Holiday Toddy

I happen to be in love with Christmas. I love the smells, sounds, the foods of Christmas… Christmas movies. I love it all. I’m actually listening to Christmas carols as I type this post, and I was listening to Christmas carols when I whipped up this toddy. I start listening on the first cold day or, the 1st of October, whichever occurs first.

About this time of year I also have a well-stocked liquor cabinet, so I can create a holiday-inspired cocktail with pomegranate vodka, eggnog liqueur, peppermint schnapps – whatever I fancy. I am very lucky this way.

Today it’s chilly, and I was in the mood for a toddy, which, in my book, implies a hot drink. Like a hot buttered rum would be a hot toddy to me.

I had an idea inspired by a recipe I once saw, using tea as the toddy base. I happened to have chai tea bags on hand, so I used them.

I’m using a relatively new liquor that I love, Brown Sugar Bourbon, and I’m not a bourbon lover!

Holiday Toddy
Printable recipe below

8 Chai tea bags
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
7-8 ounces sweetened evaporated milk
8 ounces brown sugar bourbon, or spiced rum, like Captain Morgan
Cinnamon sticks

Place the tea bags, cardamom, and allspice in a heat-proof container; I used a 4-cup measuring cup. Add about 2 cups of boiling hot water and let the tea bags steep for at least 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags.

Add more hot water until it measures 3 cups. Transfer the tea into a stove-top pot with a pour spout, and add the cardamom and allspice. Place on the stove over low heat. Add the sweetened condensed milk and bourbon and whisk until they’re completely combined.

Heat the toddy till it’s steaming, then serve with a cinnamon stick.

Any Christmas-type tea will work, even an orange tea. And, you could always serve the toddy with a little orange peel twirl.

This recipe makes about 6 good-sized cups. It can easily be doubled, or tripled…..

And if you’re wondering who designed these delightful festive cups, it’s Tracy Porter, who unfortunately doesn’t design dinnerware any longer.

By Published On: December 4th, 202069 Comments on Holiday Toddy

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Bam's Kitchen December 10, 2012 at 6:39 PM - Reply

    Adorable little mugs. Tis the season to be jolly and this recipe sounds like it would bring a smile to your guests faces!

  2. chef mimi December 10, 2012 at 7:17 PM - Reply

    Tracy Porter mugs! This toddy brought a warm smile to my hubby’s face after he took the dogs for a walk in the cold!

  3. chef mimi December 13, 2013 at 8:19 AM - Reply

    Reblogged this on chef mimi blog and commented:

    This is such a great hot toddy that I decided to re-blog this post! Merry Christmas everybody!

  4. apuginthekitchen December 13, 2013 at 8:53 AM - Reply

    I am always looking for different toddy recipes, love this one. Drinking toddy’s makes me feel like it;s the holidays.

    • chef mimi December 13, 2013 at 10:19 AM - Reply

      And they’re so warming, so they do serve a purpose!!!

  5. dishnthekitchen December 13, 2013 at 9:33 AM - Reply

    Those are adorable mugs! And the recipe sound delicious too. YUM

    • chef mimi December 13, 2013 at 10:18 AM - Reply

      They’re by Tracy Porter. She’s an amazing designer.

  6. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward December 13, 2013 at 12:55 PM - Reply

    This looks great, Mimi. I love cardamom and definitely a creamy Chai! – Shanna

    • chef mimi December 13, 2013 at 2:05 PM - Reply

      It’s perfect for the cold weather!

      • Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward December 13, 2013 at 7:05 PM

        Definitely! :-) This would be great for any holiday party, too, Mimi.

  7. Debra Eliotseats December 15, 2013 at 8:10 AM - Reply

    Are we finally in for some warmer weather next week? I hope so! I covet those elf mugs! Am pinning this for our next chilly day!

    • chef mimi December 15, 2013 at 10:04 AM - Reply

      Tracy Porter is one of my favorite designers of all things tabletop, but she does other things as well, like bedding.

