We sure are ready for a warm drink as the leaves fall and winter draws near. Although we don't need a specific season to savour some drinks but then winters have a certain sense of charm to them and that's the reason we have framed a special post for the 25 best winter cocktails to warm up yourself this year.
Every sophisticated mixologist will tell you that certain liquors are just better at certain times of the year. Just like eating farm fresh food when produce is at its best, you want to serve liquor that fits the seasonal spirit. Is there anything better than escaping a cold night by cozying up with company and a great drink? We don’t think so either. Here are our favorites for snuggling up:
1. Hot Toddy
If you have not had the dilemma of wondering what you should drink when you’re fighting a cold, then you probably haven’t had a Hot Toddy. Warm and nourishing whether you’re sick or healthy, this hot cocktail is a satisfying staple. Known as a Hot Whiskey in Ireland, this drink mixes whiskey, hot water, and is sweetened naturally with your preferred brand of honey. A half-ounce of lemon juice, cinnamon stick, and star anise are the final touch to round out the profile. Pro tip: heat up a warm mug before you serve it. Be sure not to serve this one in a glass- it might break!
- 1.5 ounce brown liquor such as brandy, whiskey, or rum
- 1 tablespoon honey
- .5 ounce lemon juice
- 1 cup hot water
- Lemon wedge, cinnamon stick, and star anise, for garnish (optional)
- Combine the first four ingredients in a warmed mug.
- If desired, garnish with a lemon wedge, cinnamon stick, or star anise.
2. Aged Rum Daiquiri
It’s a misconception that rum, a liquor that often recalls beaches and summer vacations, should be moved to the back of the liquor cabinet for winter months. During the wintry season, almost all brown liquors are servable; including the treasured aged dark rum, like Zaya’s Gran Reserva offering. An aged rum brings a full depth and sweetness of a mature lover, like Javier Bardem in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. A splash of lime makes a romance of flavors you won’t forget.
- 2 oz aged rum
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- .75 oz simple syrup
What do you get when you combine Christmas, coconuts, and rum? An incredible Puerto Rican holiday drink. The Coquito is a Christmas tradition in Puerto Rico: an eggnog-y rum punch with a conflicted colonial past, much like the Gin and Tonic. The original recipe was or Spanish origin. As Spanish colonialists experimented with the local rum, the addition of a splash of coconut milk and spritz of fresh lime made it a tropical treat. Don’t be afraid of egg whites to thicken the drink for a fuller dessert feel. Last but not least, cinnamon sticks for spice make everything nice.
- 2.25 cups water
- Thick strips of zest from 2 limes
- 25 cinnamon sticks
- 2.3 cups sugar (1 pound)
- One 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
- One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- 16 ounces light rum
- .25 cup pure vanilla extract
- 3 large egg yolks (optional)
- In a medium saucepan, combine the water with the lime zest and 1 cinnamon stick and simmer over moderate heat for 15 minutes.
- Strain into a large heatproof bowl and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.
- Whisk in the sugar, coconut milk, evaporated milk, light rum, vanilla, and egg yolks, if using; whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
- Refrigerate the drink until chilled, about 2 hours.
- Stir well and ladle into a small chilled martini glasses; garnish with the remaining cinnamon sticks.
- Sprinkle with grated nutmeg for a little more depth.
4. Gold Rush
This wintertime favorite is the bee’s knees-literally. Bee pollen is one of the hottest new garnishes on the scene. Famously healthy, the bee pollen enhances the notes of honey in this delectable drink and is said to be great for curing allergies naturally. Much like the Hot Toddy, this cocktail is the cooler version served also with honey and lemon, but instead of any old whiskey, the Gold Rush calls for fine bourbon.Ingredients
- Add lemon juice, honey, and bourbon to shaker tin.
- Add ice and shake well.
- Strain into a double old-fashioned glass over a large square cube
- Garnish w/ bee pollen.
5. Merry Mule
We love a good mule party. If you haven’t purchased a set of Moscow Mule mugs for serving their namesake cocktail, now is the time. The mugs truly are a part of the tradition of serving them and the history of the drink itself. The Winter Mule has your mule favorites: ginger beer, a fine vodka. What makes it wintry is the addition of the winter superfood: apricot. Dried or fresh, we love the tangy sweetness incorporated with a splash of apricot liqueur, garnished with dried apricots and a sprig of rosemary.
No matter the occasion, with holiday spirit or bah-humbug, enjoy the simple pleasures this year when winter comes. Cheers!
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- .5 oz fresh lime juice
- .5 oz Giffards apricot liqueur
- 2 oz Vodka
- Ginger beer
- Dried apricots for garnish
- Muddle together the rosemary and lime juice in a shaker tin.
- Add apricot liqueur and vodka.
- Add ice and shake well
- Strain over ice into Moscow mule mug
- Top w/ ginger beer
- Garnish with rosemary, lime wedge, dried or fresh apricot
Glogg is a particular type of mulled wine that has a texture that is sweet, warm as you would want it, and also come with a hint of citrusy red wine. The Glogg is also called Smoking Bishop, Wassail, or even Gluhwein. No wonder why its called the spiced wine, you are going to find all the known spices in a glogg, enough to keep you warm in the winters.
