It’s that time of the year when the temperatures drop and you want to cozy up with a warm adult beverage. For the perfect way to warm up, we’ve enlisted some friends and industry experts to create a few cocktails to accompany you during these cold winter months. Whether you’re reading a good book by the fireplace, streaming your favorite series, or just watching the snow fall outside the window, these four delectable drinks are sure to keep your hands warm and excite your palate.
Tropical Tea Toddy
- 1 ½ ounces Johnnie Walker Black Label
- 4 ounces hibiscus tea
- 1 ounce passionfruit syrup
- ½ lemon
- Build in a mug, and enjoy hot!
“I love a classic Hot Toddy, but sometimes I like to mix it up. One of my favorite variations is a Toddy made with hibiscus tea, which plays well with lots of different spirits from tequila to Scotch. This recipe is a collaboration between myself and friend Les Baker, a bartender/videographer from Denver, Colo. We were trying to make a warmer upper in my studio one day, and I didn’t have any honey. Les loves passion fruit more than anything, and he grabbed the passion fruit syrup I keep on hand for tiki drinks. It was a great fit with the hibiscus and brightens up beautifully with a squeeze of lemon. The Black Label provides nice structure to the drink. I’m really in love with this cocktail and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.”
Emily Arden Wells is an award-winning cocktail blogger.
Vanilla Spiced Cider
- 1 ounce Crown Royal Vanilla
- ¾ cup fresh pressed apple cider
- ½ ounce orange juice
- ¾ ounce honey syrup (stir together equal parts honey and warm water)
- 1 dash of allspice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- In a small saucepan, combine apple cider, orange juice, honey syrup, allspice, and a cinnamon stick.
- Warm over medium heat until heated through.
- Pour into a heat-proof container.
- Add Crown Royal Vanilla.
- Stir to combine.
- In a heat-proof container or mug, combine apple cider, allspice, orange juice, and honey syrup.
- Warm in the microwave for 1 minute or until heated through.
- Add a cinnamon stick and Crown Royal Vanilla.
- Stir to combine.
“There are few things more comforting than hot apple cider on a cold winter day. And this elevated version featuring Crown Royal Vanilla makes for the coziest sip. This drink is perfect for winter because the warm spices are so decadent and inviting. This spiced twist on the classic hot cider is the drink you’ll be reaching for all season long.”
Camille Wilson is the founder of a cocktail blog.
(pronounced: Ah-teh May, meaning: Older Sister Mai/Mais)
- 1 ounce Don Julio Añejo
- 3 ounces coconut milk
- 2 ounces spiced corn syrup
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan or hot water bath and heat until about 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pour into a warmed mug and garnish with toasted rice.
Spiced Corn Syrup Ingredients
- 2 large cinnamon sticks
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- Fresh nutmeg
- 1 cup whole kernel corn
Spiced Corn Syrup Directions
- Toast cinnamon sticks then add to a saucepan with water.
- Let the water come up to boil, then add sugar.
- Freshly grate roughly nutmeg in and stir until the sugar is thoroughly incorporated and the spices become aromatic. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.
- In a blender, add corn (if fresh sweet corn is available, that would be preferred, but you can use canned whole kernel corn and it works perfectly well) and purée until smooth.
- Measure out equal parts of the corn purée and spiced syrup, then combine and blend together until fully incorporated.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge. *It will keep for 2 weeks.
“In the Philippines, we have a dessert called Ginataang Mais; the direct translation of which is ‘corn in coconut milk.’ I would look forward to family gatherings as a kid, hoping one of the titas would bring this rich, creamy, rice-and-corn-based pudding. This drink is an ode to that elusive flavor of my childhood, a dish my family only prepared on rare occasions for reasons that I still don’t quite know. Though the dessert it’s based on can be served hot or cold with respect to the weather, I felt a little added spice would help carry the flavors better in a warmer drink. Cinnamon and nutmeg bring out nutty flavors in the corn and complement the coconut milk’s predisposition to pair with sweets. Don Julio’s line of tequilas always work well with more tropical flavors but in this case, all those nutty, spicy notes play nicely with the woody, vanilla undertones in the Añejo. The spiced corn and coconut sweetness is tamed by the Añejo’s aged oak, while the toasted rice aroma calls back to the glutinous rice grains of inspiration behind this drink. It’s my hope with this cocktail to share a little bit of those comfortingly nostalgic flavors I longed for in times spent in warm company, with just a couple updates for the friends I get to gather with now.”
Kitty Bernardo is a Filipino-American bartender based in New York City.
Bulleit Mexican Hot Chocolate
- 1 ounce Bulleit Bourbon
- ½ ounce coffee liqueur
- ¼ ounce vanilla bean simple syrup
- 2 dashes chocolate bitters
- 6 ounces Mexican Hot Chocolate (cinnamon & chile pepper spices, heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk + cacao.)
- Combine ingredients in a mug and serve hot.
“A Bulleit Mexican Hot Chocolate is your new nightcap! I love to kick up the flavor a notch with chocolate bitters and a dash of Bulleit Bourbon. The high-rye content of Bulleit complements the other spiced flavors in this warm cocktail. It’s the perfect drink to cozy up with on those cold, winter nights.”
Kait Whitenack is the Bulleit Cultural Ambassador, Southeast.
This article is sponsored by Diageo.