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Holiday Cocktails: 3 Hot Toddy Recipes from the Walnut Studiolo Family

Holiday Cocktails: 3 Hot Toddy Recipes from the Walnut Studiolo Family

There are many ways to make a hot toddy, which is basically a hot spiced whiskey drink. In Scotland they call it a hot whisky. It's warm, it's soothing - the perfect way to cozy up on a cold winter day. Here at Walnut, we know all about whiskey - and winter weather. Our home on the North Oregon Coast is rainy, windy and gray for much of the year. Dramatic winter storms, roaring winds, and crashing surf make for atmospheric seaside visits followed by warm-up drinks back home. Every year, we like to share with you a family favorite recipe. This year, we thought we'd share three different variations on our favorite winter drink from everyone in the Walnut Studiolo family.


A Hot Toddy is a basic drink with many possible variations. It's easy to get creative with the toddy foundation.

Choose Your Vessel

An Irish coffee glass is traditional, but since this is a hot, cozy drink, a nice big mug works just as well.

Select a Whiskey

The whiskey you choose is up to you. An earthy flavor works well and if you like a peaty scotch that flavor will blend nicely in moderation. Rye is a lovely choice in this drink as the honey tempers the earthy bite of rye often. You might lessen the honey if you choose a sweeter spirit like bourbon. Or, go really out of the box by trying another dark spirit such as the rum in Valerie's recipe below. ErinBerzelPhotography_6368-edited

Create a Festive Display

This drink can be pre-made and stored in a thermos for serving multiple people at a gathering. We recommend displaying the mugs on a tray alongside our Leather Whiskey Case with a small bowl of sliced citrus (you might choose lemons, limes, or even oranges depending on the toddy you are serving). For a festive holiday decoration, add fresh conifer boughs and pine cones to the tray.

Adjust to Taste

Try the recipe as-is and adjust according to your tastes. You may find that you like it with more or less honey, stronger tea... or perhaps just a nip more of the spirits. We hope one our Walnut Family Hot Toddies will become a holiday favorite in your household, too. Cheers! 



Walnut Studiolo Founder and Lead Maker Geoff Franklin grew up in Oregon, and this is his family twist on a classic recipe. The inclusion of Pendleton Whiskey, a Canadian style of whiskey, is a matter of regional family pride: he grew up on the family farm near Pendleton. After one or two of these, you just might find yourself hooting Let'er Buck! 
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Wedge of lemon
  • 1 large spoonful of honey
  • 8 oz hot water
  • 2 oz Pendleton whiskey
Directions: Put the nutmeg, lemon wedge and honey into a mug, pour hot water on top. Muddle it all with the honey spoon until honey has dissolved. Add the whiskey last.  


Walnut Studiolo Co-Owner Valerie Franklin likes a different take on a toddy: rum. Wishing for warmer, sunnier weather, she adapted Geoff's recipe for Caribbean flavors. She says that during the winter season, she and Geoff alternate between their two recipes.
  • Tiny pinch of ground cloves
  • Wedge of lime
  • 1 spoonful of honey
  • 8 oz hot water
  • 1.5-2 oz dark rum, such as Goslings
Directions: Put the cloves, lime wedge and honey into a mug, pour hot water on top. Muddle it all with the honey spoon until honey has dissolved. Add the rum last.  


Media Manager Ayleen Crotty says that as a child she and her mom spent the Christmas holiday lazily drinking Constant Comment tea by the fireplace. As an adult, this ritual became Constant Comment transformed into a Hot Toddy. When the recipe made its way into a family cookbook, the drink affectionately earned the title Hot Crotty.
  • Orange spice black tea (caffeinated or not) - Ayleen recommends Constant Comment
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 8 oz water
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1 oz of whiskey
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Heat 8 oz water until just under boiling. Steep the tea bag for five minutes then remove.
  • Cut a slice off of a 1/4 lemon and set aside.
  • Stir honey and squeeze the lemon into the tea. Add 3/4 jigger of whisky (approx 1 oz) or less according to taste.
  • Stir with the cinnamon stick and allow it to remain in the glass.
  • Rub the small lemon slice on the rim then use it to garnish the drink.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

~ From Geoff, Valerie, and Ayleen at Walnut Studiolo

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