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 green cardamom pod
- 15 oz dark raisins
- 6 oz slivered almonds
- 1 fresh ginger slice
- 1/2 cup Tawny Port
- 1/2 cup Kirsch
- 1/4 cup vodka
- Heat the wine and let it simmer for a while.
- Place cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and other ingredients on a cheesecloth.
- When the mixture is hot yet to boil, let the mixture cool down for 10 minutes.
- Strain the cooled glogg and reserve the raisins along with almonds.
- To store, pour the glogg in your bottles and then refrigerate steeped raisins and almonds in a covered bowl.
7. Maple Ginger Hot Toddy
A hot toddy is a drink made with whiskey, honey, and some hot water with a twist of lemon. You can add multiple varieties of ingredients to the drink and enjoy it along with your friends. The preparation of such a drink is very easy. All you have to do is pour ¾ cup of boiling water over tea bags and put that in a mug. Let the whole concoction steep for 5 minutes and remove them. You can steep the tea 5 days ahead.
- 2 bags ginger tea
- 1 ½ ounces maple-flavored bourbon
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Lemon peel
- Pour ¾ cup boiling water over tea bags in a mug.
- Let it steep for 5 minutes.
- Remove tea bags and stir in bourbon.
- Add lemon juice and maple syrup.
- Garnish with lemon peel.
Boulevardier is like a negroni that consists of rye whiskey instead of a regular gin. You are going to love this cocktail, especially in the winter. Erskine Gwyne is someone who is considered behind this drink. It shares a lot of ingredients with a classic negroni but it however called the Negroni’s long-lost autumnal cousin. Preparing a boulevardier is a very easy process and requires only three main ingredients: eye whiskey, Campari, and sweet vermouth. With this cocktail, you can very well enjoy the winters.
- 1.5 oz eye whiskey
- .75 oz Campari
- .75 oz sweet vermouth
- Stir the ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice.
- Strain the cocktail in a coupe glass.
- Garnish with an orange twist.
9. Autumn In New England
Autumn In New England is a unique kind of a cocktail that you may not find in a book. This is something that anyone will love from all ages because it tastes so good and familiar with just a hint of warmth. The process begins by adding sage leaves and syrup to the base and then topping it with main ingredients such as bourbon, apple cider, and vinegar and mix it all with ice. You need to keep the mixture chilled and only after completing the process. Garnish it with a sage sprig and serve.
- Add sage leaves and syrup into the shaker tin.
- Add bourbon, apple cider, and vinegar.
- Shake the mixture and keep it chilled.
- Double strain the cocktail into the serving glass of choice.
- Garnish with a sage sprig.
10. Mexican Hot Chocolate
Such a kind of chocolate is called chocolate de mesa simply because it has some chocolate in it. It tastes similar to chocolate because you will find cacao nibs toasted and ground with almonds, sugar, cinnamon and many other ingredients are put into making something like this. You will be surprised to know that you can also use some vanilla extract for this recipe instead of almond extract just for that hidden hint of flavor.
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons crushed cinnamon sticks (preferably Ceylon)
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, plus more for serving
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream (for serving)
- Add ancho chili and a pinch of ground cinnamon and stir until they are mixed in.
- Pre-heat a hot toddy glass or mug with hot water.
- Pour out the hot water.
- Add spiced hot chocolate to heated glass, add 2 oz of Partida Añejo and stir.
- Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
11. Kings of Manhattan
The Kings of Manhattan is a classic cocktail that is as old as the 1900s. The way it is made is using a mixture of bourbon or rye whiskey then mixed with sweet vermouth and then in the add gets a dash of Angostura bitters. There are very few quality ingredients that you need to be able to savor such a drink that gets the adjective king in its name. You can replace the last dash with either Angostura bitters and Regan's orange bitters.
- 2 oz Ragtime Rye
- .5 oz Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
- .5 oz Punt de Mes
- 1 dash Angostura Bitters
- 1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters
- Stir ingredients over ice until exceedingly well-chilled and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with brandied cherry on a cocktail pick.
12. Jalapeno Cranberry Margarita
The jalapeno cranberry is a sweet and spicy cocktail that you can also consider a classic margarita. Now since we are talking about all the winter based cocktails, we need to make sure we are mentioning all the drinks that are savored in winters. Jalapeno does take in a lot of sugar but if you are not a big fan of such a drink, you can add simple maple syrup or use cranberry juice. Do remember, you may get a hit of citrus in this drink and so if you don’t like it, you can consider some other drink
- 2 oz Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 oz agave nectar
- 2 oz cranberry juice (no sugar added)
- Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice.
- Shake well and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.
- Garnish with a cranberry skewer.
13. Berry Ginger Champagne Cocktail
Here’s another classic to be tried in our list of the best winter cocktails, called the berry ginger champagne cocktail. It has a bit of that kick many of us enjoy. To make then cocktail a bit more exciting, you can add a raspberry alcoholic ginger beer. Such a beer is made from fermented ginger and Scottish raspberries which perfectly complement an infused cognac.
