Warm Winter Cocktails

- by Selena Ricks

The weather outside is frightful, you say? Make it all the more delightful with a comforting cup of your favorite cocktail, served warm.

In NYC, more and more bars are incorporating warm cocktails into their menus, from spiked hot chocolate to hot buttered rum. Hot drinks are a great way to spice up the chilliest winter months, especially after the holiday spirit has long faded. Brown spirits tend to be favored this time of year, but don't underestimate the addition of a juniper-heavy gin, earthy pisco, or smoky mezcal to a warm concoction. And given that this is the season of entertaining, there's no better way to greet your guests on a frigid night than with a bowl of hot punch.

Consider spices to play a starring role in winter cocktails, such as cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and citrus peel, as well as holiday flavors such as mole chocolate, peppermint, maple, pear and apple cider.

The following recipes will keep you toasty and toasted:

Heated Affair
By Jacques Bezuidenhout
  • 2 oz. Partida Anejo Tequila
  • 6 oz. Hot spiced apple cider
  • Heavy cream

In a small warm wine glass add Tequila and hot apple cider. Float heavy cream. Grate fresh Nutmeg over cream.

Apple Cider Preparation: In a pot add Organic Apple Juice. Add winter spices like Cloves, Cinnamon Stick, All Spice, and Orange Peel. Start of by adding a few cloves one cinnamon stick etc so as to find the right-spiced apple cider flavor. You can always add more spice later. Bring everything to a low heat for about 15mins. Taste for flavor. When the desired flavor is reached then take off stove. Strain out all the spices and orange peel. Serve warm and enjoy!

PK Coffee Grog
From Painkiller, NYC
  • 1 1/2 oz. spiced rum
  • 1/4 oz. Don's spices
  • 1/4 oz. Amaretto
  • 1/2 oz. Cream
  • 1 tsp. salted, spiced butter

Top with Grog Coffee (coffee infused with orange and grapefruit peel, sweetened with honey)

Hot Mai Tai
From Painkiller, NYC
  • 1 1/2 oz. Jamaican rum
  • 1/2 oz. Curacao
  • 1/2 oz. Orgeat

Top with hot water. Float cream (heavy cream shake with a few dashes of amaretto). Garnish with lime wheel and mint leaf. Serve in an Irish coffee mug.

Hot Smokin Chocolate
  • 1/2 Tablet Ibarra Mexican Chocolate
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 1/2 oz. Scorpion Mezcal Reposado infused with Vanilla Bean (or add 1 T. vanilla) whip cream topping

Heat chocolate and milk in pan and stir constantly, do not boil. After the chocolate has melted, add 1.5 oz. Scorpion Mezcal Reposado infused with Vanilla Bean. If not available, add 1.5 oz. Scorpion Mezcal Reposado and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. If more sugar is needed, sweeten with agave syrup. Mexican chocolate has sugar and cinnamon mixed in so usually extra sweetener is not needed. Top with whip cream flavored with vanilla and sweetened with agave nectar or sugar. Serve in mug with cinnamon stick stirrer.

Hot Buttered Rum
  • 1 small slice soft salted butter
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • Optional spices to taste: ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, allspice
  • Vanilla extract
  • 2 oz. dark rum
  • Hot water

Place the butter, sugar and spices at the bottom of an Irish coffee glass or mug. Mix well or muddle. Pour in the rum and hot water and stir.

Hot Holland Gin Punch
From "Punch," by David Wondrich
  • 750 ml Bols Genever
  • Peel of 1 lemon
  • 2 oz demerara sugar
  • 8 oz plus 40 oz boiling water

Peel lemon, removing as little of the pith as possible. Combine lemon peel and sugar in a heatproof bowl or pot, set aside for one hour. Add 8 oz boiling water to the lemon and sugar, stir to dissolve sugar. Add genever, then add 32 oz of the remaining water (plus more to taste). Keep punch warm on a stove or in a crock pot. Serves approximately 9 cups.