Let’s set the scene for you, shall we? You’re sitting at home, it’s dark out and there is a lite snowfall outside (even if you live in a warmer climate, just play pretend for a minute, okay?). You have your favorite pair of sweats on and it’s completely quiet in your room, save for the crackling sounds of the fireplace or a nearby candle. You’ve got a good book, a juicy podcast or your favorite movie ready to go. Now there is only one thing left to prepare: a delicious winter cocktail.
Assuming you’ve got all the essentials, including the best bourbon, cocktail glasses and bar kits, then all you will need is some ideas for the best winter cocktails. From something hot to something spicy, and everything in between, just like Ole Saint Nick, we’ve gathered a list of the best winter cocktails that’ll have a little something for everyone.
No matter what you’re craving, we’ve got the 10 best winter cocktails to quench your thirst and keep you cozy all season long. Trust us, you’re going to need all the help you can get.
1. Boozy Hot Chocolate
Hot cocoa is a winter staple, so why not spice it up a bit with a splash of boozy wonder. The trick is to infuse the delicious treat with Baileys, Kahlua, or if you’re feeling adventurous, a nice chocolate stout. Garnish with a couple of marshmallows and you’re good to go.
2. Winter Margarita
Believe it or not, there’s a frozen drink that’s perfect for combatting the chilly weather, and naturally, it comes in the form of a winter margarita. You can basically take a traditional marg and combine it with a seasonally appropriate fruit flavoring like cranberry, which goes surprisingly well with a blanco tequila. Bonus points if it’s served in a chilled glass.
3. Smoked Manhattan
If you want to elevate your next Manhattan cocktail, or even a neat bourbon or whiskey, enjoy it in a smokey glass. The warm smokey aroma adds to the experience and taste of the beverage at hand. Not to mention it makes for a great fireside sip. And if you’re not sure how to smoke your glass, don’t fret. You can follow these easy steps. You can also buy a cocktail smoker like the one below. Sure, it may seem like a lot of effort for one drink, but if you’re following social distancing guidelines, then you’re going to have a lot of extra time this winter.
4. Cinnamon Spiced Old Fashioned
A traditional old fashioned is very simple: it’s made with a sugar cube, bitters and bourbon. But a cinnamon-spiced old fashioned plays on flavors of the season by replacing the sugar cube with cinnamon-flavored syrup. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or two, and pumpkin spice ain’t got nothin’ on this.
5. Nutella Martini
BEST CHOCOLATE COCKTAIL
We know what you’re thinking: there’s another winter cocktail other than spiked hot chocolate that takes the best chocolate cocktail category? Yep. Enter the Nutella Martini. Take the deliciousness of creamy Nutella and combine it with a touch of half & half and some vodka. Pro tip: cover the rim in chocolate or Nutella and then sprinkle on sprinkles, crushed Oreo’s or some other type of Christmas garnish. You’ll thank us later.
6. Gingerbread Collins
You’ve heard of a Tom Collins, but have you ever heard of a Gingerbread Collins? Well, buckle up. If you’re a fan of the gin classic, trade-in some of the lemon juice for gingerbread syrup. Add carbonated water as per usual, or even replace it with ginger ale for an extra touch of sweetness.
7. Bourbon Alexander
If you’re craving something delicious and creamy, a tasty Bourbon Alexander is the way to go. The frothy beverage is a sweet select made with brandy, creme de cacao, and heavy cream that can easily be winterized with the addition of an egg white. Check out this easy Bourbon Alexander recipe, courtesy of Old Forrester and Drizly.
8. Peppermint Martini
A glass rimmed with chocolate and bits of crushed candy cane earns an immediate entry onto any best winter cocktail list in our book… but double the points if the drink inside has some combination of chocolate liqueur, peppermint schnapps and/or vodka.
9. Bourbon Holiday Smash
When we think of fruity drinks, we tend to imagine them going down nicely as you sit beachside somewhere… and sometimes a sweet, sweet beach paradise is the perfect way to escape those pesky winter blues. But if you can’t actually go to a beach, this fruity concoction is the next best thing. This spin on a bourbon smash fits jam preserves, bourbon, triple sec, orange juice, club soda and crushed ice into one deliciously fruity infusion. The best winter cocktails don’t have to involve gingerbread or cinnamon, and this refreshing cocktail is a great way to pass the time during long winter nights.
10. Spiked Eggnog
You probably remember as a kid when an older relative would chug down a glass or two of spiked eggnog, and now as an adult, you probably understand why. The festive favorite is the best winter cocktail to enjoy during the holiday season and is super tasty when spiked with a bourbon or rum of your choosing.
11. Hot Toddy
No list of the best winter cocktails would be complete without the original — the hot toddy. Perfect for cold winter nights and winter colds, nothing goes down as smooth as bourbon hot toddy. Best of all, you probably have most of the ingredients already — bourbon or whiskey, hot water, lemon, honey and a cinnamon stick.