On a cold winter’s night, a little warmth is a welcome delight. Cranberry Spice Hot Toddy is the perfect seasonal drink to close out those hectic holiday evenings. Flavors from tart cranberry juice and a bit of sunny orange, plus all the season’s favorite spices, a few drops of golden honey, and a big splash of smoky and smooth bourbon, all come together to create one of the most wonderful drinks of the year. It’s almost that time again to be singing the praises of Cranberry Spice Hot Toddy to all who enjoy a nice holiday-flavored treat. Cheers to the most wonderful time of the year!


For the drink:

  • 2 cups cranberry juice, unsweetened
  • 1/2 small orange, pierced several times through the rind
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • 1/4 cup honey, plus more, to taste
  • 3 ounces bourbon

Optional garnishes:

  • fresh cranberries, to taste
  • star anise, to taste
  • orange peel, to taste, shaved


Step 1 –In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the cranberry juice, the orange, the cinnamon sticks, the ginger, the black peppercorns, the cloves, and 2 of the star anise and stir to combine.

Step 2 –Bring the spiced cranberry mixture to a simmer.

Step 3 –Reduce the heat to low and partially cover the saucepan with a lid.

Step 4 –Let the spiced cranberry mixture simmer until the flavors meld together, about 10 minutes.

Step 5 –Transfer the spiced cranberry mixture from the stovetop to a wire rack, cover it with the lid, and let it rest, about 3-5 minutes.

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Step 6 –Carefully, strain the spiced cranberry mixture through a colander into a bowl.

Step 7 –Transfer the spiced cranberry mixture back to the same medium sauce pan.

Step 8 –Add 1/4 cup of the honey to the spiced cranberry mixture and taste, adding the extra honey for additional sweetness if desired.

Step 9 –Add 1 1/2 ounces each of the bourbon to two (8-ounce) heat-resistant glasses or mugs.

Step 10 –Add the spiced cranberry mixture to each of the glasses and stir to combine.

Step 11 –Serve the drinks garnished with the fresh cranberries, the extra star anise, and the shaved orange peel.