Though toddies can be prepared with practically any alcohol, in Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Whiskey Smash, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to "Professor" Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar (Perigee, 2007)David Wondrich makes a case that pot-stilled spirits, such as cognac, single-malt scotch, and some dark rums, ryes, and bourbons (like Woodford Reserve), produce the best results.
1 teaspoon white granulated or demerara sugar 3–4 oz. boiling water 2 oz. cognac, single-malt scotch, or pot-stilled rum, rye, or bourbon
To a warmed toddy glass, add the sugar, boiling water, and spirits. Stir with a toddy stick and serve.