I didn’t set out to create a hot drink when I went to work making a cocktail this week. I wanted to make some kind of spiced pear and gin cocktail, but two things stopped me. One, I was out of gin, and two, once I steeped the pear nectar in spices and tasted how amazing it was hot, my mind turned to hot toddies.

A toddy is basically a hot beverage mixed with alcohol. Usually coffee and hot chocolate drinks with booze in them aren’t referred to as toddies, but hot tea, hot water with lemon, or autumn fruit juices (like apple or pear) are toddy-worthy.

I’m sure there are some toddy purists out there that will say what I’ve made isn’t a toddy. That it needs lemon or something else to make a “real” toddy. I don’t care. I like what I created, and I had to give it a name. I’ve come to find that naming the cocktails I create sometimes takes more brain power and time than creating the cocktails, so I’ve decided I’m going to name them quickly and not fret. Someday, if I write a cocktail book, I’ll fret over names. Until then, I’m just going to have fun.

I tried this with vodka, rum and bourbon. All three worked, and you can choose the spirit your prefer when making this hot toddy. I have a feeling I'll be whipping these up all fall to serve around the fire pit.


For each mug of Hot Pear Spiced Toddy you will need:

  • 6 oz of spiced pear nectar (recipe below)
  • 2 oz of preferred spirit (vodka, rum or bourbon)
  • 1/2 - 1 oz simple syrup or cinnamon simple syrup (depending on the amount of sweetness you want to add)

Place all ingredients in a pot on the stove top and heat, almost to the point of boiling, but not quite. Pour in a mug. Enjoy.

Spiced Pear Nectar

For each cup of pear nectar (I used Bionaturae Organic Pear Nectar), use one cinnamon stick and half a teaspoon of whole cloves. Put the nectar and spices in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat off, put a lid on, and allow to steep for a half hour. Strain the spices out of the liquid and allow to cool. Bottle and store in the refrigerator.

My notes

  • I had the cinnamon simple syrup in the refrigerator left from the Candy Apple Cocktail. I added it because there was already cinnamon in this drink, but if you only have regular simple syrup, it’s fine.
  • The spiced pear nectar is so good, it doesn’t need to be turned into a cocktail. It could be served as is, just like hot spiced apple ciders. If you add the cinnamon simple syrup, I suppose you could call it a Mock Toddy.
  • I had to make a second batch of spiced pear nectar as I was playing with ingredients and amounts. I reused the cinnamon and cloves from the first batch because they still had a lot of flavor to give up. I did let them steep 10 minutes longer.

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.