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44 Winter Cocktails to Curl Up with This Season

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When the weather outside is frightful, nothing cheers us up like a fancy cocktail. We enlisted the help of a few New York City watering holes and drink connoisseurs to make the ultimate list of winter cocktails to try this season. Winter libations tend to feature fresh seasonal produce (grapefruit! pomegranate! cranberries! persimmon!) and festive add-ins (like sugared rosemary, cinnamon sticks and maple syrup). There's something for whiskey lovers, wine stans, vodka fans and everyone in between on this list, whether you want to warm your bones with a soul-soothing hot toddy, inspire the holiday spirit with a sparkling Champagne punch or ring in Christmas with a boozy hot chocolate.

Read on for 44 tasty bevs to cozy up with when temperatures start to drop. Note: Feel free to substitute suggested brands with whatever you have on hand in your liquor cart.

28 Hot Cocktails to Warm Up with This Winter, from Hot Cocoa to Mulled Wine


1. Hot Toddy

Courtesy of The Chester, Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC

“The new spin is our very own homemade, clove-infused lemon honey to add a citrus-spiced sweetness to work with [our] preferred Jameson whiskey,” says Donny Largotta, beverage director at The Chester. (Psst: Get a similar effect by using whatever honey you have on hand and adding a clove-studded lemon wedge to your mug, or try infusing your own honey instead.)

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces Jameson whiskey
  • 3 ounces hot water
  • ¼ ounce lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce clove-infused lemon honey

Directions

1. Combine ingredients in a glass or mug and stir. Garnish with lemon and star anise.

2. Christmapolitan

Courtesy of Miracle Christmas Cocktail Pop-Ups

It’s basically the fanciest, most festive Cape Cod you’ll ever taste.

Ingredients

  • Absinthe mist (optional)
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • ¼ ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • ¼ ounce dry vermouth
  • 1 ounce spiced cranberry sauce
  • ½ ounce lime juice

Directions

1. Spray a chilled coupe with absinthe mist.

2. Place all the ingredients in a shaker and top with ice. Shake and fine-strain into the prepared coupe. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.

3. Doctor’s Orders

Courtesy of Tribeca Grill

Make sure not to skip the charred lemon garnish—it takes the mezcal’s smokiness up a notch.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces cardamom-infused Del Maguey Vida mezcal
  • ½ ounce Giffard Ginger of the Indies liqueur
  • ½ ounce honey syrup
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice

Directions

1. Shake or stir the ingredients in a mixer. Pour into a glass with ice. Garnish with candied ginger and charred lemon.

4. Apple Pie Delight

Courtesy of The Chester, Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC

“Derived from our very own homemade apple cider and cinnamon-infused syrup and balanced with a smooth underrated spiced rum, [this drink] gives us a sweet-yet-spiced reminder of why [we] must drink it in moderation,” says Largotta.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum
  • 1¼ ounces American Born Apple Pie Moonshine
  • ½ ounce cinnamon syrup
  • 6½ ounces fresh spiced apple cider
  • 6½ ounces organic apple juice

Directions

1. Combine the ingredients ahead of time and store in the fridge. Heat before serving.

2. Pour into a mason jar rimmed with homemade sugar rim (like turbinado brown sugar mixed with cinnamon syrup and a dash of apple cider). Garnish with a cinnamon stick and two sliced red apples on a skewer.