  8. December 4, 2020 at 6:37 AM - Reply

    I love a hot toddy and it usually is hot buttered rum (my hubby’s recipe). This sounds delicious though especially in those whimsical mugs.

    • chef mimi December 4, 2020 at 7:03 AM - Reply

      I LOVE hot buttered rum. In the recipe I have on my blog, I used a dark spiced rum, so they’re not very pretty, but I love the flavors, so I don’t care! This toddy is fun, too.

      • December 4, 2020 at 7:26 AM

        I am amazed at how many choices of “booze” that is available, whether it’s bourbon or vodka or…

  9. Frank Fariello December 4, 2020 at 7:28 AM - Reply

    Sounds like just the ticket for a cold winter’s night. And the nights really are getting cold these days!

    • chef mimi December 4, 2020 at 8:16 AM - Reply

      It’s a pretty yummy toddy! Where I live, the winters are fairly mild, which I love. It’s the summers that are tough on me!

  10. angiesrecipes December 4, 2020 at 8:13 AM - Reply

    I wish I were holding one of those toddy drinks :-) Those cups are so adorable.

    • chef mimi December 4, 2020 at 8:14 AM - Reply

      Aren’t they cute? I just love them. And the toddy!

  11. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen December 4, 2020 at 8:47 AM - Reply

    My liquor cabinet gets restocked at this time of year too, and the little bottles of spirits keep me in flavor enhancers all year long! This recipe sounds like it would taste like the holidays and warm you up! LOVE the elf mugs as well.

    • chef mimi December 4, 2020 at 8:53 AM - Reply

      I guess it’s a holiday thing? In the spring I always have Midori, and tequila, but in the fall/winter/holiday times there’s SO much from which to choose!!! Rumchata, Buttershots, Amarula, Bailey’s….

      • Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen December 4, 2020 at 9:01 AM

        Oh the Bailey’s! It’s a ritual in my house, my husband surprises me with a big bottle every year!

  12. Claire December 4, 2020 at 9:02 AM - Reply

    Toddy looks delicious but I love your mugs!!!

    • chef mimi December 4, 2020 at 9:03 AM - Reply

      Thanks. They’re really old and I love them!!!

  13. Molly Pisula December 4, 2020 at 10:29 AM - Reply

    Sounds delicious! I could use one today–it’s really feeling like winter here now.

    • chef mimi December 4, 2020 at 10:36 AM - Reply

      Yes, these are really festive!

  14. Mary December 4, 2020 at 1:38 PM - Reply

    Only that it’s Summer here or I would make this about Breakfast time and sip the day away. Sounds very cosy and warming. And what would make it even nicer would be a mug just like yours………….. Oh well. :))

    • chef mimi December 4, 2020 at 3:51 PM - Reply

      Well I understand that! And this wouldn’t be very good on ice…

  15. The Parmigiana Whisperer December 4, 2020 at 3:28 PM - Reply

    this is the perfect festive drink! I love those mugs :)

    • chef mimi December 4, 2020 at 3:51 PM - Reply

      They are so cute. I was smart and grabbed as many as I could find (8) before they were off the market.

  16. Vicki Bensinger December 4, 2020 at 9:42 PM - Reply

    Wow this sounds wonderful. Warming spices with a bit of bourbon is sure to make anyone smile.

    • chef mimi December 5, 2020 at 9:26 AM - Reply

      And we all need to be smiling more, right?!!

  17. marymtf December 4, 2020 at 10:45 PM - Reply

    Any excuse to drink a hot toddy. 🤭 Even though summer is coming round, I may give it a go.

    • chef mimi December 5, 2020 at 9:27 AM - Reply

      That’s what I think! But maybe not in the summer.

  18. Tandy I Lavender and Lime December 4, 2020 at 11:18 PM - Reply

    That Bourbon sounds perfect for Christmas and I just love the mugs!

