Chili Cinnamon Bourbon Hot Toddy

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Glasses of our Chili Cinnamon Hot Toddy recipe with lemon slices

Let’s cut to the chase.

You’re cold.
And thirsty.
You like bourbon (yes, even you Rhonda).
It’s been a long day.
You need a drink.

I have just the thing.

Making Cinnamon Chili Simple Syrup in a saucepan

We’ve gotten really into hot toddies (especially in winter) and have been mixing up different variations, always including bourbon. Hot toddies and bourbon go together like PB&J – trust me.

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 made with a homemade simple syrup.

Chili Cinnamon Hot Toddy

This version is special because it starts with a homemade simple syrup that’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup. It gets its flavor with an infusion of both cinnamon and chilies.

It’s subtly spicy and warm and altogether lovely. Keep it on hand for other winter cocktails that could use a spicy-sweet kick!

Spiced Cinnamon Simple Syrup and empty glasses ready for creating a delicious vegan drink
Squeezing lemon juice into glasses to make the ultimate homemade Hot Toddy

It’s toddy time! Start with half a lemon. Then add your simple syrup.

Pouring Chili-Infused Maple Simple Syrup into a glass to make Cinnamon Bourbon Hot Toddys

Next? A generous pour of bourbon. Oh mama.

Pouring bourbon into a glass for making a homemade naturally-sweetened Hot Toddy

Hot water to top. Then garnish with a lemon wedge and cinnamon stick and it’s party time.

Making a naturally-sweetened Chili Cinnamon Hot Toddy for a warming vegan drink

This is the perfect cocktail for chilly evenings. It’s

Subtly spiced
Perfectly sweet
Slightly tart
& Super boozy

What more could you ask for in a cocktail?

Glasses of our homemade easy vegan Hot Toddy recipe

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it @minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers!

Glasses filled with our Chili Cinnamon Hot Toddy recipe

Spiced Cinnamon Bourbon Hot Toddy

A simple, 7-ingredient hot toddy with chili cinnamon-infused maple simple syrup. Tart from lemon and sweet from the simple syrup and bourbon. A naturally sweetened, warming cocktail for the colder months.
Author Minimalist Baker
Two glasses of our Chili Cinnamon Hot Toddy recipe topped with lemon slices
4.90 from 19 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Course Beverage, Cocktail
Cuisine Indian-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 weeks



  • 1 cup maple syrup (or other sweetener of choice, such as cane sugar or honey if not vegan)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 dried red chili pepper (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes


  • 1/2 medium lemon (juiced)
  • 3-4 Tbsp spiced maple simple syrup
  • 2 ounces bourbon (rye or traditional // 2 ounces = ~4 Tbsp)
  • Hot water (to fill)
  • Lemon wedge + cinnamon stick (for garnish)


  • SIMPLE SYRUP: Add maple syrup, water, cinnamon sticks, chili, and red pepper flakes to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Then remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes – 1 hour (or longer). Strain and pour into a glass jar for serving.
  • ONE HOT TODDY: To make a single toddy, add the juice of half a lemon, 3-4 Tbsp Chili Cinnamon Maple Simple Syrup, 2 ounces bourbon, and hot water to top (use less water for a stronger drink, more water for a weaker drink).
  • Garnish with another cinnamon stick and lemon slice or wedge and serve. The longer it steeps the stronger the cinnamon, lemon flavor becomes.
  • Repeat for more drinks or make a large batch to serve a crowd by simply multiplying ingredients by number of drinks you need.



*Most types of chilis would work well here. We’d recommend any of these varieties: Arbol, Guajillo, New Mexico, Puya, or Chipotle.
*This recipe as written makes enough simple syrup for ~6 hot toddies. The ingredient section for “HOT TODDY” defaults to the quantity needed to make 1 hot toddy.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 3 Tbsp simple syrup per drink.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 268 Carbohydrates: 35 g Protein: 0 g Fat: 0.1 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Fiber: 0 g Sugar: 31 g

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My Rating:

  1. Kathy LeTellier says

    I didn’t have a cinnamon stick so I brewed a cup of Celestial Bengal Spice tea and used it for the hot water. It twas delicious 😋

  2. Kim says

    Could I somehow mix this all together and put it in a crockpot for serving? I am hosting an outside patio party but it going to be chilly so thought this would be a good drink. But with a number of guest thought having it in a crockpot self-serve would keep it hot and ready to serve.

  3. Laurie says

    Well Cheers!
    A cold Friday night in Northern California.
    Sans the chili, a little sprinkle of cayenne sufficed. Could not wait for even the minimum steeping.
    Measured out to the sweetest amount of syrup(half sugar/half maple syrup) and a full jigger of bourbon…
    A fresh picked lemon, squeezed…hot water, just enough…Yum. Yum!
    A second one? Later. Christmas cookies ahead.

