Whiskey Cocktail Hour: Satsuma Hot Toddy

I was recently asked to design some holiday themed cocktails for the Whiskey Wash holiday party. One of the cocktails I designed for the event was a Holiday Old Fashioned with a spiced syrup. It turned out so well, and many people commented that it was the best old fashioned they had ever had, which was of course the best compliment I could imagine. Other than the spiced syrup, there wasn’t anything fancy about it. It was just bourbon, Angostura bitters, and an orange twist. Easy peasy!


Despite the 150 people we served at the event, I still had a ton of the spiced syrup left over afterwards, so I decided to use it in a hot toddy the next day. Man, was it good. The cardamom in this syrup really stands out, and I am personally a huge fan of cardamom. Typically you’ll see lemon in hot toddies, but cardamom and orange is such a classic combination that I decided that would be my base for this hot toddy. Satsumas, to be exact. In addition to the clementine juice and spiced syrup, I also added a bit of lemon juice for tartness and balance, and a star anise to give that wonderful spicy nose to the drink as you’re sipping it.

I’m actually not usually a fan of hot toddies. They often seem a bit weak and thin in flavor. But this one turned out to be so delicious that I think I will keep it in regular rotation this winter on particularly cold days, or even when I’m not feeling well. Give it a try at home and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your tried and true recipes for hot toddies.

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Satsuma Hot Toddy

  • 1 1/2 oz blended Scotch (I used Monkey Shoulder)
  • 1/2 oz satsuma juice
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz spiced syrup*
  • Hot ater

Instructions: Add all ingredients to a heat-proof mug. Stir and top with a satsuma wheel and a piece of star anise.

*Spiced Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise

Instructions: Add all ingredients to a pot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Once mixture boils, remove from heat and let steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain out solids and store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

For more awesome winter cocktails, check out the fern + shaker site, and follow along on Instagram