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The (In)famous Green Tea Hot Toddy Recipe: For When Life Hands You Lemons And You’re Out of Vodka

“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade, add vodka, and throw a party.”

But what if you’re out of vodka? What if it’s been a busy work week (or even the start of the work week) and vodka just isn’t an option? Ladies and gentlemen, save your applause, for I have found the solution.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Try This Delicious Green Tea Hot Toddy!

Let’s be honest. Almost everyone loves a way to sneak alcohol into non-alcoholic places. Whether it’s a flask at a baseball game, a to-go mug at the beach filled with wine, or a bottle of red Gatorade that’s actually filled with jungle juice, sneaking alcohol into places can definitely make some otherwise sober experiences more bearable, at least when you’re in your 20’s. Not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything 😉

Oh, and on a random side note. Apparently there’s a device where you can sneak wine into your bra. Just in case Mondays at your office are THAT boring:

Okay, so back to this hot toddy recipe. It was actually given to me by one of my favorite aunts. She’s a health nut like me, so naturally the idea of getting drunk off of green tea sounded like a total win. Traditionally, I’ve seen hot toddy recipes that use simply hot water, whisky/bourbon, sugar, and some warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, or cardamon. The traditional hot toddy recipe calls for whisky, but I’ve seen some recipes that use bourbon. I simply used rum because it’s what I had on hand.

Check out this old school ad for a hot toddy recipe back in the day!

Why Is This Hot Toddy Recipe So Good (And Kinda Healthy)?

You wouldn’t think green tea would be the base of any alcoholic beverage, but this works out surprisingly well. The subtle notes of the green tea combined with lemon and a little honey takes the spicy edge off of the rum, making it a very palatable and, dare I say, delicious drink.

You can also make this hot toddy recipe with black tea. It’ll still have all the warm notes and rich body of the original hot toddy recipe. Also, if you’re watching your sugar intake, stevia works as well!

One final note before today’s recipe: know that you CAN drink alcohol as part of a healthy lifestyle. I’m not a big drinker myself, but when I do drink I like to have a handful of go-to recipes (like this hot toddy recipe) that are fairly low in calories and don’t have tons of added sugar. This hot toddy recipe is about as clean and simple as you can get for an alcoholic beverage. So, as always, drink responsibly. And by responsibly, I mean don’t let your boss know this is what’s in your coffee cup on a Monday morning 🙂


Photo Courtesies: Mayur Macwan, Never Seen This, Food & Wine, & Roger Wilkerson

Print Recipe
Green Tea Hot Toddy Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Prep Time 5 minutes
  1. Squeeze as much lemon juice from the lemon half that you can into a mug/coffee cup.
  2. Put the green tea bag in the mug and pour the boiling water over it. Steep for five minutes, then remove the tea bag.
  3. Stir in your honey/stevia. Top off the mug with the rum and stir again to mix the alcohol into the tea. Enjoy!
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