When in India during monsoon season, there’s almost nothing to beat a hot rum toddy to warm the very depths of your body and spirit when it’s pouring outside.

A winter cocktail made with boiling water, sugar and spices is traditionally referred to as a 'toddy'. Warm alcoholic beverages such as toddies originated in Europe and colonial America, where beer, cider, wine and spirits were mulled with sugar and spices to add some cheer to cold winter days.

Distilleries in the colonies were making rum from molasses by the 1650s, and 'hot buttered rum' joined the toddies and nogs of English tradition.

Here are some places to order a hot rum toddy in India today:


  • Spaghetti Kitchen: Select Citywalk, 2nd Floor, Saket
  • Smokehouse Grill: 2, VIPPS Center, LSC Masjid Moth, Greater Kailash II


  • Spaghetti Kitchen: Senapati Bapat Marg, Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel
  • Saltwater Cafe: Rose Minar Annexe, 87, Chapel Road, Next To Mount Carmel Church, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra West


  • Stonewater Grill: Pyramid Complex, 81/82 North Main Road, Koregaon Park

Or if you're inspired, here's how to make your own:

14 tsp honey
4 tsp boiling water
10 tbsp rum
4 slices lemon
6 whole cloves
boiling water
4 cinnamon sticks

Put one tsp honey each into four mugs and add one tsp boiling water. Stir to dissolve. Add 2½ tbsp rum, one slice lemon and 4 cloves to each mug. Fill the mug with drinking water. Add the cinnamon stick and bottoms up!

Tip 1: Before pouring a hot liquid into a glass, first place a spoon in the glass, then pour the liquid over the spoon to prevent the glass from cracking.

Tip 2: To turn your Hot Rum Toddy into a Buttered Rum Toddy, drop a generous knob of butter to your hot cocktail.

Tip 3: For something warming and non-alcoholic, why not try chai instead.

This column originally appeared in Lonely Planet Magazine India. Live in India and want to subscribe? Head here.

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