Snow days are fun for children and adults alike. We grownups like to dwell on the downsides of wintery weather — the slick roads, the icy tile floor in the bathroom, the ill-fitting parkas. But there’s a quiet majesty to it all as well, one that’s easy to forget if you rely too much on your practical side and not enough on your playful side.
There are perks that come with age, including fully embracing the snow day. Another such perk is a well-made cocktail. While we love a maximalist drink from our favorite bartender that’s made with things we’ve never heard of (nor can barely pronounce), we also adore a straightforward number. It’s the latter genre of cocktails that best reflects the simple joys of falling flakes, snowball fights, and sled rides.
A good snowstorm is a fleeting thing and you shouldn’t be wasting valuable time concocting a beverage when you could be tending the fire or dusting off your cross-country skis. Your email inbox and errands can wait for the big melt. Before long, that pristine white powder is going to brown. Before it does, whip up an uncomplicated, yet immensely-satisfying cocktail, find a comfortable perch, and do some good old fashioned weather watching.
In the thick and frozen core of winter, we’re wise to cherish the simple wonders of the season. You know, like a drip of water turning into an icicle, or the timeless partnership of whiskey and ginger. Here are four snow day-approved cocktails that compensate for complexity with sheer delight.
Whisky Blood and Sand
It’s easy to treat the Blood and Sand like a tropical drink, and if that’s your intention, so be it. But as we prepare and sip this relatively simple classic, the orange hue reminds of the warming embers of a well-used fireplace. That imagery carries further, thanks to the earthy and slightly smoky goodness Johnnie Walker Black Label brings to the fore. As always, and especially in winter, as it’s the prime time to do so, use fresh citrus to really enliven the drink.
- 1 ounce Johnnie Walker Black Label
- 1 ounce Cherry liqueur
- 1 ounce Sweet vermouth
- 1 ounce Orange juice
- 1/3 ounce Lemon juice
- Fill a cocktail shaker with all ingredients and ice.
- Shake hard for 7 to 10 seconds.
- Strain and serve neat in a martini glass.
- Finish with an orange peel garnish.
It would be just about impossible to not throw at least one hot cocktail on a list devoted to the snow day. This one is about as basic as they come, and we mean that in all the right ways. As you consider which coffee to employ, go for a darker, earthier roast that can really work in tandem with the sweet oak and maple notes of Bulleit Bourbon. You can even swap in your favorite espresso and cut the bitterness with some added sugar or creamer.
- 1 1/4 ounces Bulleit Bourbon
- 2 1/2 ounces Hot Coffee
- Brown sugar and creamer to taste
- Add coffee and bourbon to your favorite mug.
- Add sugar and creamer to taste.
- Stir and enjoy.
A good Manhattan is a classic accent to a snowy evening, but it becomes even more special with a tequila tweak. We adore the spicy kick of rye whiskey but there’s something extra pleasing about an aged agave spirit. After all, there’s no rule that says just because you’re enjoying a cozy night in during a blizzard in the States, you can’t be thinking about sunny Mexico. Allow this drink to, in essence, put one of your feet in the snow and the other in warm sand.
- 1 1/2 ounces Don Julio Añejo
- 3/4 ounce Sweet vermouth
- 2 dashes Aromatic bitters
- Orange twist
- Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice.
- Stir for about 15 to 20 seconds.
- Strain over a coupe glass and garnish.
Crown Royal Mimosa
This simple charmer takes the inherent joy of bubbly and insulates it, winter-style, with the addition of fine Canadian Whisky. It gets a kick of acid and more of an aromatic quality thanks to some fresh orange juice and bitters. Any dry sparkling wine you can get your mittens on works well for this drink. And if the snow day gives way to a snow brunch the next morning, it’s the perfect drink for that too.
- 1 ounce Crown Royal Deluxe
- 1 ounce Orange juice, well chilled
- 1-2 dashes Aromatic bitters
- Top with dry sparkling wine
- In a flute, combine chilled orange juice and whisky.
- Top with sparkling wine and a dash or two of aromatic bitters.
- Garnish with orange zest.
This article is sponsored by Diageo.