- 1.5 oz raspberry- and blackberry-infused cognac*
- 1 oz Crabbie's raspberry alcoholic ginger beer
- 1 oz champagne
- 3 drops Black and Blue Bitters
- Build in a cocktail flute and serve with fresh berries.
- Place fruit in a non-reactive container and top with cognac.
- Let sit for 1-2 weeks.
14. The Lucky Few
- 1.5 oz Rémy Martin XO
- .75 oz Som Pineapple Szechuan Pepper
- .75 oz pineapple juice
- .5 oz lime juice
- .25 oz simple syrup
- Club soda
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Combine all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker.
- Shake and strain.
- Top with club soda.
- Garnish with grated nutmeg and a slice of pineapple.
15. Very Merry Bourbon Alexander
- Combine ingredients in a shaker.
- Add ice and shake vigorously
- Strain into a coupe glass.
- Garnish with nutmeg, cranberries, and a sprig of rosemary.
16. Eximo Noir
- 1.5 parts Facundo Eximo rum
- .25 part cold-brew coffee syrup
- .25 part Amaro Montenegro
- .25 part Combier orange liqueur
- Orange peel for garnish
- Combine equal parts cold brew coffee and Demerara sugar.
- In a mixing glass, stir all the ingredients with plenty of ice.
- Strain contents into a coupe glass.
- Garnish with an orange peel.
17. Cold Brew Martini
- 1 oz Absolut vodka
- 2 oz Kahlúa
- 3 oz cold brew
- Fill shaker with ice.
- Add all ingredients and shake hard for at least 10 seconds to create a nice foam.
- Strain into a cocktail glass to get rid of all of the small ice chips.
- Garnish with coffee beans.
18. La Chine Grog
- 4 oz El Dorado 8-year-old Rum
- 6 oz Pu-erh Tea
- 1.5 oz ginger syrup (simple syrup prepared with freshly crushed ginger)
- .5 oz maple syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
- Brew 6 oz of tea in a saucepan.
- While hot, add remaining ingredients and stir to integrate.
- Add a lemon peel as the garnish. Serves two.
19. Not Your Basic PSL
- .75 oz Scotch
- .75 oz Carpano Bianco
- .75 oz Copper & Kings Immature Brandy
- .75 oz Coco Lopez
- 3 heaping bar spoons of pumpkin puree
- Combine all ingredients into tin, add ice, and shake.
- Double strain into a coupe glass.
- Grated nutmeg on top to garnish.
20. Winter Spiced Old Fashioned
- 2 oz bourbon
- .5 oz winter spiced simple syrup*
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 2 dashes aromatic bitters
- cinnamon stick
- Stir ingredients with ice.
- Strain into a rocks glass.
- Garnish with cinnamon stick.
- *To make the winter spiced simple syrup, simmer 1:1 simple syrup with clove, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
21. Mulled Malbec
- 2 oranges, peeled & juiced
- 150 g sugar
- 50 g honey
- 3 white cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 7 pieces of pink peppercorn
- 1/2 nutmeg, grated
- 2 star anise
- 2 bottles of full-bodied Malbec
- Toasted almonds & Dried apricots for garnish
- Simmer 1/2 bottle of wine with spices, sugar and orange juice. Allow to cool and strain.
- Mix your newly formed and richly flavored 'syrup' with the rest of the pan and heat on low.
- Ladle the mulled wine into heatproof glasses
- Garnish with an orange peel with a side of dried apr
22. Time regained
- 2 oz blended scotch like Monkey Shoulder
- .75 oz dry vermouth such as Noilly Prat
- .5 oz Singani 63 or another pisco
- .25 oz jasmine tea syrup
- Stir well, strain into a coupe glass. discarded lemon swath garnish
- *Jasmine tea syrup: Steep 3 level teaspoons of loose jasmine tea in 6 oz of hot water for 5 minutes.
- Strain, and stir in an equal amount of sugar by weight.
23. A Sidecar Named Desire
- 2 oz Remy Martin 1738
- 1 oz Cointreau
- 1 oz simple syrup
- 1 oz lemon juice
- .25 oz Egg white
- 3 Asian Pears
- Build contents into mixing glass
- Shake and strain into a coupe glass.
- Garnish with 3 Asian pears sliced and presented in a fan-like fashion, with cinnamon dust over pears and a cherry finish
- 1 oz. Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy
- .5 oz. lemon juice
- 1.5 oz. Rockey’s Milk Punch
- 2 full bar spoons brandied cranberries (dried cranberries macerated in brandy)
- Elderflower foam (recipe below)
- Shake all ingredients
- Double strain into a champagne flute.
- Top with elderflower foam.
- Garnish with a brochette of three pieces of brandied cranberries.
Using sweet vermouth instead of dry, and adding a little bit of maraschino, makes the whole thing so cozy. It's the kind of martini you'd pull up next to a fire and drink.
- Stir ingredients with ice,
- Strain into a coupe glass.
- Serve up and garnish with an orange twist.
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