Chia Hot Toddy Recipe

It's steaming hot, heavily spiced, and spiked with rum. What else do you need?  

Chai hot toddy served in tall glass and finished with frothed milk, cinnamon, and anise pods.
Photo: Getty Images
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
20 mins

Traditional hot toddies are made from the classic combination of hot water, whiskey, lemon, and honey—some even argue it helps with cold symptoms. This chai-spiced rendition takes that cozy, restorative factor to an entirely new level by incorporating warming spices, milk, and black tea. We also swapped the customary whiskey in favor of dark rum—the rich spice notes add depth and complexity to your cocktail—but traditionalists can still spike theirs with bourbon instead (brandy also won't let you down). To take your chai hot toddy to the next level, try frothing the milk before you stir it into the tea, then finish it off with a cinnamon stick garnish.


  • 2 black tea bags

  • 6 cardamom pods, crushed (or 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom)

  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced

  • 4 cinnamon sticks

  • 4 cloves

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 3 ounces dark rum

  • 2 pods star anise, for garnish


  1. In a medium pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil over medium heat. Once it's at a rolling boil, remove the pot from the heat and add both tea bags, cardamom, ginger, 2 cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Cover and let the tea steep for 6 minutes. Remove the tea bags.

  2. Return the pot to the heat, then stir in the milk and honey. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the honey has been fully incorporated, about 4-5 minutes.

  3. Strain the tea through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl or pot to remove the spice solids; discard spices. Divide among two mugs and top off each with 1 1/2 ounces dark rum. Garnish each with a cinnamon stick and star anise pod.

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