A Thought For Food » where ideas are brought to simmer

Hot Apple Toddy

It started last year: as Eric and I spent hour after hour on the couch under blankets, indulging in Downton Abbey marathons, we learned about the joys of hot toddies. Being somewhat frugal individuals (with certain things, at least) and having a relatively high tolerance for chilly temps, we decided that instead of warming ourselves with our central heating system, we’d instead sip on bourbon laced libations.  A good plan, don’t you think?

A pot of tea would last us an evening… refilling in between episodes, dousing our mugs with bourbon, spoonfuls of honey and a squeeze of lemon.  Even as the snow lined our sidewalks and icicles formed from the tops of buildings, being there with our toddies, curled up next to my husband and dog, made me forget about all of that.

Needless to say, we’re pretty happy to welcome the return of hot toddy season.  And when I was recently asked by the fine folks at Harry and David to partner with them for a blog post featuring this recipe by Chef Eric Greenspan for a Hot Apple Toddy using their succulent Honey Crisp Apples (which was created for their Seasonal Chef Program, featuring seasonally inspired recipes that showcase Harry & David’s fruit)… well, there was no way I was going to refuse.  Despite my love for hot toddies, though, I must admit that I was a bit skeptical at first… only 2 ounces of apple juice in each cup?  That didn’t seem like a whole lot (especially compared to the portions we work with in our house).  Then I saw that there was a hearty dose of Laird’s Applejack liquor… and I knew this would hit the spot.

For those who haven’t had a hot toddy before, just beware that it will make you a little drowsy. One will certainly relax you… two, and you’ll be sleeping like a baby.

I’m sure you will all enjoy this recipe from Chef Greenspan… to get the latest recipes from the Harry and David Seasonal Chef Program, follow H&D on Facebook.

Hot Apple Toddy

Yield: 4 servings


Juice of 18 Harry & David Honey Crisp Apples (about 8 oz)

1 C. Laird’s Applejack, or a comparable apple brandy

1 cinnamon stick

1 clove

1⁄2 cup of honey

1 lemon

1⁄2 cup fine loose-leaf green tea


1. Add the Harry & David Honey Crisp Apple juice, cinnamon, clove, and tea to a small saucepot and heat until simmering. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain and return to heat until just boiling.

2. In separate coffee mugs, add 2 oz. Applejack, 1/8 cup of honey, a squeeze of 1⁄4 lemon. Slowly pour in 1 1⁄2 oz. hotapple tea, mix and serve.

Disclosure:  Harry & David has provided me with monetary compensation for this post.  All opinions in this post about Harry and David’s products and this recipe are my own. 

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  • KankanaNovember 15, 2012 - 1:17 am

    Oh yes! That and Downtown Abbey would make me so happy right now. Love that show and I am sure the drink is perfect for the season.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla SugarNovember 15, 2012 - 6:46 am

    This is so perfect for a party! Love this idea!ReplyCancel

  • JoanneNovember 15, 2012 - 7:07 am

    These sound like the perfect holiday drink! So warm and cozy. :)ReplyCancel

  • TidyMomNovember 15, 2012 - 8:50 am

    These would be perfect for a holiday gathering! LOVE those mugs Brian!ReplyCancel

  • Kiersten @ Oh My VeggiesNovember 15, 2012 - 9:27 am

    Keeping warm with hot toddies and a blanket sounds like the perfect way to spend a chilly winter evening! I can’t wait to make these, Brian!ReplyCancel

  • Living The Sweet LifeNovember 15, 2012 - 10:05 am

    I’m a little embarrassed that I am only finding out what a hot apple toddy is now. It sounds PERFECT for a chilly morning!! Yuumm yuuummm yuuummmmmReplyCancel

  • Bev @ Bev CooksNovember 15, 2012 - 10:07 am

    Ughhhhhhhh WHY ARE YOU SO AWESOME.ReplyCancel

  • Sandy @ RENovember 15, 2012 - 10:23 am

    I bet the flavor was amazing. Thanks for sharing. Love the photography and those apples are so beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • jaime @ sweet roadNovember 15, 2012 - 10:45 am

    Good call. I get so cold every winter I’m the person who nearly burns the bottoms of my shoes from sitting so close to the fire. A hot toddy sounds like the perfect way to warm up (and sleep).ReplyCancel

  • EileenNovember 15, 2012 - 2:17 pm

    Hot toddies are my favorite, but somehow I have never had one with apples! I’m going to have to fix that directly. :)ReplyCancel

  • KristenNovember 15, 2012 - 5:36 pm

    I agree that your plan to keep warm is brilliant – I may have to adopt that!ReplyCancel

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.comNovember 15, 2012 - 6:16 pm

    I need this now that I’m freezing in LAX (a Floridian always freeze even in 65F).ReplyCancel

  • Ken┃hungry rabbitNovember 15, 2012 - 8:12 pm

    This will definitely be a great beverage for those cold winter nights or day or afternoon.ReplyCancel

  • chinmayie @ love food eatNovember 15, 2012 - 11:27 pm

    Such a gorgeous warming drink for winter!ReplyCancel

  • Sommer@ASpicyPerspectiveNovember 16, 2012 - 8:23 am

    Beautiful! That is by far the best sounding hot toddy I’ve ever seen!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny @ BAKENovember 16, 2012 - 8:55 am

    It doesn’t feel like the season to be jolly if you don’t spend a good amount of time curled up under a duvet! this recipe is enough to get everyone to turn their heating off!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel @ Baked by RachelNovember 16, 2012 - 9:22 am

    Did you know that you and the First Lady have the same taste in shows, or at least this one! I think I need to start drinking these… they truly sound perfect for this season (and me being an apple lover) mmmmReplyCancel

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the KitchenNovember 17, 2012 - 12:33 am

    I want to come home to a hot apple toddy on a chilly winter day!ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne PerazziniNovember 18, 2012 - 8:23 am

    The perfect drink for a cold winter’s evening. Great flavours.ReplyCancel

  • Norma TorresNovember 20, 2012 - 5:10 pm

    I reemebr my first toddy ad I have been hooked since then.ReplyCancel

  • Lora @cakeduchessNovember 21, 2012 - 9:53 am

    I still haven’t watched Downton Abbey or have had a hot apple toddy. I need to remedy both of these issues immediately and will start with your delicious hot toddy:)ReplyCancel

  • Andrew FrishmanNovember 22, 2012 - 12:20 am

    MMnnnn. . . I loves me some toddy, especially when it’s hot and apply.

    Manzana mañana por favor.ReplyCancel

  • […] something resembling a hot, adult beverage and not just pear juice and bourbon, I referenced this Hot Apple Toddy recipe by Brian at A Thought for Food. By sheer coincidence, he used Harry and David apples. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Hot Apple Toddy by Brian Samuels at A Thought For Food. […]ReplyCancel

  • What I Drink - The Cider Mill CocktailDecember 18, 2014 - 9:30 am

    […] but I’d been anxious to try out this little cider syrup trick and I’ve already posted an apple hot toddy… so that was out. Then I considered doing something with mezcal (I know, I’m obsessed), […]ReplyCancel

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