There’s nothing better than a cozy drink to warm you up in the cold! Here are the best winter drinks, from boozy to sweet hot chocolate.
If you’re not a cold weather person, here’s our winter survival tip: winter drinks! Yes, it’s possible for hot drinks to make up for some of the warmth the sun’s rays. Snuggle up with a fuzzy blanket and one of these drinks, and you’ll be channeling inner cozy in no time!
Here Alex and I put together all our best winter drink recipes for when the days are gray and the evenings are chilly. There’s everything from winter cocktails like our jewel-toned apple cider sangria, to hot drinks like our spiced mulled cider and homemade hot chocolate. We’ve even got that old favorite the hot toddy, perfect for sipping on a cold winter’s night.
And now, our best winter drinks!
First up in our winter drinks: the coziest of them all, mulled cider! This apple cider is simmered with whole spices until it's full of warm spiced flavor. Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and star anise make the best wafting aroma possible. Everyone will want a mug of this one! Add a splash of rum if you'd like. You can make it in a slow cooker, Instant Pot, or on the stove.
What's better than homemade hot chocolate in winter? This simple recipe uses cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, chocolate chips, and milk—that’s it! You simply combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and whisk them together over the stovetop. Top with a little whipped cream if you're feeling decadent! And there are endless variations.
Also try: Peppermint Hot Chocolate, Spiked Hot Chocolate, Baileys Hot Chocolate or Kahlua Hot Chocolate
There’s nothing quite like a cup of masala chai. This Indian spiced milk tea is popular all around the world. There’s something about the mashup of creamy milk, subtly herbal tea, warm cinnamon and cardamom, and nuanced sweetness that hits 100% on the cozy drink meter. This is the best fall drink for when you pull out your sweaters, or a warming drink for the depths of winter.
Here’s a winter drink that’s ideal for sipping by the fire on a chilling evening: Hot Buttered Rum! Even just saying the name makes you warm inside. This historic drink has been around for centuries. This version is subtly sweet, cozy-spiced with cinnamon and allspice, and spirit-forward with boozy dark rum. Oh: and there’s just enough butter to make it lightly creamy.
Next up: what's a more classic winter drink than a hot toddy? There’s no simmering with mulling spices or ladling out of a punch bowl here. The hot toddy is humble and made for quick and easy preparation at home for drinking around the fire! Add bourbon or rum, honey, hot water and a squeeze of lemon and you're good to go. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Also try: Brandy Hot Toddy, Rum Hot Toddy, Bourbon Hot Toddy or Apple Cider Hot Toddy
Meet a fantastic winter drink: the Cranberry Margarita! This bright red drink is absolutely stunning to look at, and the sweet tart flavor is crisp and refreshing. It’s got all the character of the classic margarita, but a beautiful new look and nuance to the flavor.
Also try: Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail
Here's spiked cider: the perfect hot winter drink! This one is simmered with cinnamon, cloves, and star anise, then stirred together with a healthy swig of rum. The rum adds a warm roundness to this winter cocktail that's like a warm and cozy hug.
How cozy does this winter drink look? Yes, this vanilla chai latte is the equivalent of putting on a fuzzy sweater and curling up by a roaring fireplace. This tea is flavored with beautiful chai spices: cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. Add to it the frothed milk foam from a latte, and you’ll feel like you’re drinking a fancy tea latte from your local coffee shop.
Also try: Chai Latte, Perfect Tea Latte, Dirty Chai Latte, Vegan Chai Latte
Ever tried mulled wine? It's another classic winter drink that tastes like roaring fires, fuzzy blankets and wool sweaters, all in one! Here you'll combine red wine with honey and orange zest, then simmer with, cloves, cinnamon and allspice. It makes for a savory sweet flavor that everyone will enjoy.
Once apple cider season rolls around, there’s one cocktail you absolutely must make with it. This Apple Cider Margarita! It’s tangy and balanced: the zingy tequila and lime pairs beautifully with the sweet cider. Top it off with a cinnamon sugar rim, and every sip is a delight.
Here’s a tasty, sweet tart spin on the vodka martini that you’ve got to try: the Cranberry Martini! It’s refreshing, zingy and perfectly balanced, starring Cointreau orange liqueur and fresh lemon juice. Cranberry drinks are perfect for wintery weather, and this one is particularly tasty.
Also try: Pomegranate Martini
Last up in our winter drink recipes: another cocktail! This apple cider sangria recipe is so beautiful and full of flavor, it's absolutely perfect for wintertime entertaining. It pairs sparkling apple cider with red wine, orange and cinnamon. For serving, keep the layers separate so you get a jewel-tone effect. In a word: wow.
Top Winter Drinks: Mulled Apple Cider & More!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
The epitome of cozy winter drinks, mulled hot apple cider is seriously easy to make at home! It’s infused with spices like cinnamon, allspice, and cloves.
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 10 allspice berries
- 10 cloves
- 2 star anise
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- ½ gallon apple cider*
- ¼ cup rum, optional
- 1 small orange, for garnish
- Whole cranberries, for garnish
- Add the nutmeg, allspice, cloves, star anise and cinnamon to the bottom of a pot. Toast over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. (If you have a slow cooker or Instant Pot, go to Slow Cooker Apple Cider for the next step.)
- Turn the heat to low. Pour in the apple cider and bring to below a simmer, just barely bubbling. Warm for 1 hour on low heat (don’t let it simmer). Skim off any particulate if desired, or stir to re-incorporate it.
- If using, stir in the rum. Garnish with orange slices and cranberries, then serve.
- Category: Drinks
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Winter Drinks, Winter Drink Recipes, Mulled Apple Cider, Apple Cider with Mulling Spices
More drink recipes
Of course, we’ve got more where those came from! Here are a few wintery drink recipes you might enjoy:
- Winter Gin Cocktails, Vodka Christmas Cocktails or Winter Vodka Cocktails Pick from wintery drinks with specific liquors!
- Favorite Whiskey Sour Recipe This sweet tart family favorite recipe is naturally sweetened and always a hit.
- 10 Christmas Cocktails & Drinks These holiday drinks offer something for everyone, from martinis to spiced cider.
- 10 Fantastic Fall Drinks This lineup includes a few more non-alcoholic options that would be great for winter, too.
- 10 Fall Cocktails for the Season These brilliant cocktails are full of cozy flavor and fall flavor.
- Best Moscow Mule Recipe Moscow mules can work in the cold, too, right? Here’s that classic recipe.
- Apple Sangria Made the traditional Spanish way with red wine! It amps up the apples and cinnamon for a cozy variation.
- Wild card: The Ski Lift sounds like an intriguing winter cocktail.
Last updated: December 2020
Let us know if you have any questions!