  4. Emily says

    This was delicious! Such a huge hit at our holiday party :) I ended up replacing the dried pepper with an extra 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes, and added coarsely grated ginger to the simple syrup concoction, which got strained out with the rest at the end. Will definitely be making this again!!

  5. Linda says

    Made this evening but added a lemon/ginger teabag to the hot water,steeping for several minutes then adding everything else……delicious!!!

  6. Joseph Milhoan says

    What a great toddy! I’ve been dreaming of making one! This hit the spot! I used Larceny bourbon and a little less honey! What a treat! Thanks for turning me on to this great winter comfort!!

  7. Mike Caruso says

    Hi Dana,

    Thanks for the recipe (which sounds intriguing), but after reading yours and several others on the net and realizing that with my cold and cough, I wanted something even more minimalist I took a “shot” on my own and have been nicely surprised and comforted.

    I began with a teaspoon of honey and then added the juice of a healthy sized lemon wedge and a healthy (2-3) ounces, (who is really counting) of good bourbon (in my case Wild Turkey 101) in a clear glass coffee mug.

    I put the concoction in the microwave (1200w) for 30 seconds, and without it boiling it was steamy and very “aromatic.” I actually merely lingered over it for several minutes, inhaling the warm aromatics until the mug was no longer too hot to hold from the bottom, then began sipping the toddy, much as one might do with a snifter of cognac, which is what the drink reminded me of. I love Courvoisier VSOP. As I enjoyed and analyzed the complexity of scents and flavors, I realized that it was very close to Drambuie (at a much more palatable price).

    Needless to say, I had one more and was off to sleep, without coughing at all during the night. It did not cure my cold, but I awakened at least refreshed from an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

    My experience is not intended to compete with your lovely sounding “Toddy” but merely to offer an even more minimalistic toddy that is satisfying and “therapeutic.”

    Mike Caruso

  8. Ash says

    We made this drink for our holiday in Vail and it was delightful! We followed your recipe, right down to the bourbon brand ;) Thank you!!

  9. Julia says

    Wow,what a great idea for a christmas present! I would like to give a bottle of this to my father, so he can drink it when wanted. Is it possible to keep it in a bottle for a couple of days or even weeks?
    And by the way,I could sit hours and read your recipes. You have the best blog I know, I am addicted and come over everyday for my dinner inspiration. Thank you for inspiring me, you can be so proud of yourself for such amazing work. Needed to tell you this :-)
    Feel hugged,

      • Julia says

        Thank you so much :-) Now another question comes along ;) Can you tell me the outcome of the recipe in ml? I need to buy the bottle and I want it to be full ;)

  10. Tracy Rotton says

    I instantly fell in love with this drink when I made it to soothe a sore throat.

    Tonight I made it with Fireball. Highly recommended!

  11. Natalie says

    It has been a colder than usual winter here in SoCal and I wanted something warm and bourbony. Pinterest led me to this recipe and I am in love. I am a long time bourbon drinker and have never had it quite like this. I love the sweet/hot/citrusy blend of flavors. This recipe is going in my file.

    FYI, I didn’t have a dried chili (so I omitted) or cinnamon sticks (I subbed in 1tsp ground per stick) and this still turned out beautifully.

  12. Taylor says

    This looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it.

    A quick note on your ingredient list: Your recipe lists “bourbon (rye or traditional)”. Rye isn’t a type of bourbon; rye is a type of whiskey, as bourbon is a type of whiskey. A whiskey can’t be both rye and bourbon at the same time, as bourbon whiskey must be distilled from at least 51% corn, while rye whiskey must be distilled from at least 51% rye. Fun fact!

  13. dishing up the dirt says

    I knew we’d be fast friends! This is my kind of drink. Cheers and let’s plan on drinks soon!

  14. Nicole {} says

    How have I gone my entire adult life without having a hot toddy?! This looks sooooo good. Need to get some bourbon asap!

  15. Evelyn says

    I don’t even like Burbon and this looks incredible! Makes me want to make a run to the liquor store immediately!!

  16. Naomi Casiro says

    Can I just say I LOVE how much you LOVE your bourbon :D awesomeness. Keep the amazing recipes coming I adore them!

  17. Sophie says

    OK, this is officially my new favourite drink!! It’s DELICIOUS!! The perfect balance between sweet and spicy! And perfectly warming for those winter nights. Love it!! Thank you!

  18. Improv Oven says

    Nothing like Bulleit Bourbin! Also an interesting take with your simple syrup recipe. Making your own simple syrup is such an underrated aspect of a great drink, never thought to use maple syrup. A warm winter in South Florida for us, however, we’ll still drink up!

  19. Laura Olinger says

    After having lived in Kentucky for over a year now, I must say that I love busting out all your bourbon recipes for my friends!

  20. Mayginne says

    This looks amazing! Is that an ancho chile or a guajillo you’re using?? I’m totally going to try this out today.