5. Warm Winter (aka Spiked Hot Chocolate)

Courtesy of The Chester, Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC

The chocolate-kissed tequila is savory, sweet and slightly spicy, adding nuanced complexity to this winter staple.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Tanteo cocoa-flavored tequila
  • 4 ounces homemade hot chocolate

Directions

1. Combine ingredients in a mug and stir. Garnish with whipped cream, marshmallows and dark chocolate shavings.

6. Room 666

Courtesy of Bar Marseille

If you have a different brand of bitters or Cognac at home, go ahead and use them. It’ll be our little secret.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Hennessy V.S.
  • ¾ ounce saffron syrup
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • 1 dash Hella orange bitters

Directions

1. Stir with ice in a mixing glass and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and an orange twist.

7. Never Say Never Again

Courtesy of Bar Marseille

Rockey’s Milk Punch is an herbaceous liqueur made from green and black teas, pineapple, apple and citrus. Sip it straight if you swing that way.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces Provence rosé
  • 2 ounces Rockey’s Milk Punch

Directions

1. Combine in a wine glass over ice. Garnish with fennel, orange and fresh mint.

8. Black Eagle

Courtesy of Amali

Bourbon babes, beware. It’ll be tough to stop after just one.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Hillrock Solera Cask Bourbon
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 4 dashes black walnut bitters

Directions

1. Stir in a mixing glass and serve in a martini glass. Garnish with brandied cherries and an orange twist.

9. Amarcord

Courtesy of Amali

Never infused your own spirits before? It’s super easy. This recipe stars infused rye whiskey, spiked with winter spices like nutmeg, star anise and clove.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces rye mix (recipe below)
  • 2 ounces pear purée (peel and blend an overripe pear or use store-bought)
  • ½ ounce lemon juice

Directions

1. Shake and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Rye Mix Ingredients

  • 1 bottle rye
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 lump nutmeg
  • 1 clove
  • 1 tablespoon lavender
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • 2 tablespoons juniper berries

Rye Mix Directions

1. Add the spices to the rye. Let infuse for four to six days.

2. Strain all the aromatics out of the rye. As an optional sweeter, add peach schnapps to taste.

10. Parrot in a Pear Tree

Courtesy of Beach Bum Berry’s Sippin’ Santa Pop-Up

(Note: This cocktail is no longer available at Sippin' Santa pop-ups.)

Craving a tropical getaway in the dead of winter? This tiki-inspired holiday pop-up has you covered.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Espolòn Blanco tequila (or another 80-proof silver tequila)
  • 1 ounce Laird’s Applejack
  • 1 ounce Mathilde pear liqueur
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • ½ ounce Parrot Premix (recipe below)
  • 1 dash Fee Brothers black walnut bitters

Directions

1. Shake with ice in a mixer. Strain into glass filled with cubed or crushed ice.

2. Garnish with a lime wedge stuck with a parasol.

Parrot Premix Ingredients

3 parts cinnamon syrup

  • 3 cinnamon sticks, crushed with mortar & pestle
  • 8 ounces organic cane sugar
  • 8 ounces water

1 part Fee Brothers falernum syrup

Parrot Premix Directions

1. To make the cinnamon syrup, crush cinnamon sticks with a mortar and pestle. Place the crushed sticks into a pan with the water and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, then cover and simmer over low heat for 2 minutes.

2. Remove saucepan from heat and let sit covered for at least 2 hours before straining and bottling.

3. To make the premix, combine the cinnamon syrup with one-third as much falernum syrup.

11. Snowball Old Fashioned

Courtesy of Miracle Christmas Cocktail Pop-Ups

BRB, buying a dozen silicone ice ball trays.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Rittenhouse rye
  • ½ ounce gingerbread syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes Cocktail Kingdom wormwood bitters
  • Orange zest, to express and discard

Directions

1. In a mixing glass, combine all the ingredients with cracked ice and stir well. Strain into a double rocks glass.

2. Add the snowball ice. Express orange zest over the drink and discard the peel.

12. Bad Santa

Courtesy of Miracle Christmas Cocktail Pop-Ups

Slinging drinks to a crowd? Look no further than this mulled wine recipe, starring fresh orange, tawny port and all the fall spices.

