Among the many ways to make a hot toddy, the most common is to mix whiskey or brandy with hot water, lemon, and sweetener. But amaro, an herbal liqueur made by infusing spirits or wine with botanicals ranging from herbs and flowers to bark, spices, and citrus peel, also makes a great spirit base for toddies. (“Amaro” means “bitter” in Italian.)
While amaro is commonly consumed on its own as a digestif, the botanicals open up when mixed with hot water, creating an aromatic brew that is as invigorating as a whiskey-based toddy but boasts a more complex, moderately bitter flavor. Also, thanks to the diverse range of amaro brands available, there are near countless flavor profiles to choose from. While not every amaro will take to the toddy treatment (some brands, such as Aperol, we found too sweet, while Fernet-Branca proved to be assertively bitter), amari with modest amounts of bitterness balanced with a touch of sweetness shine in this application. A few of our favorites are Amaro Nonino, Averna Amaro, Amaro Montenegro, Amaro Lucano, and Campari.
How to Make It
- To mix an amaro toddy, place 2 ounces of amaro in a warmed glass or mug.
- Add ½ teaspoon of honey and a 2-inch strip of orange zest (and, depending on the liqueur’s profile, two or three pieces of a whole spice such as clove, coriander, or cardamom).
- Pour in 5 ounces of boiling water and stir to combine.
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