Celebrate everything we love about fall with this apple cider hot toddy with brown butter bourbon! This apple cider cocktail recipe is the perfect drink to have cozying up in a chunky sweater with good book.
Why you'll love it
This hot apple hot toddy is not anything like your classic hot toddy. First, we use hot apple cider instead of hot water or tea. Second, we use brown butter to add a level of depth you do not typically get. It creates a unique and delicious tasting experience, perfect for a wintry comforting drink. The secret is to infuse the bourbon with browned butter, so you get the flavor without the greasy mouthfeel.
You can make it on the stove top just for yourself, or you can serve a large crowd by making it in a slow cooker.
What is a hot toddy
Typically, a traditional hot toddy recipe is made with hot water or black tea, whiskey, honey, and lemon juice. It is enjoyed as a classic winter drink, nightcap, and even something to have as a home remedy during cold and flu season.
We are taking hot toddies and turning them into something very special and fun with just a few changes.
- Apple cider - I like to use homemade apple cider, but you can use any apple cider. Try to avoid apple juice because it does not have the same flavor profile and has more sweetness than flavor.
- Whiskey - You can use any whiskey you like. I prefer bourbon. Other spirits like dark rum also work. You may want to also try adding in a small splash of something like Fireball for an extra cinnamon kick. If you want to make things extra boozy, include an extra splash or apple pie moonshine.
- Butter - What makes this apple cider hot toddy different from the rest is we make brown butter and infuse it into the bourbon to give it a caramelized nutty note.
- Add-ins - There are a nearly infinite number of add-ins you can use to dress up your hot toddy. Using a cinnamon stick, star anise, honey, maple syrup, or a lemon slice are the most common. I also like to add in a splash of vanilla extract.
- Garnish - You can garnish this beautifully with whole spices, sliced lemon, an apple slice, or anything else you like!
How to make
Making this toddy takes a little more time than your traditional hot toddy at first, but once you are done with the brown butter bourbon, you can make these in just minutes.
- Make your brown butter and allow it to cool slightly. Add in the bourbon and stir well. Transfer to a container and freeze for a few hours, or until the butter solidifies.
- Remove from the freezer. The butter should be frozen and completely separated from the bourbon. Transfer the bourbon to another container separate from the butter.
- Add the apple cider and cinnamon, plus any other add-ins to a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat on medium until it reaches a vigorous simmer. Remove from heat and add in the bourbon.
If you are making this for a crowd, you can easily multiple the recipe as needed. If you are making it for a very large crowd, make it in a slow cooker and add the bourbon just prior to serving.
Storing & reheating
You can store the apple cider hot toddy to enjoy later. Wait for the finished toddy to cool completely, then place in an airtight container. Keep in the refrigerator for up to three days if using homemade or unfiltered apple cider, otherwise for up to five days.
Reheat on the stovetop using a small saucepan on medium-low until just warmed through. Do not let it boil. Alternatively, you can reheat in a slow cooker.
Apple Cider Hot Toddy with Brown Butter Bourbon
Brown Butter Bourbon
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 16 ounces bourbon
Apple Cider Hot Toddy
- 9 ounces apple cider
- 1 stick cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ounces brown butter bourbon
Brown Butter Bourbon
- Add the butter to a skillet and heat on medium. Stir the butter constantly until it turns brown and emits a warm, nutty aroma, then immediately remove from heat.
- Allow the butter to cool to about room temperature.
- Add the butter and the bourbon to an air tight container and stir well.
- Place in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.
- Stir well to reblend the butter into the bourbon, then transfer to the freezer overnight. The butter should be solidified.
- Strain the bourbon from the butter. Reserve the butter for cooking or baking (I used mine for the most amazing cookies ever).
- Keep the bourbon in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Apple Cider Hot Toddy
- Add the cider and cinnamon to a small saucepan and heat on medium for about 5 minutes, or until it is at a low boil.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove the cinnamon stick and stir in the vanilla bean paste and bourbon.
- Serve in your favorite mug.