    • chef mimi December 5, 2020 at 9:24 AM - Reply

      Thanks! I don’t like bourbon, but this brown sugar bourbon is pretty yummy!

  19. Healthy World Cuisine December 5, 2020 at 9:07 AM - Reply

    Love Chai Tea and pairing it with a little bourbon is the perfect way to add a little holiday cheer. How adorable are those little holiday mugs! Wishing you a super holiday season.

    • chef mimi December 5, 2020 at 9:25 AM - Reply

      It’s a pretty yummy drink! Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday as well!

  20. Ron December 5, 2020 at 10:23 AM - Reply

    I’ll have two please. Mimi, I’m a Christmas lover as well and love warm Holiday drinks. I’m a big lover of bourbon, but Brown Sugar Bourbon is new to me. I just checked and it’s not available here, but I’ll keep looking. Spiced rum is always in the liquor cabinet so I’ll give it a try with that. Lovely images…

    • chef mimi December 5, 2020 at 10:28 AM - Reply

      Thank you Ron. I first had it at a wine tasting a couple years ago, along with Screwball, a peanut butter whiskey! And they’ve become favorites here.

  21. Debra December 5, 2020 at 7:21 PM - Reply

    I haven’t had the greatest holiday cheer, but I think this would stand an upright chance of putting me in the mood! I’ll be giving it a try, for sure. :-)

    • chef mimi December 6, 2020 at 7:46 AM - Reply

      Oh, I’m sorry. Things are pretty mucked up, as they say.

  22. Ann Coleman December 5, 2020 at 9:12 PM - Reply

    Those look so good! And I love your Christmas mugs too…I’m a fellow Christmas lover!

    • chef mimi December 6, 2020 at 7:45 AM - Reply

      There’s nothing not to love about Christmas, except I think it should be in January, so that we have an extra month to enjoy the holidays!

  23. Eva Taylor December 6, 2020 at 5:14 AM - Reply

    Ohhhh, such pretty mugs, so festive. I’m not much of a sweet alcohol drinker but it sure would be nice to sip on this during an outdoor visit. We’ve set up our backyard with a heater and electric blankets trying to extend the season because indoor entertaining is out of the question, stupid covid. Our numbers keep going up and our province went into lockdown again until December 23. Just because of a few people who won’t play by the rules, ruining it for everyone.

    • chef mimi December 6, 2020 at 7:44 AM - Reply

      Same here with the rising numbers. Some numbers are directly related to Thanksgiving get togethers. And then locals advertise festivals and galas and whatnot. Well, I’m not going anywhere!

  24. Kim Bultman December 6, 2020 at 3:18 PM - Reply

    Chef Mimi, your Christmas Spirit (and spirits) are so festive! I’m listening to carols and lifting a cup of Christmas cheer to you ‘n’ yours, too. Thanks for making the holidays brighter!

    • chef mimi December 6, 2020 at 3:50 PM - Reply

      That might be the nicest compliment ever! Thank you! And Cheers!

  25. thatskinnychickcanbake December 6, 2020 at 3:28 PM - Reply

    Brown sugar bourbon got my attention! What fun mugs for a festiive holiday cocktail!

    • chef mimi December 6, 2020 at 3:50 PM - Reply

      Yeah, it’s good! I use some in a bourbon butter for a steamed Christmas pudding. Yum.

  26. December 7, 2020 at 4:49 AM - Reply

    I’m not usually as early as you (October) Mimi, when I start listening to Christmas carols or watching Christmas movies. I tend to wait until we get into December. Although this year I started on 1st December to try and bring some cheer. It worked!! I’ve been listening to songs and watching movies for the past week now. All I need now is some of this holiday toddy!!

    • chef mimi December 7, 2020 at 7:14 AM - Reply

      I know – I’m a little extreme but there’s just so much good Christmas music out there! My favorites are the old guys, like Bing Crosby, but now there are so many contemporary versions of traditional songs, and that makes it really fun for me.

