Ben's Hot Toddy

Ben Craft

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Ben's Hot Toddy

In The Bartender’s Standard Manual (Powell, 1979) the Hot Toddy is listed simply as 1 ½ jigger of “Liquor” mixed with boiling water, and a bit of sugar and lemon. It has long been prescribed for its medicinal effects however dubious those may be. Early recipes often call for brandy while whiskey is more often the spirit of choice today. For a dinner party last winter, I wanted to serve a vacuum pot (coffee siphon) based cocktail. There is something magical about the coffee siphon. The slow steeping and counterintuitive physics of the coffee siphon makes for an entertaining and communal preparation that invokes the spirit of ancient alchemists. They are the perfect tool for crafting a warming Hot Toddy to share with friends. For Ben’s Hot Toddy, I first experimented with wine, gin, vodka, and rum, but ultimately selected bourbon as the base spirit. There are over a dozen ingredients in this preparation, but all are easy to obtain. I like to use a vanilla flavored tea to compliment the winter spice mix, but any aromatic blend will do.


Wet Ingredients (Siphon Bottom):

9 oz Water 

6 oz Crispin Brown’s Lane Dry Hard Cider

4 oz Bourbon  

2 oz Flimm Apfel Liqueur 

1 oz Dry Curacao 

½ oz Demerara Syrup

2 Shakes orange bitters 

1 ml (¼ tsp) of Fresh lemon juice

Dry Ingredients (Siphon Top):

1 tbsp Loose tea 

1 Cinnamon stick (3-4 inch) 

3 Whole cloves 

2 Star anise 

2 Cardamom pods (broken open) 

¼ tsp Grated nutmeg 

1 Strip of lemon peel (2-3 inch) 

1 Strip of orange peel (2-3 inch) 


Follow the preparation and heating instructions for your siphon. I find a 2-minute steeping time is enough once the top chamber has filled. Ben’s Hot Toddy is best served in 4-ounce, clear glass, teacups. Garnish each with a stick of cinnamon.


For this preparation you will need to obtain a coffee siphon. The above recipe will fill a “5 cup” (600 ml) siphon such as the HARIO NXA-5. For an “8 cup” (950 ml) siphon such as the YAMA SIPHON double the recipe. Note: the larger siphons are more convenient as they are stable (self-supporting) and can be placed directly on a stove top burner.

Photo Credit: Robert Morrison (


Robert Morrison - January 5, 2021 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Well the photo shoot for this one was quite an adventure....we made the drink outdoors by the fire, using a plumbing torch to get the siphon hot enough given the cold temperatures (video coming)... Don't skimp on the Hard takes this drink to the next level!

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