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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 to make the ultimate list of winter cocktails to try this season. Here are 24 tasty libations 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. Cheers.

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

Randy Schmidt

1. Runaway Sleigh

Available at the Boilermaker Sippin’ Santa Pop-Up

Want to go the extra mile? Make a batch of sugared cranberries for a snowy garnish.

2¼ ounces London dry gin
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1½ ounces cranberry-sage syrup (recipe below)


1. Shake ingredients in a mixer. Strain into a glass over one fresh king cube (regular ice works, too) in a double rocks glass.

2. Garnish with a sage leaf and three frozen cranberries.

Cranberry Sage Syrup
24 ounces 100 percent unsweetened cranberry juice
18 ounces organic cane sugar (aka evaporated cane juice)
3 grams fresh sage

Cranberry Sage Syrup Directions

1. In a saucepan, bring the cranberry juice to a simmer until it’s reduced to 12 ounces.

2. Add the sugar and sage, then stir to combine until the sugar is dissolved.

3. Remove from heat. Cover and steep for 30 minutes.

4. Strain the leaves. Bottle and store in the fridge.

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Drink: Donny Largotta, Beverage Director/Photo: Ivandzyuba/Getty Images

2. Hot Toddy

Available at 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.)

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


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

Melissa Hom

3. Christmapolitan

Available at Miracle on 8th Street and Miracle on 9th Street Pop-Ups

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

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


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.

Marty Shapiro

4. Doctor’s Orders

Available at Tribeca Grill

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

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


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

Donny Largotta, Beverage Director

5. Apple Pie Delight

Available at 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.

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


1. Combine the ingredients ahead of time and store batch 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.

Drink: Donny Largotta, Beverage Director/Photo: Lilechka75/Getty Images

6. Warm Winter (Spiked Hot Chocolate)

Available at The Chester, Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC

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

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


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

Tanya Saxena, Partner Civetta Group (Amali, Bar Marseille, Calissa)

7. Room 666

Available at 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.


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


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

Tanya Saxena, Partner Civetta Group (Amali, Bar Marseille, Calissa)

8. Never Say Never Again

Available at 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.

3 ounces Provence rosé
2 ounces Rockey’s Milk Punch


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

Tanya Saxena, Partner Civetta Group (Amali, Bar Marseille, Calissa)

9. Black Eagle

Available at Amali

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


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


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

Tanya Saxena, Partner Civetta Group (Amali, Bar Marseille, Calissa)

10. Amarcord

Available at Amali

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


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


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.

Randy Schmidt

11. Parrot in a Pear Tree

Available at the Boilermaker Sippin’ Santa Pop-Up

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

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


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

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.

Melissa Hom

12. Snowball Old-Fashioned

Available at Miracle on 8th Street and Miracle on 9th Street Pop-Ups

BRB, buying a dozen silicone ice ball trays.

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


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.

Melissa Hom

13. Bad Santa

Available at Miracle on 8th Street and Miracle on 9th Street 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.

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


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.

Melissa Hom

14. Jingle Balls Nog

Available at Miracle on 8th Street and Miracle on 9th Street Pop-Ups

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

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


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

15. Ruby Vermouth Spritzers

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

Get the recipe

16. Cranberry-Mint Holiday Punch

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

Get the recipe

17. Chai Hot Toddy

Rum, meet cinnamon, ginger and honey.

Get the recipe

18. Mulled Wine Sangria

Complete with a generous glug of brandy for good measure.

Get the recipe

19. Classic Eggnog

Why settle for store-bought nog when you can whip up your own in just 15 minutes?

Get the recipe

20. Slow-Cooker Spiked Cinnamon Lattes

Just leave the Crock-Pot on low and they’ll stay warm the whole party.

Get the recipe

21. 10-Minute Cranberry Margarita

Don’t skimp on the snow-inspired salt rim.

Get the recipe

22. Hot Buttered Rum

Dessert in a glass, what a concept.

Get the recipe

23. Mulled Cider

Trust us: It’s worth making for the heavenly smell alone.

Get the recipe

24. Slow-Cooker Cranberry Hot Toddy

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

Get the recipe

RELATED: 47 Holiday Cocktails to Sip Now through New Year’s Eve

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