Apple Cider Rooibos Hot Toddy

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Glass of our vegan Apple Cider Rooibos Hot Toddy recipe

It’s that time of year when the only thing I want when I get in from the cold is a hot drink in hand. And for such an occasion, I have just the thing. Hot toddies anyone?

Lemons, cinnamon, ginger, rooibos, apple juice and salt for making our healthy hot toddy recipe

Origins of Hot Toddy

It’s believed that the hot toddy originated in India and comes from the Hindi word “taddy.” The first written recipe was in 1786 and included alcoholic liquor, hot water, sugar, and spices. Later, the drink became popular in the UK and the US. And by the mid-19th century, it was a popular remedy for the common cold.

The following is our inspired version infused with apple juice, rooibos tea, and warming spices.

How to Make This Recipe

This simple, 1-pot, 15-minute hot toddy is inspired by my recently rekindled love for rooibos tea.

Have you ever tried it? It’s deep red in color, subtly sweet, and decaffeinated for us old ladies (and gents). It’s like chai but not as spicy, and it’s especially delicious in the evening when you want something slightly sweet after dinner without going all in on a dessert.

The base of this toddy is unfiltered apple juice, water, and rooibos tea. Fresh and ground ginger add spice, cinnamon adds warmth, and a shot of bourbon – which is totally optional – makes it boozy and delicious.

Brewing rooibos tea bags in a saucepan for our Rooibos Hot Toddy recipe

I hope you guys love this toddy. It’s:

Naturally sweet
Subtly spiced
Infused with rooibos
Bourbon spiked
& Insanely delicious

This is the perfect cocktail to make for a group, especially for New Year’s Eve when it’s cold and blustery and you want something warm to celebrate with. I see myself making this all winter to cozy up to in the evening, booze or no booze (but obviously, booze).

If you give this a try, let me know what you think! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see! Cheers, friends, and Happy New Year!

Glasses of our Apple Cider Rooibos Hot Toddy recipe for a healthy cocktail

Apple Cider Rooibos Hot Toddy

Simple, soul-warming apple cider hot toddy infused with ginger, cinnamon, and rooibos tea. Spicy, naturally sweet, and perfect for cold winter nights.
Author Minimalist Baker
Two glasses of our Apple Cider Hot Rooibos Toddy recipe topped with sliced lemon
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 (beverages)
Course Beverage
Cuisine Indian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days


  • 1 1/2 cups unfiltered apple juice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 medium lemon, juiced (more for tart)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or sub 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon per 1 cinnamon stick)
  • 5-6 slices fresh ginger (1/4-inch thick)
  • 1 healthy pinch ground ginger
  • 1 pinch each salt + pepper
  • 2 rooibos tea bags (or sub chai tea)
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne (for spice/heat) (optional)
  • 1 ounce bourbon (we love Bulleit Rye Whiskey) (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp sweetener (coconut sugar or maple syrup // optional)


  • Add apple juice, water, lemon, cinnamon stick, fresh ginger, ground ginger, and salt + pepper to a small saucepan and heat over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer, then turn off heat and add rooibos tea bags. Steep for 10-12 minutes, still on the stove (heat turned off).
  • Sample and adjust flavor as needed, adding cayenne and/or bourbon at this time. If you find it needs more sweetness, add coconut sugar or maple syrup (optional).
  • Remove tea bags and divide between two (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) serving glasses, with additional slices of lemon. Serve hot.
  • Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep covered well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.


*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without bourbon.

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 beverages Calories: 136 Carbohydrates: 32.6 g Protein: 1.6 g Fat: 0.5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 84 mg Fiber: 1.6 g Sugar: 23.4 g
Glasses filled with our Apple Cider Rooibos Hot Toddy recipe and sliced lemons

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Reader Interactions

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My Rating:

  1. Anna says

    I made this for a family gathering and it was a hit. (Actually, most of the recipes I make for family is from this site. Haven’t had a bad recipe yet. ?) Anyway, I modified the recipe a bit, mostly putting in less ginger, less rooibos tea, and less water. I did not include alcohol or the cayenne either. This was so tasty and would definitely make this again, especially on rainy, cold nights.

