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The best hot cocktails to make this winter

The best hot cocktail recipes

Dante's Hot Buttered Rum cocktail.
Dante / Dante

Now that the cold is forcing us to stay indoors, nothing is more satisfying than wearing warm clothing and taking a sip from a piping hot cocktail by the fireplace. It’s one thing to feel the heat from the mug radiate through your hands into the rest of your body, but then when you consider the shot or two of booze you’ve mixed in? That, friends, is a win-win combo.

The only thing left to do, then, is figure out what kind of hot cocktail to make. Whether you’re a self-proclaimed mixologist or someone who enjoys an occasional boozy drink after a hard day’s work, we’ve got you covered with the best hot cocktails that will satisfy every taste profile.

Dante's Hot Mulled Cider cocktail.
Giada Paoloni / Dante

Dante’s Mulled Cider

This great recipe out of acclaimed NYC bar Dante is bursting with flavor thanks to apple brandy and sherry.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 ounces Lelouvier Calvados
  • 1 ounce Eve’s Cidery Ice Cider
  • 1 ounce Oloroso Sherry
  • 3/4 ounce whole milk
  • 1 ounce clear apple juice
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce spiced cider reduction
  • Cinnamon for garnish

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients in pot on stove and warm.
  2. Serve in a mug and garnish with grated cinnamon.
Dante's Hot Buttered Rum cocktail.
Dante / Dante

Dante’s Hot Buttered Rum

We love a good Hot Buttered Rum, guaranteed to take the sting out of the most biting winter evenings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce Spiced Butter Santa Teresa Rum
  • 1/2 ounce all spice dram
  • 1/2 ounce Amontillado Sherry
  • 1/2 ounce raspberry syrup
  • 1 ounce Rooibos tea
  • Nutmeg and orange slice for garnish

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredient in pot over stove and warm.
  2. Pour into a mug and garnish with nutmeg and orange slice.
Dante's Hot Coffee cocktail.
Giada Paoloni / Dante

Dante’s Caffe Dante Coffee

A great coffee for grownups, this one is a little earthy, a little nutty, and a lot of satisfying.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce Slane Irish Whiskey
  • 3/4 ounce agave nectar
  • 1/4 ounce Vicario Nocino Walnut Liqueur
  • 4 ounces hot coffee
  • Pedro Ximénez cream*

*Pedro Ximenez Cream: Combine 2 ounces Pedro Ximenez sherry, 1 ounce maple syrup, 1/2 ounce walnut liqueur (Dante suggests Vicario Nocino), and 12 ounces heavy cream and blend with hand-blender for 2-4 minutes.

Method:

  1. Build ingredients in a pot and warm over stove while stirring.
  2. Pour into mug and float cream on top.
Jasmine Hot Toddy cocktail.
Lindens / Lindens

Lindens’ Jasmine Green & Fig Toddy

Courtesy of Lindens in NYC, this recipe incorporates fig beautifully. “I love the earthiness and depth of this Hot Toddy,” says Amanda Lee, the restaurant’s head bartender. “Sometimes the flavor profile of a drink can be altered with hot cocktails, but our Jasmine & Green Tea Hot Toddy maintains its integrity. This cocktail provides a true sensory experience as you inhale the amazing aromas of this cocktail with each sip. The notes are floral with a hint of citrus from the high-quality tea we incorporate.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 ounces Malfy Gin Originale
  • 1/4 ounce St. Germain
  • 2 ounces jasmine green tea
  • 1/4 ounces fig syrup*
  • 2 ounces fig whipped cream*
  • 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice

* Fig Syrup: Bring 1 quart of water to boil. Add 10 Sliced up figs and add 1 quart of white sugar. Stir continuously for 5 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Take it out of the heat and wait for it to cool. Strain and ready to be served.

*Fig Whipped Cream: Combine 2 ounces fig syrup, 2 ounces heavy cream and 6 dashes of Angostura bitters together in a tin. Shake vigorously till you get the right consistency, thick but not yet stiff peaks.