Ingredients

  • Two 750-milliliter bottles fruit-forward red wine
  • One 750-milliliter bottle tawny port
  • 8 ounces Grand Marnier
  • 16 ounces water
  • 1 orange, peels and juice
  • 1 lemon, peel only
  • 6 grams green cardamom pods, crushed and opened
  • 2 grams cloves
  • 4 grams whole black peppercorns
  • 4 grams fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • 300 grams light brown sugar

Directions

1. Crack the dried spices. Toast them in a large dry pot over medium heat until aromatic.

2. Add the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and add the remaining ingredients. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes; do not boil again.

3. Turn off the heat. Once cool, strain the spices. Bottle and store in the fridge until needed.

4. Reheat it in a slow cooker on medium heat and serve once hot.

13. Jingle Balls Nog

Courtesy of Miracle Christmas Cocktail Pop-Ups

This big-batch recipe ensures you’ll actually get to enjoy the party instead of playing bartender all night.

Ingredients

  • One 750-milliliter bottle Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
  • One 750-milliliter bottle Harveys Bristol Cream sherry
  • 72 ounces almond milk
  • 50 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 600 grams white sugar
  • 24 eggs
  • 10 drops almond extract
  • 15 drops vanilla extract
  • 10 grams nutmeg

Directions

1. Using a hand mixer, beat the eggs, nutmeg and sugar until the sugar is fully incorporated and dissolved and the mixture is smooth.

2. Add the almond milk. Use a hand mixer to aerate the heavy whipping cream (do not whip to any thickness). Add it to the batch and mix again.

3. Add the sherry, Cognac and extracts. Mix again and refrigerate.

4. Mix or shake each time before serving. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

Still thirsty? Here are a few more winter cocktails we’re getting cozy with this year.

14. Ruby Vermouth Spritzers

  • Main Alcohol: red vermouth

Summer does *not* have dibs on spritzers. Grapefruit, rosemary and red vermouth give this one a wintry spin.

15. Cranberry-Mint Holiday Punch

  • Main Alcohol: vodka

Because no hostess should be doomed to make her guests' drinks all night at her own party.

16. Chai Hot Toddy

  • Main Alcohol: rum

Rum, meet cinnamon, ginger and honey. Substitute traditional bourbon or vanilla whiskey if you'd prefer.

17. Mulled Wine Sangria

  • Main Alcohol: wine

We gave this summer staple the cold-weather update it deserves. The sangria is complete with a generous glug of brandy for good measure.

18. Classic Eggnog

  • Main Alcohol: bourbon

Why settle for store-bought nog when you can whip up your own after just 15 minutes of active prep?

19. Slow Cooker Spiked Cinnamon Lattes

  • Main Alcohol: vodka

Just leave the Crockpot on low and this bev will stay warm the whole party. Your guests can ladle their own as the night goes on.

20. 10-Minute Cranberry Margarita

  • Main Alcohol: tequila

Don’t skimp on the snow-inspired salt rim. (Use sugar—or even colored sugar sprinkles—if you'd prefer.)

21. Hot Buttered Rum

  • Main Alcohol: rum

Dessert in a glass, what a concept. Butter, brown sugar and honey are the keys to its decadence.

22. Mulled Cider

  • Main Alcohol: rum

Trust us: It’s worth making for the heavenly smell alone. Better yet, it starts with store-bought cider for minimal fuss.

23. Slow Cooker Cranberry Hot Toddy

  • Main Alcohol: rum

We traded traditional bourbon for rum and lemon juice for cranberries and tangerines.

24. Spiced Persimmon Bourbon Old Fashioned

  • Main Alcohol: bourbon

Well, aren't you fancy? If you've never had a persimmon before, it has a rich, honey-like flavor that pairs seamlessly with citrus juice and bourbon.

25. Pomegranate Prosecco Smash

  • Main Alcohol: prosecco

Nothing says festive like bubbles (and juicy pomegranate arils). All it needs is a sprig of rosemary before making its debut.

26. Maple Ginger Hot Toddy

  • Main Alcohol: Scotch or whiskey

Even the coldest winter nights are no match for this spiced beauty. Spike it with scotch, whiskey, bourbon or spiced rum.

