Recipes

Hot Drinks for Cold Weather

Jack Frost doesn’t have anything on you with one of these warm drinks in hand.

It's Harvest Time with this warm toddy featuring apple cider, scotch, and Campari. It's Harvest Time with this warm toddy featuring apple cider, scotch, and Campari.

‘Tis the season for hot toddies and Irish coffee, but we’re leveling up and sharing hot cocktails that are a bit more complex in nature. Trust us, Jack Frost doesn’t have anything on you with one of these warm drinks in hand.

Harvest Time

“With winter, warming and comforting spirits like scotch immediately come to mind,” says Shawn Chen, the head bartender and beverage director at NYC’s RedFarm, where he serves this cocktail. “The BenRiach is famous for its campfire notes that remind me of burning piles of fallen leaves. I married this with apple cider, as apples are clearly the fruit of fall and winter. The cocktail's flavor profile mimics an apple: sweet, tart, crunchy, and appetite-inducing, with a hint of smoke. It works as a before-dinner cocktail or just something to sip on after a long, cold day."

  • .75 oz BenRiach 10-year peated "Curiositas"
  • .25 oz Campari
  • .50 oz homemade ginger syrup
  • .50 oz yuzu or lemon juice
  • 4 oz warm apple cider

Directions: Bring apple cider to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add scotch, Campari, ginger syrup, and yuzu juice and stir until warm. Remove from heat and pour into a heatproof mug or glass. Garnish with a half lemon wheel studded with cloves and a sprinkle of cinnamon powder.

Apple brandy keeps its flavors no matter how hot you heat it, making it a winner in the hot toddy game. Apple brandy keeps its flavors no matter how hot you heat it, making it a winner in the hot toddy game.

Hot Buttered Apple Cider Punch

“Apple brandy is a favorite spirit to use in a warm cocktail. Lots of liquor flavor profiles change under heat, but apple brandy keeps its flavors regardless of temperature,” says Buck Frisch, head bartender and mixologist at Vermont’s Stowe Mountain Lodge. “Using butter as an ingredient adds a full-bodied, well-rounded element that complements the temperature of the drink.”

  • 16 oz apple brandy
  • ½ gallon cold hollow apple cider
  • 2 full oranges sliced thin
  • ½ stick of butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 10 cinnamon sticks
  • fresh nutmeg

Combine ingredients, heat slowly in saucepan, strain and serve with fresh-grated nutmeg (serves eight).

Holiday flavors abound in this toddy made with cranberry & blood orange liqueur, apple brandy, and spiced apple cider. Holiday flavors abound in this toddy made with cranberry & blood orange liqueur, apple brandy, and spiced apple cider.

Home for the Holidays

“Livening up family gatherings calls for festive drinks! This warm tipple combines apple, cranberry and cinnamon flavors making it perfect for fall and winter entertaining,” says Natalie Bovis, co-founder of Organic Mixology Liqueurs.

  • 2 ounces OM Cranberry & Blood Orange Liqueur
  • 1 ounce Calvados (un-aged)
  • 3 ounces hot spiced apple cider
  • 1 ounce hot water

Pour all ingredients into a warmed mug and garnish with whipped cream and sprinkled cinnamon.

Go the extra mile with hand-whipped cream in this riff on a classic Irish Coffee. Go the extra mile with hand-whipped cream in this riff on the classic Irish Coffee.

Clontarf Irish Coffee

“Clontarf Irish whiskey, heavy cream, hot coffee, and Demerara sugar syrup create this distinctly classic version of the Irish coffee,” says Dale DeGroff, who created the beverage for California’s Blind Rabbit.

  • 1.5 oz Clontarf Irish Whiskey
  • 4 oz Birch Brazil Carmo De Minas coffee
  • 0.5 oz Demerara syrup
  • Hand-whipped, unsweetened cream

Add all ingredients except the cream to a stemmed glass and stir. Hand-whip the cream so that it still pours and floats on top of the coffee, but don’t sweeten it.

Chai Tea Punch

“I love baking holiday cookies and hosting gingerbread house-making parties,” says Meaghan Levy, lead bartender at the Lounge at Rose Hill in the HGU Hotel. “I wanted a punch that would go great with those flavors. Aviation Gin uses a lovely and uncommon ingredient in gin, Indian sarsaparilla. I adore the subtle warm notes it adds to the gin. The chai tea heightens and complements it, and the ginger liqueur adds a wonderful little bit of spice.”

  • 24 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 60 oz chai tea (1 tea bag for every six ounces)
  • 16 oz ginger liqueur

In a pot, bring water to a boil and add chai tea bags to steep. Remove tea bags. In a pitcher, add chai tea, gin and ginger liqueur. Garnish with dehydrated orange wheels.

A single-malt scotch and Earl Grey tea toddy will have you hailing the queen before long. Photo by Travis Stewart. A single-malt scotch and Earl Grey tea toddy will have you hailing the queen before long. Photo by Travis Stewart.

Contrary To Public Opinion

“The Knappogue Castle 12 Year Single Malt’s slight fruitiness and pepper tones are accentuated by the Serrano pepper honey and Earl Grey tea in this hot cocktail,” explains Berto Santoro of Extra Virgin, located in Kansas City.

  • 1 oz Knappogue Castle 12 Year
  • 0.25 oz St Elizabeth allspice dram
  • 0.25 oz Serrano pepper honey
  • 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
  • 0.25 oz lemon juice
  • 2 oz Earl Grey tea

Method: Build all ingredients in a Georgian Irish coffee glass. Top with a lemon-spiced meringue (2 egg whites, 8 oz. simple syrup, and 1 oz. allspice dram). Serve it hot and garnish with channeled, clove-studded lemon wheel.

Skip dessert and go for this decadent dessert cocktail. Skip dessert and go for this decadent dessert cocktail.

The Goodnight Kiss

“The Goodnight Kiss lives up to its namesake with Godiva, espresso, Nocello, whipped cream, and sealed with a Hershey Kiss,” says Isaac Rendon, the bar manager at Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House. “This spiked hot chocolate is the perfect nightcap and after-dinner cocktail for a sweet treat to end the evening.”

  • 0.75 oz Godiva
  • 0.75 oz Nocello
  • espresso
  • steamed milk
  • chocolate syrup

Serve in an Irish coffee glass topped with whipped cream and a Hershey's Kiss.

Wendy Rose Gould is a freelance lifestyle reporter and photographer based in Phoenix, Arizona. From Tel Aviv to Miami, from Prague to NYC, she enjoys sipping on well-crafted cocktails in all corners of the world.

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