Every year, the moment comes when the crisp air loses its autumn novelty and turns into a get-your-coat-out-of-the-back-closet chore (although here in San Diego, admittedly, we have it much easier than other spots!). However, we’re pretty sure that any sort of colder weather is a terrific excuse to break out the hot cocktails! Wrapping your frozen fingers around one of these tasty warm (alcoholic) treats will remind you why cozying up next to the fireplace can be wonderful too. Here are our five favorite hot cocktails to enjoy during the holidays!
The hot toddy is definitely one of the most traditional winter drinks out there. At its simplest, a hot toddy is just brandy or whiskey poured into hot water; but there's a lot more you can do with it if you’re feeling adventurous! For a more interesting toddy, try using caramelly, herbal Averna and a peppery simple syrup. This particular drink isn’t super boozy, so it’s perfect for those who enjoy a richer, sweeter drink.
- 1 oz (2 tablespoons) bourbon or whiskey
- 1 tablespoon mild honey
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup boiling-hot water
- 1 cinnamon stick for garnish (optional)
Put bourbon, honey, and lemon juice in a 6-ounce mug. Top off with hot water and stir until honey is dissolved.
Boozy Hot Chocolate
You really can’t go wrong with this one – what’s not to love about hot chocolate and booze? A great cognac, a spiced syrup, and little vanilla are a great way to improve your typical hot cocoa. It's important to note that there is a difference between hot chocolate and hot cocoa: hot chocolate is made with melted chocolate and hot cocoa is made from a powder. Any hot spiked chocolate drink can be made with either, but it is hard to beat the richness of real hot chocolate!
- 1 ½ ounces Hennessey (or other brandy)
- 6 oz hot chocolate
- ¾ oz spiced syrup
- 3 drops pure vanilla extract
- 1 oz heavy cream
Grated nutmeg & grated dark chocolate for garnish
Add all liquids, except the cream, to a heat-proof glass. Layer the desired amount of cream on top. Garnish with grated nutmeg and dark chocolate.
Caramel Irish Coffee
Topping the list of hot coffee cocktails is the iconic Irish Coffee — and it is more than a shot of Irish whiskey in your coffee mug. There's an art to it and it's a fantastic foundation to make with more coffee cocktails. An indulgent take on that classic is the caramel Irish coffee. This recipe adds butterscotch schnapps and Baileys Irish cream to the mix, and the result is a sweet coffee cocktail that’s perfect for cold winter days!
- 1 oz Jameson (or another Irish Whiskey)
- 1 oz Baileys Irish Cream
- 1 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
- 2 ½ ounces coffee (freshly brewed)
Whipped cream + caramel syrup for garnish
Warm a mug or Irish coffee glass by filling it with hot water. Allow this to sit for a few minutes, then dump out the water. Pour all of the liquors into the warm mug, fill with coffee, and stir. Top with whipped cream and a drizzle caramel syrup. Serve and enjoy!
- 1 ½ ounces pear vodka
- 4 ounces ginger beer
- Cinnamon stick
Make It in the microwave: Gather the ingredients. Pour the vodka and ginger beer into an Irish coffee glass or mug. Microwave for 10 to 20 seconds. Add a cinnamon stick. Serve and enjoy!
Hot Gold Apple Cider
Few things are as warm and comforting on a chilly day as a steaming cup of hot apple cider. Adding a little liquor to the brew makes it even better, which is what we've done in the hot gold apple cider recipe. This is a simple punch that adds rum and cinnamon to spice up and spike that cold weather favorite.
- 4 cups (1 quart) apple cider
- 1 ½ cups (1/2-750ml bottle) Dark Rum
- 1 ½ cups (1/2-750ml bottle) Goldschlager Cinnamon Schnapps
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 6 whole allspice
- 10 whole cloves
- 1 orange (sliced)
In a large pot, combine all the ingredients. Stir and cover. Heat and slowly bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat, cover, and allow to simmer for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Transfer to insulated punch bowl and serve in mugs, or keep it covered on the stove and heat it up periodically. Note: this recipe can easily be adapted to create as many servings as you like! Simply retain the ratio of the three liquids.
Hope you enjoy making these warm, cozy cocktails during the holiday season! For more fun cocktail recipe ideas and tips, check out our other blogs.