Cozy Up With These Warm Winter Cocktails (+ Booze Free Options)
The weather outside may be frightful, but curling up with a warm beverage will make it so delightful! Wintery cocktails (or their non-alcoholic counterparts) are a great addition to your holiday spread. Sweet or savory, these bevvies are sure to keep you toasty all season long. So save the lager and crisp white wine for summer and enjoy these cozy winter cocktails instead!
Sometimes, simple is best. This old-fashioned eggnog recipe from Brown Eyed Baker is a classic holiday cocktail that’s easy and delicious. Cream, eggs and sugar are cooked slowly to create the base, strained, then mixed with rum, whiskey, vanilla and nutmeg. You’ll never drink store-bought eggnog again!
We’ve all heard of buttered rum, but what about buttered bourbon? This warm, buttery cocktail from Well Plated is a creamy treat to keep you cozy on a winter night. It mixes apple cider, honey, spices and bourbon with a bit of butter to create a smooth, creamy cocktail ideal for cold weather.
Mulled wine is a classic holiday beverage. The idea is so simple: wine is simmered with seasonal spices, orange peel and brandy to create a one-two punch to the taste buds. This recipe from Gimme Some Oven puts a twist on the traditional recipe by adding cranberry juice and ginger. The recipe is flexible, so you even add Cointreau, Chai tea or cherry juice instead.
This recipe from Garlic and Zest takes basic Irish coffee (coffee and Baileys Irish Cream) and snazzes it up a bit with the addition of milk and good-quality bittersweet chocolate. Topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, and you’ve got a gourmet twist on an Irish staple. And if you’re looking to make your own Irish cream, check out this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.
A traditional hot toddy is made from hot water, whiskey, honey and spice, and is typically used to clear the sinuses in the evening. This version from Champagne Tastes instead uses herbal tea — mint tea, to be exact, but you can use whatever herbal tea you prefer. Mixed with bourbon, honey and lemon, and you’ve got a warming winter cocktail that will kick winter colds to the curb.
Similar to a Mexican hot chocolate, this recipe from Salt and Wind adds a little punch to a classic hot chocolate recipe. It uses real hot chocolate (72 percent dark chocolate), plus whole milk that’s been infused with a vanilla bean and cinnamon. Add a splash of whiskey and you’ll have a gourmet treat to keep you warm and snuggly.
This soothing cocktail from Nellie Bellie pairs warm apple cider and brandy to create a seasonal nightcap you won’t want to put down. The key ingredient is fresh vanilla — simmering a vanilla bean pod in the cider infuses it with a deep, rich intensity that fake vanilla flavor can’t provide. Add a cinnamon stick and you’ve got a great winter cocktail!
A little linguistic lesson: wassail is both a noun and a verb. The former is a spiced apple cider, the latter the English tradition of going door to door singing Christmas songs. This recipe from Cookie and Kate focuses on the former: warm, unfiltered apple cider is blended with spices and topped with a splash of bourbon for a layered cocktail perfect for cold winter nights.
This simple recipe from Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons warms you from the inside out! Sweet chocolate and bright peppermint are the perfect holiday flavor combination, and using chocolate liqueur and flavored vodka takes a traditional mocha to a whole new grown-up level.
Typically, White Russians are a blend of vodka, coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua) and cream (or milk) poured over ice. This version from Rachel Cooks skips the ice and instead serves the mixture up hot, with real coffee added for an extra punch and whipped cream for garnish.
This scrumptious recipe from Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons proves you can have your cake and eat it too — especially if that cake is in beverage form! This festive drink adds red velvet syrup (and a bit of food coloring) to from-scratch hot chocolate. It’s like dessert in a glass!
Can’t decide between coffee or tea? Why not have both? This recipe from Just One Cookbook unites the flavors from east and west into one soul-soothing beverage, perfect for the holidays. It just takes a small amount of good-quality matcha green tea powder added to foamed milk and espresso.
Gingerbread is a holiday staple, and this easy recipe from Kylee Cooks takes those traditional spices and adds them to an otherwise ordinary latte made from frothed milk and espresso. The secret is a homemade simple syrup with ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and molasses.