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients together into the glass with the fresh-brewed jasmine green tea.
  2. Top off with fig whipped cream and garnish with slice of fig and green tea leaves.
An apple cider cocktail with ice and cinnamon sticks.
NA

Salty Maple Buttered Cider

The unbeatable combination of rum and cider makes the salty maple buttered cider the perfect warm-you-up cocktail this season.

Ingredients: 

  • 4 ounces dark rum
  • 8 ounces apple cider
  • 2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 1/2 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped out
  • Half of a lemon
  • Maldon salt

    (or

    Jacobsen salt

    , if you can find it)

Method:

  1. Scatter Maldon salt on a small plate.
  2. Rub the rim of two heatproof glasses or mugs with the lemon half, then dip in salt.
  3. Combine the butter, maple syrup, and vanilla bean seeds in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine rum and cider in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  4. Pour into prepared glasses, then top each with half of the butter. Serve immediately.
A Boulevardier cocktail with orange skin on a wooden table.
NA

Hot Orchard Boulevardier

This recipe is a fun twist to our all-time favorite classic cocktail: The Boulevardier.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces rye whiskey
  • 2 ounces Campari
  • 2 ounces sweet vermouth
  • 8 ounces apple cider
  • Orange twist to garnish

Method:

  1. Pour your apple cider into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer.
  2. When it starts bubblin’, add rye whiskey, Campari, and vermouth. Stir until it returns to a simmer.
  3. Next, divide the mixture between two heatproof mugs or glass serving glasses, garnish with an orange twist, and serve immediately.
A Hot Toddy with lemon slices.
NA

Earl Grey Hot Toddy

A no-fuss recipe that creates a complex flavor profile to your usual Hot Toddy cocktail, ideal for drinkers who want to spend more time on the couch than in the kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 4 ounces hot water
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 bag Earl Grey tea

Method:

  1. Add bourbon, lemon, and honey to a heatproof mug.
  2. Make Earl Grey tea as usual, then add to mug.
  3. Stir to mix, garnish with a lemon wedge, and enjoy.
A hot cup of Aztec hot chocolate with marshmallows.
NA

Aztec Hot Chocolate

A grown-up take on hot chocolate that every chocaholic must try at least once.

Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces mezcal
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 whole dried ancho chile, split
  • Kosher salt
  • Chile powder, cocoa nib, and/or dark chocolate shavings for garnish
  • Marshmallows to garnish (optional)

Method:

  1. In a medium saucepan, stir cocoa with sugar and salt. Next, stir in milk, cinnamon sticks, ancho chile, and bittersweet chocolate.
  2. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and the mixture is hot.
  3. Gently whisk to completely homogenize the mixture. Simmer over low heat, whisking occasionally, until fragrant (about 10 minutes).
  4. Carefully drain and discard chile and cinnamon sticks. After that’s done, return to the pot and add mezcal. Heat through.
  5. Using a hand blender, a milk frother, or a whisk, beat the chocolate until foamy, then divide into four glasses. Garnish with chile, cocoa nib (or chocolate shavings), a cinnamon stick, and marshmallows. Serve immediately.
A bowl of Hendrick's hot gin punch beside a bottle of Hendrick's gin.
Hendricks / Hendricks

Hendrick’s Hot Gin Punch

Imbued with soothing, nostalgic flavors, Hendrick’s hot gin punch is a great addition to any cold-weather party — virtual or not.

Ingredients:

  • 24 ounces

    Hendrick’s Gin

  • 24 ounces Madeira wine
  • 6 lemon twists
  • 3 ounces honey
  • 3 large pineapple chunks pineapple
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1  orange slice

Method:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a large saucepan (or crockpot) and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes.
  2. To serve, pour the hot mixture into a punch bowl or teapot (or just leave it in the crockpot), and garnish with orange slices studded with cloves.
  3. Pairs really well with gingerbread if you’re hungry.

Winter still throwing its coldness at you? Warm up with the best hot chocolate recipes and a hearty cream of broccoli soup recipe. You’ll be energized enough to even consider some great winter travel ideas.

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Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
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