Warm Winter Drinks

The best thing about warm winter cocktails are that they are double warming: first the temperature warms you up, and then the hint of booze kicks in. Now that your friends and family are gathering for the next month plus for the holidays, why not learn how to make some warm drinks perfect for curling up on a cold night?

Hot toddy ““ This drink has a special place in my heart. A few years ago, my coworkers were going out to a happy hour for coworker’s birthday and I didn’t want to go. I had a sore throat, so I tried to say no, but someone suggested that I just go for one drink: a hot toddy. I have to say, it was like a magic potion; my throat and my mood improved right away. I, as a whiskey lover, couldn’t believe I hadn’t had one before.

According to the internet, there are a few schools of thought on how to mix the perfect hot toddy. The only mandatory ingredient list is whiskey and hot water. Below is a basic recipe; embellish as you wish.

1 ½ oz whiskey
5 oz hot water
1 slice of lemon
Cinnamon for garnish

Irish Coffee ““ A must on any list made by my half-Irish self. Again, there are a lot of different recipes online but this is the one that’s always worked for me.

I mug of black coffee
I shot glass, ¾ full of Bailey’s, ¼ filled with Jameson or another Irish whiskey
Whipped cream on top (optional)
½ tablespoon sugar (if you don’t like too much coffee-flavor)

Hot Apple Cider ““ Pretty much a basic apple cider recipe, with some rum thrown in because that’s the kind of night you want to have.

2 qts. apple cider, hot
2 cups rum (any kind will do, really, but spiced rum adds that extra kick)
2 tbsp brown sugar
Garnish with a cinnamon stick (careful with sprinkling cinnamon in ““ it tends to just settle at the bottom)

Hot Buttered Rum ““ OK you should know this recipe is NOT FREAKING HEALTHY. Buttered rum really has butter in it. Who knew? Now this is a recipe I actually had to look up, since I’ve never made it, but based on the ingredient list I think it should be delicious.

1 small slice soft butter
1 tsp brown sugar
2 oz dark rum
hot water
optional spices to taste: ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, etc.

Schnapps Hot Chocolate ““ This recipe is beautiful in its simplicity. Just throw some peppermint Schnapps into hot chocolate and you’re good to go.

1 quart hot chocolate (make it however you like it)
9 oz peppermint Schnapps
Whipped cream to top
Red/green sprinkles and candy canes as garnish

I have a Christmas brunch party every year, and other than the buttered rum, I’ve made all of these drinks and they’re a big hit. Enjoy in moderation, of course, but drink it in ““ get your fill of these great warm drinks in the next few months before it gets hot out again!

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