These winter cocktails are perfect for chilly weather! From hot drinks to seasonal spins on classics, they’ll warm you from the inside out.
Chilly outside? Great, because that’s the only excuse you need to make these Winter Cocktails! ‘Tis the season for warm mugs, cozy spices, and robust liquors like bourbon and rum. Try winter classics like mulled wine and spiked hot chocolate, or drinks that warm you from the inside out like a Maple Old Fashioned. Flavors like cranberry, apple, pear, coffee, and chocolate make this a deliciously satisfying list of wintery hits. Ready to get started?
What better winter cocktail than a batch of Mulled Wine? Make up a big pot, and it fills your kitchen with an intoxicating aroma of toasted allspice and cinnamon. This recipe is just sweet enough, balancing the bold fruity wine with mulling spices, citrus, and oak and vanilla notes on the finish.
Ingredients: Allspice, whole cloves, anise pods, cinnamon sticks, red wine, maple syrup, brandy, orange juice
Want a cozy winter drink that warms you from the inside out? There’s nothing better at taking the chill off than homemade Spiked Hot Chocolate! This mug of liquid cocoa is rich and creamy, with an intense depth in chocolate flavor. A hint of aged rum or bourbon, and it gives it a warming complexity with notes of vanilla and oak. Take one sip and we think you’ll agree: it’s truly stunning.
Ingredients: Cocoa powder, milk, sugar, vanilla, chocolate chips, bourbon or rum
This winter spin on the margarita is seriously cozy: the 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. Make the pitcher variation if you’re serving a crowd!
Ingredients: Tequila, lime juice, Cointreau, apple cider
Here’s a unique winter cocktail with an impressive sweet flavor: the Pear Martini! This drink is great for entertaining, and to be honest: it caught us off guard with its delicate, sweet flavor. Pear comes in two waves: a muddled fresh pear brings brightness, and pear vodka infuses a strong fruity aroma. Paired with fresh lemon juice and simple syrup, it’s truly stunning!
When it comes to entertaining, the Moscow Mule is pretty ideal. It’s tangy and refreshing, easy to make right into the mug, and everyone always loves it. So get ready for the best new fruity winter spin: the Cranberry Moscow Mule! This drink has loads of sweet tart flavor, balancing crisp cranberry with tangy lime and spicy ginger.
Ingredients: Vodka, lime juice, ginger beer, 100% all natural cranberry juice
Here’s a delightful signature winter cocktail: try the Peppermint Martini! This drink is creamy and minty fresh, a delicious combination of peppermint schnapps and chocolate liqueur. In fact, you may want to drink this any time of year! Of course, it’s perfect for the holidays. Cozy up with one by the fire, or drink it as a fun Christmas cocktail with appetizers.
This winter cocktail is great for gatherings and side benefit: it makes your kitchen smell heavenly! The rum complements the cinnamon, cloves, and star anise perfectly. It's very easy to make and the perfect hot cocktail to warm your hands over.
Ingredients: Apple cider, rum, cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks
Here’s a warming winter cocktail to put on your to-drink list: Baileys Hot Chocolate! It’s got the best deep chocolaty flavor, accentuated by the chocolate and vanilla notes with the fruity finish of Irish whiskey. Topped with fluffy whipped cream, it’s a revelation! Serve this sweet hot alcoholic drink anytime you need a wintery pick me up: or it’s great for the holidays or a snow day.
Here’s how to keep drinking it well into the winter: Apple Sangria! This drink is made the traditional Spanish way, like our Classic Red Sangria. That means it’s tart and wine-forward, instead of loaded with sugar like American versions of the drink. But to turn it into a fall variation, we’ve used red and green apples as the fruit and added a hint of cinnamon.
Ingredients: Red and green apples, lemon, sugar, dry red wine, brandy, cinnamon, apple cider
Here’s a winter cocktail that’s ideal for sipping by the fire on a chilly evening: Hot Buttered Rum! This historic drink has been around for centuries. Modern takes on it get a little wacky, so we’ve gone back to its roots to bring you the “real” way to make it. This version is subtly sweet, cozy-spiced with cinnamon and allspice, and spirit-forward with boozy dark rum.
Ingredients: Salted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, dark rum, boiling water
Looking for a stunning wintery cocktail that’s sweet and creamy? Try this Peppermint White Russian! In fact, this spin on the classic might be even more fun than the original. It’s got a bright, minty finish that melds into the Kahlua and cream perfectly. It’s fast and easy to swirl together in a lowball glass, and it’s a total crowd pleaser.
Ingredients: Vodka, Kahlua, peppermint schnapps, heavy cream or milk
What's more warming in winter than the Old Fashioned? This twist uses maple syrup instead of sugar, along with the classic whiskey and bitters. Give it a swirl and a taste, and it’s even smoother than the original! The maple syrup adds hints of caramel and vanilla that give even more nuance and sophistication to each sip. It’s a great winter cocktail that warms the soul!
Ingredients: Bourbon whiskey, maple syrup, Angostura bitters
Need a warming drink for winter? Try the Hot Toddy! Now, this is less of a winter cocktail and more like a boozy cup of tea to warm your spirits. Pour boiling water over a shot of bourbon, then top off with lemon and spices. It’s bourbon forward and perfect for sipping on chilly evenings.
Ingredients: Bourbon, rum or brandy, honey, hot water, lemon
Want an easy winter cocktail? Try Apple Cider and Whiskey! These two ingredients go hand in hand, the spicy whiskey complimenting the sweet tart cider perfectly. The great part about this pairing? You can drink it hot or cold! Make it as a lowball cocktail with big chunks of clear ice, or opt for hot spiked cider spiced with cinnamon and cloves.
Last but not least: Irish coffee is a classic winter cocktail! There’s nothing more soul warming than that classic combination of bitter coffee, buttery whisky and frothy whipped cream. There are infinite variations on the spiked coffee theme, too. Ready to get buzzed?
Ingredients: Coffee, Irish whiskey, whipped cream
More seasonal inspiration
Need inspiration for meals, desserts, and more? Here are some of our top recipes for wintery food and drink:
This mulled wine recipe is easy and classic, starring a bold red, mulling spices, brandy and orange. The ideal cozy winter cocktail for a crowd!
10 allspice berries
10 whole cloves
3 star anise pods
3 cinnamon sticks
1 750 ml bottle dry red wine*
½ cup water
¼ cup maple syrup or honey
¼ cup brandy or Cognac
1 small orange, for garnish
Toast the spices: Add the spices to the bottom of a pot (or to a skillet for Slow Cooker or Instant Pot). Toast over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.
Stovetop cooking instructions: Turn the heat to low. Add the water, then pour in the wine and maple syrup and stir. Warm for 30 minutes on low heat, just barely bubbling. Do not let the wine come to a full simmer (or the liquid will reduce too much).
Slow Cooker & Instant Pot instructions: Place the wine, water and maple syrup in the slow cooker or Instant Pot (pressure cooker) with the toasted spices. Cook on low for 2 hours or Normal using the Instant Pot “Slow Cooker” setting.
Add brandy and orange juice: When ready to serve, stir in the brandy or Cognac and the juice from 1 orange. Garnish with orange slices and if desired, rosemary sprigs.
*Double the recipe for a party: for the Slow Cooker and Instant Pot it’s nice to have the doubled quantities.
Keywords: Winter cocktails
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