Vegan Hot Toddy

Vegan Hot Toddy

Soothe a sore throat with this Hot Toddy recipe, tweaked to be suitable for anyone following a vegan lifestyle or plant based diet.

Why can’t vegans eat honey?

When I came down with yet another cold all I wanted was a hot toddy. But the thing is, a hot toddy is normally made with honey and seeing as honey isn’t compatible with a vegan lifestyle I was in a bit of a conundrum. Particularly as the whole reason that honey is used to make a hot toddy is that it’s an antibacterial that reduces inflammation and relieves pain – exactly what you need when you’ve got a sore throat.

Unfortunately vegans don’t eat (or in this case, drink) honey because it involves the exploitation of an animal. Whilst many people believe that bees make honey for people, they are actually making honey for themselves! Taking honey from bees can be harmful to them and whilst many beekeepers do take good care of their bees, it is still technically exploitation and so vegans try to avoid honey when they can. So, if honey is out of the question what can you use instead?

Honey substitutes

Dandelion honey is a great starting point when you want the flavour of honey. It is made by infusing a sugar syrup with lemon, vanilla and dandelions for a wonderful floral flavour that’s not too dissimilar to the real deal.¬†

For salad dressings, desserts and baked goods you can swap honey with a wide range of different sugars and syrups. Maple is usually my favourite swap but maple syrup has a much higher water content that honey does. Why’s that a problem? It means it has none of the same healing properties that honey does.

So which vegan friendly sugar source does have similar properties to honey? Agave syrup apparently! A bit of research tells me that agave also has anti inflammatory properties and in a study in the US it was shown to reduce children’s coughs (though so was a placebo treatment so we may have to take that study with a pinch of salt). It sounds to me as though its the perfect substitute for honey in a hot toddy!

Vegan Hot Toddy with a slice of lemon and cloves

The recipe

Vegan Hot Toddy

Vegan Hot Toddy

This Hot Toddy is the perfect cocktail to keep you warm on cold winter nights.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine British
Servings 1 person


  • 50 millilitres whisky
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar or other plant based sugar syrup
  • 150 millilitres boiling water
  • 1 lemon slice
  • cloves (optional)


  • Add the whisky, lemon juice and agave nectar to a glass or mug and stir until combined.
  • Pour in the boiling water and continue to stir until the sugar syrup has dissolved.
  • Serve while hot with a slice of lemon and a couple of cloves (optional).
Keyword agave nectar, cinnamon, lemon, whisky
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

A single glass of Cranberry and Aperol Spritz, a Christmas Cocktail garnished with fresh cranberries and rosemary.

Other winter cocktails

Whether you’re having a festive feast, a Christmas party, or just want to enjoy a tipple or two while watching a film, I’ve got a range of cocktails for you to enjoy:

As always, Supper in the Suburbs encourages you to drink responsibly (regardless of the temperature of your tipple).

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