Spiced Cranberry Hot Toddy

Warm up by the fire with a spiced cranberry hot toddy cocktail made with fresh cranberry juice, honey, ginger, cinnamon and bourbon! The temperatures are dropping, but this fall cocktail will warm you right up!

Spiced Cranberry Hot Toddy Recipe

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When Frontgate asked me to whip up some Friendsgiving-worthy libations, I immediately knew I wanted a fall twist on the classic Hot Toddy cocktail. A traditional Hot Toddy is a classic warm beverage made with whiskey, honey and lemon.

Cranberries and ginger are the perfect additions to put an autumn twist for a cozy beverage for Thanksgiving season and beyond!

  • SUPER SIMPLE – During the busy holiday season, you don’t want to be hustling in the kitchen whipping up craft cocktails, but you do want to wow your guests. That’s where this Spiced Cranberry Hot Toddy comes in, it’s so simple to make!
  • FESTIVE – This fall hot toddy does double duty for both fall festivities from September through November but also Christmas celebrations and parties. The drink is the most gorgeous shade of red! Plus, your house will smell amazing.
  • DELISH – Cranberry juice simmering with bourbon, honey, orange, cloves and fresh ginger yields the most amazing flavor to sip all night long!
spiced cranberry hot toddy stovetop

If you can pour out some cranberry juice and bourbon then add in some spices and orange, you can make this recipe. It’s SO easy, anybody can do it. I love that I can leave it simmering on the stovetop for guests to enjoy whenever they arrive. A deliciously festive holiday cocktail is one less thing you have to worry about as a holiday hostess!

Spiced Cranberry Hot Toddy Drink

How to Make a Spiced Cranberry Hot Toddy

  1. Add cranberry juice to a large pot.
  2. Stir in sugar, honey, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, ginger, cloves and star anise.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Strain and pour into mugs. Top each with an ounce of bourbon.
Cranberry Hot Toddy Cocktail

Garnishes for Holiday Hot Toddies

As you know if you’re a regular reader, I LOVE to garnish just about anything I serve. If it can be garnishes, I will do it. Especially around the holidays, adding a festive touch really jazzes up the presentation of your food and cocktails. Here’s how I like to garnish these holiday hot toddies!

  • Orange Slices
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Cinnamon Stick (perfect stirrer)
  • Fresh Cloves
  • Star Anise
  • Rosemary Sprig

Recipe Substitutions

While I love these spiced cranberry hot toddies just the way they are, I do want to share a few recipe substitutions and alternative ideas just in case you are out of an ingredient or want to switch it up!

  • Swap out the bourbon for a cognac or dark rum. A spiced rum would be a tasty alternative to whiskey or bourbon.
  • Leave out the orange and opt for traditional lemon instead.
  • Change up the seasonings and spices to suit your fancy: ground cinnamon, nutmeg, apple pie spice, there are so many!
  • Want extra flavor? Rim your mug in cinnamon sugar!
Spiced Cranberry Hot Toddy

More Delicious Holiday Drinks

More Tasty Cranberry Recipes

I hope you’ll give this festive, wintery cocktail a try this holiday season! It is sure to make your house smell absolutely amazing!

Spiced Cranberry Hot Toddy Recipe

Spiced Cranberry Hot Toddy

A wintery twist on the classic Hot Toddy, this Spiced Cranberry Hot Toddy is full of festive flavors like cranberry, orange, cloves, ginger and anise!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 4 cups unsweetened cranberry juice
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 orange - sliced
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 1-inch pieces fresh ginger
  • 3 star anise
  • ¾ cup bourbon - or spiced rum


  • In a medium saucepan, pour in cranberry juice. Add in sugar, honey, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, ginger, cloves and star anise.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Be sure sugar has dissolved.
  • Strain juice to remove spices and ginger. Pour into mugs and stir in around 2 ounces of bourbon to each 8-ounce serving (or adjust to your liking). Serve warm.
  • Optional Garnishes: fresh cranberries, cinnamon sticks, star anise, thyme sprig or rosemary sprig.


Calories: 326kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.04gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 7mgPotassium: 288mgFiber: 3gSugar: 55gVitamin A: 198IUVitamin C: 42mgCalcium: 67mgIron: 1mg
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  1. John Mary says:

    Anise leaves and cinnamon will give off a special scent
    . But I don’t like them very much. Are there any other flavors to substitute?

  2. I am really addicted to the scent of cinnamon, it brings comfort and peace

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