    Thank you for sharing your gift, Dana. MB is always my go-to site for creative and accessible recipes.

  2. Pooja Haney says

    I made this without the apple juice (because I didn’t have any) and absolutely loved it! I’ve never had rooibos tea, yum!!

  3. Christina says

    Perfect drink for a cold fall evening. The drink starts out with a nice sweetness and ends with a little tinge of spice from the cinnamon and ginger. Will definitely be making a double batch the second time around!

  4. Beth Weston says

    This is very similar to a drink my mom always made at the holidays – but hers used cranberry juice instead of the rooibos tea. Good, but very sweet. I made the first batch exactly as written. It was really good, very spicy with the ginger and black pepper, but still a bit too sweet for our taste buds. Made a second batch yesterday with the following revisions: 3 cups of water, ½ cup apple juice, 3 ‘hot apple cider’ tea bags, 3 rooibos tea bags, added 2 whole cloves and 1 tsp. raw honey to each giant mug. Oh, and of course we included the booze! Just what we were looking for! Same spicy, warm goodness, but not as sweet. This is our new favorite warm drink for winter! We just got our first snow of the year last night, so you know I’ll be making a batch (or 2) tonight! Thanks for another awesome recipe!!

  5. Kate says

    Sorry, it was all gone before I could get a picture. Made two more batches yesterday, the same thing: Vanished! :)
    Now I am waiting for it get really cold outside so I can tramp around in the snow and find out exactly how warming this can be.
    Marvelous. Thanks.

  6. Julia Papanek says

    Rooibos is one of my absolute favorite teas! I loved seeing it here in a seasonal cocktail – such a creative twist on a classic. Can’t wait to try it.

  7. Annaliese says

    Sounds so spicy and warm and like a boozy hug in a mug (or glass…). If only I could find some decent apple cider….! Happy New Year to you!

  8. gabriella says

    I didn’t discover the hot toddy until a few years ago, and now I’m kicking myself because of how darn delicious it is! I’ll have to give yours a try – I’m thinking it’s the perfect drink for our next snowy evening.


  9. Emilie @ Emilie Eats says

    I have a total crush on rooibos. It’s a great nighttime tea – it just warms me up from the inside out! I’ll take 5 of these drinks, k thanks.

  10. KJ | Om Nom Herbivore says

    Ive never thought to make a Hot toddy in a pot and with apple juice! Delicious!! If you’ve never tried Winter Jack it goes perfect with this!! :D

  11. Jan Ramsey Brick says

    This looks amazing. I had my first hot toddy on vacation in Alaska this year. I had a cold and it was chilly and I saw it on the menu. It was delicious and felt great going down. It also warmed me right up.

    I’ve been feeling a chest cold coming on and this looks like it would be perfect. I don’t have any bourbon… I’m wondering if rum would do???

    I think I’ll give it a try! :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I think it would! But scoop out some and do a little test batch before adding it to the whole pot. Good luck!

      • Susanne says

        You really are doing a great job with it too :-). You have a gift of making it simple yet very attractive so you just want to try to make it yourself ;-). Thanks for the great job you do for all us!

  12. Mel @ The Refreshanista says

    Oh yummy! What a great idea to infuse it with rooibos :) this drink looks delicious and I love how easy it is!

  13. Emma {Emma's Little Kitchen} says

    I love rooibos! What a great idea to use it as a base for a hot toddy. Can’t wait to give this a go!

  14. Tom @ Raise Your Garden says

    Can’t say I’ve even heard of a hot toddy before but the idea is quite intriguing! Need some good news today as I’ve been using, um my wifes Wen products and now I read they caused baldness! I mean, I don’t need that! None of that please. New Year’s sounds like a good time to make these. At our house, I make beverages/drinks, in charge of that, wife does food. Works for us! Happy New Years!!!

    • Tom @ Raise Your Garden says

      Oh, I forgot to ask where I can get rooibos tea bags? Just the local Wegmans grocery store or what? I guess I can sub with the chai tea, have some o that. No Whole Foods where I live. Have a Trader Joe’s though.