These days, enjoying a cocktail with friends can mean meeting outdoors. Want something that will warm everyone up as the evenings turn colder? Hot toddies to the rescue!

Hot toddies are traditionally made with whiskey or brandy, lemon, honey and hot water or tea. You can add different garnishes that will affect the flavor, such as apple slices, lemon wheels, star anise, cloves, a couple of fresh cranberries or cinnamon sticks.

Here is our basic hot toddy recipe, with several variations to suit your taste buds:

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Traditional Hot Toddy: In a mug or glass, stir together 2 oz. of whiskey, 1 tsp. of honey and 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice. Stir in 4 oz. of hot water. Garnish as desired.

Hot Brandy: Substitute brandy for whiskey.

Chai Toddy: Substitute chai tea for hot water.

Apple Cider Toddy: Skip the honey and substitute hot cider for water.

Ginger Hot Toddy: Add a slice of fresh ginger with the brandy.

Fiery Cinnamon Toddy: Substitute cinnamon whiskey for regular.

For a more indulgent traditional hot cocktail, try Hot Buttered Rum: Place 1 tsp. brown sugar in a cup. Add 4 oz. hot water. Stir in 2 oz. dark rum. Top with a pat of butter. Sprinkle with a dash of nutmeg and/or cinnamon.

More on NJ Flavor:

Cranberry Farming Has a History in NJ (Recipe Included)

NJ Restaurants Look to ‘Bubbles’ to Stay Afloat This Winter

New Jersey Date Night: Meet Me for Happy Hour

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Got a story you'd like to see on NJ Flavor? Email Jackie Lieberman at jlieberman@tapinto.net.