  27. David @ Spiced December 7, 2020 at 6:27 AM - Reply

    I love turning on Christmas music during the holidays! It just instantly puts me in a better mood – I’ve been on a real Celtic Christmas kick this past week, and that’s been a fun way to mix things up. Speaking of mixing things up, I need to mix up a batch of this toddy ASAP. We are huge bourbon lovers here, so a bourbon cocktail is right up our alley!

    • chef mimi December 7, 2020 at 7:12 AM - Reply

      Oh, you’ll love these! I love the brown sugar bourbon, but a spiced rum would work as well. Celtic Christmas music is so lovely; I own some by by Celtic Woman.

  28. Raymund December 8, 2020 at 12:15 AM - Reply

    This sounds so warming! a perfect drink while waiting for 12 midnight on the 24th

    • chef mimi December 16, 2020 at 7:54 AM - Reply

      Just don’t use black tea, or you won’t sleep!

  29. Shannon December 8, 2020 at 4:25 AM - Reply

    I’m with you Mimi, Christmas is such an amazing time of year! Love everything about it, especially the music and the movies. This toddy looks and sounds so festive and comforting! Using chai as the base is such a fabulous idea.

    • chef mimi December 16, 2020 at 7:55 AM - Reply

      This is an old joke of mine, but I’ve always wished Christmas was in January, so we could enjoy the festive spirit longer!

  30. Laura December 8, 2020 at 2:57 PM - Reply

    Mimi! I love all your Christmas mugs and am totally in love with the falling snowflakes I see! Bravo! And, this hot toddy sounds like something I could use while sitting here right now! merry Christmas, my friend!

    • chef mimi December 8, 2020 at 4:11 PM - Reply

      Thank you Laura! Merry Christmas as well!

  31. sherry December 8, 2020 at 8:37 PM - Reply

    hi mimi
    love those mugs! we’re more into iced drinks at the moment. we’ve had a heatwave and a big storm and it’s still hot and humid – as it will be for the next four months or so. have a great festive season!

    • chef mimi December 9, 2020 at 6:56 AM - Reply

      Yes, of course. It’s almost summer there! I actually wonder what this drink would be like over ice… it’s still strong and heavy, so maybe not good.

    • chef mimi December 9, 2020 at 7:29 AM - Reply

      Ooops, I thought you were commenting on gingerbread liqueur. I actually think this toddy would be good iced up!

  32. Frank Fariello December 13, 2020 at 7:13 AM - Reply

    Yum! I have to admit I’m having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year. A cup of this may be just what I need…

    • chef mimi December 13, 2020 at 7:14 AM - Reply

      Aw, I’m sorry. It’s always easy for me cause I love this time of year so much. Certainly a little more challenging during a pandemic of course…

  33. Marcelle December 13, 2020 at 12:42 PM - Reply

    Hey Chef Mimi, yes I was wondering where you found those adorable mugs! I’m unfamiliar with Tracy Porter, but I’m going to have to look up her work. :) This toddy sounds like a perfect night cap on a cold winter day. I’m not a whiskey/bourbon person either, but I’ve found some of the flavored ones to be very tasty :) I’ll have to give that one brown sugar bourbon a try. Your pictures are gorgeous!

    • chef mimi December 13, 2020 at 12:47 PM - Reply

      Well, I collected these at least 20 years ago, as well as some of her dinnerware. She’s only in the clothes business now. Her website is So sorry, her goods are so sweet.

  34. David Scott Allen December 18, 2020 at 7:53 AM - Reply

    The chai flavors are perfect for a toddy! Love everything about this. Oh, and our family tradition is that we played the first Christmas record during Thanksgiving dinner. But this year, we started the Christmas movies in July!

    • chef mimi December 18, 2020 at 7:55 AM - Reply

      Thank you. It’s a really good toddy. Christmas movies in July!!! That’s more extreme than I am, for sure! But for 2020, it makes total sense!

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