27. Apple Cinnamon Moscow Mule

  • Main Alcohol: vodka

Give the citrusy vodka staple a seasonal makeover with apples, fall spices and fresh lemon juice. Bonus points for making your own cider.

28. Holiday Spiced Wine

  • Main Alcohol: wine

Brown sugar, vanilla bean and brandy give the sipper a silky texture and sweetness. Use a vino that's full-bodied and fruity, like merlot or grenache.

29. Holly Jolly Christmas Citrus Cocktail

  • Main Alcohol: vodka

Floral, refreshing and herbaceous, this one is bound to put you on your guests' nice list for good. (Trust us: Squeezing the clementine and blood orange juices by hand is so worth the work.)

30. Bourbon Ginger Cider Cocktails

  • Main Alcohol: bourbon

If ginger beer is too spicy for you, feel free to substitute ginger ale. If you can take the heat, sweeten the drink with ginger-infused simple syrup.

31. Boozy Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate

  • Main Alcohol: Kahlúa

Just in case you haven't had your fill of pumpkin spice by December. Take your pick between Kahlúa and bourbon (or go ahead and use both).

32. Caramel Apple Old Fashioned

  • Main Alcohol: bourbon

FYI, you'll want to drizzle the homemade cider caramel on apple pie, vanilla ice cream and everything in between.

33. The Santa Claus Smash

  • Main Alcohol: bourbon

The recipe calls for bourbon, but spiced rum or vodka would pair just as well with the pomegranate juice and ginger-honey syrup.

34. Chocolate Chestnut Cocktail

  • Main Alcohol: coffee liqueur

Chestnut is such an underrated holiday flavor. Give it the attention it deserves with this cocktail, made with coffee liqueur and chestnut syrup.

35. Grapefruit and Sage Champagne Cocktails

  • Main Alcohol: Champagne

If you don't want to spring for real bubbly, you can totally use cava or prosecco instead. Just don't skimp on the fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.

36. Cinnamon Bourbon Old Fashioned with Brûléed Oranges

  • Main Alcohol: bourbon

OK, it's official: Sugar-dusted oranges that are caramelized until sticky and browned are the prettiest cocktail garnish of all time.

37. Maple Whiskey Sour

  • Main Alcohol: whiskey

If you're going the egg white route, be sure to shake the cocktail vigorously to turn it super frothy.

38. Vanilla Chai Tea White Russian

  • Main Alcohol: vodka

If you don't have any chai tea bags on hand, substitute spiced or black tea steeped with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, star anise and cloves.

39. Adult Hot Chocolate

  • Main Alcohol: bourbon

Sorry, kids—this one's for the grown-ups. It's a triple threat to boot, thanks to bourbon, Frangelico and Irish cream.

40. Spiked Pomegranate Party Punch

  • Main Alcohol: vodka

Stir up six holiday-ready cocktails in one fell swoop. Pomegranate syrup makes the punch extra elegant and festive.

41. Spiced Pear Martini with Amaretto and Cardamom Bitters

  • Main Alcohol: vodka

No one will turn down a drink with a cinnamon-sugar rim, let alone a gorgeous candied pear slice.

42. Spiced Cranberry Thyme Moscow Mule

  • Main Alcohol: vodka

The spiced cranberry syrup—steeped with fresh ginger, thyme and cardamom pods—is where the magic happens. (But the vodka helps, too.)

43. Rosemary & Honey Whiskey Cocktail

  • Main Alcohol: whiskey

Just the thing for snuggling up by the fireplace. Reserve the leftover rosemary-honey syrup for citrus cocktails and tea.

44. Sugar Cookie Martini

  • Main Alcohol: Irish cream

If this doesn't put you in the holiday spirit, we don't know what will. Swap the white chocolate liqueur for nutty amaretto if you'd like.

63 Holiday Cocktails to Sip Now through New Year’s Eve


Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.