanginess. They also help support your digestion and immunity!

Ingredients You’ll Need For This Healthy Hot Toddy

  • Hot Green Tea: Use decaf if you’re sensitive to caffeine or drinking this late at night. You can also use black tea or the herbal tea of your choice. 
  • Whiskey: If you don’t drink alcohol, whiskey is optional. 
  • Mānuka Honey: A superfood native to New Zealand, Mānuka (pronounced ‘muh-NOO-kuh’) honey is a delicious, medium sweet and earthy honey that will stick to your spoon rather than drizzle off of it. Its flavor is deep and rich.

Manuka honey is rich in antioxidants and trace nutrients like B-vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and zinc. 

But Mānuka honey is considered a superfood because it contains powerful compounds with antioxidant properties called methylglyoxal (MGO). These compounds aren’t found in other types of honey and give Manuka a super boost of antimicrobial properties.

You can buy Mānuka honey with different strengths of MGO measured by its UMF™ (Unique Mānuka Factor). See a few tips for buying it below.

  • Flora Lemon + Ginger Apple Cider Vinegar: A special addition to this Hot Toddy, we love the crisp, tart flavor of this refreshing organic and vegan lemon and ginger flavored wellness tonic that can support digestion. But it tastes delicious too! 

Brewed in small batches, this tonic is a blend of USA made apple cider vinegar flavored with the world renowned Flor-Essence tea formula, body-cleansing tea formula made with eight antioxidant and nutrient rich herbs. 

These herbs cleanse at the cellular level, supporting the body’s own detoxification pathways. And while apple cider vinegar isn’t a traditional ingredient in a Hot Toddy, it blends perfectly. 

Unlike straight ACV, this tonic is one you can drink straight from the bottle since it’s gently sweetened with apple juice.

And bonus: It’s Organic + Non-GMO + Gluten-Free + Vegan + Caffeine-Free

  • Lemon Juice: Some fresh lemon juice will add an extra lemony zing that all Hot Toddy’s need!  Lemons are also a good source of vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium and that can support health and immunity.
  • Garnishes: A cinnamon stick and slice of fresh lemon in a Hot Toddy is classic! You can also add some star anise or spike your lemon slice with cloves.

Healthy Hot Toddy Recipe Variations

This Healthy Hot Toddy is really easy to customize. Check out some of our tips and serving suggestions below.

  • We used green tea, but black tea like oolong is a great substitute. For a flavor twist, you can try another style of hot tea like ginger, chai, or chamomile.
  • If you don’t have whiskey, you can substitute brandy or rum.
  • Although whiskey is a standard ingredient in this recipe, you can leave it out and simply add more tea for a mocktail version.

How to Buy Mānuka Honey

You can buy Mānuka honey with different strengths of its MGO content which are measured by its UMF™ (Unique Mānuka Factor). The more MGO a Manuka honey contains, the more rare it is and therefore costs more.

We like to stick with Flora’s Mānuka Honey because:

  • It’s UMF™-certified: Authentic Mānuka honey will have a UMF™ (Unique Mānuka Factor) certification rating on its label. If it doesn’t have it, don’t get it. This internationally recognized, third-party verification system tests for four signature compounds.
  • Every batch is traceable to the hive:  Scan the NFC code on the label for its lab test results. The place where you buy your Mānuka Honey from should share lab testing results and be upfront about their source.
  • It’s sustainably sourced:  Flora sources its Mānuka honey sustainably from a beekeeping operation owned by the Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand. 

What Strength Manuka Honey Should You Use in this Hot Toddy?

If you only want to enjoy Manuka honey for its unique flavor characteristics, an MGO strength of 30+ or 100+ is enough for everyday culinary use.

If you’re more interested in the beneficial therapeutic potential of Manuka honey, using an MGO strength of 250+ or higher is best.

How to Make this Healthy Hot Toddy

  • Prepare Your Green Tea: Steep your tea bag in 6 ounces of boiling water.
  • Add your whiskey (optional): Warm the whiskey in the microwave for 15 seconds before adding, so you don’t cool the tea too much.
  • Add the Ginger + Lemon Apple Cider Vinegar Wellness Tonic: Two tablespoons will give you that kick of tangy herbal ginger flavor and a touch of sweet.
  • Stir in the Manuka Honey: Manuka honey is thick, so it may take some stirring for it to dissolve. Add 2 teaspoons or more to taste. 
  • Next, stir in the lemon juice:  One tablespoon is perfect. 
  • Garnish before serving: Add your lemon slice and cinnamon stick. A star anise pod is optional, but a nice touch.
  • Enjoy!


To bring out the flavor of your cinnamon stick garnish, add it to the mug with hot water while you’re brewing your green tea.


Healthy Hot Toddy

Try this healthy take on a classic Hot Toddy with the additions of an herbal apple cider based wellness tonic that supports digestion, an antioxidant rich green tea. Sweetening this Hot Toddy with Manuka honey, adds rich notes of toffee and caramel.


  • 6 ounces prepared Green Tea hot
  • 2 tablespoons of Flora Lemon Ginger Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1-1.5 ounces of whiskey 2-3 tablespoons (optional)
  • 1 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Flora Mānuka Honey
  • Garnish
  • lemon Slice
  • cinnamon Stick
  • star Anise Pod optional


  • Prepare Your Green Tea: Steep your tea bag in 6 ounces of boiling water and steep for 3 minutes.

  • Add your whiskey (optional): Warm the whiskey in the microwave for 10 seconds. Then add it to your mug or glass with the tea.

  • Then stir in the remaining ingredients, including the Lemon + Ginger Apple Cider Vinegar, fresh lemon juice and the Manuka honey. Manuka honey is thick, so stir until completely dissolved.

  • Add the lemon slice and cinnamon stick

  • Serve + Enjoy!

💡 Visit for Ginger Lemon Apple Cider Vinegar and traceable Mānuka Honey!

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