The past few days have been more than chilly, so let’s warm up with some libations. I love a refreshing drink served over ice as much as the next person, but I’m also a big fan of hot non-alcoholic drinks like coffee and tea — why not add some booze into the picture? Here are some classic hot cocktail recipes to keep you warm for the rest of winter.
Mulled/spiced wine (adapted from Saveur and Town and Country)
Yields four servings
- One 750-milliliter bottle of red wine
- Half cup of sugar
- Eight whole cloves
- Four lemon wedges
- Four four-inch sticks of cinnamon
Optional additions and variations
- Star anise
- One orange, juiced
- One cup apple cider
- Half cup of brandy
- Bring ingredients to a boil in a four-quart saucepan, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and discard cloves.
- Ladle wine into four glasses. Garnish each glass with one cinnamon stick and one lemon wedge. Serve hot.
Hot toddy (adapted from Cookie and Kate)
Yields one drink
- Three-fourths cup water
- One and a half ounces (one shot) of whiskey
- Two to three teaspoons of honey, to taste
- Two to three teaspoons of lemon juice, to taste
- One lemon wedge
- One cinnamon stick (optional, for garnish)
- Bring the water to a simmer in a teapot or saucepan. Pour the hot water into a mug.
- Add the whiskey, honey and lemon. Stir until the honey has dissolved into the hot water. Taste and add more honey or lemon to taste.
- Garnish with a lemon wedge and cinnamon stick. Enjoy!
Spiked peppermint hot chocolate (from me — yes, it’s easy as it sounds)
This drink is so simple to make, I’m not even designating an ingredients or instructions section. Make a piping-hot cup of hot chocolate of your choosing.
When I first tried this drink, my friends and I just had the K-cup kind, which I normally wouldn’t prefer since the milk version is far richer. However, it still tasted great — maybe the alcohol offset the lack of body. My store-bought hot chocolate mix of choice, though, is Ghiradelli. It used to be Starbucks, but over the years, it has become much sweeter and less rich.
Back to the recipe. Slowly add peppermint vodka to taste to your hot chocolate — I used Smirnoff. I have a heavy hand, so I thought I added too much the first time I made this. But don’t afraid to be generous, especially if you want a bit more spike from your sips. The sting of the vodka is offset by the chocolate, leaving behind the wonderfully cooling and complementary flavor of peppermint. Serve with a candy cane!
Hot buttered rum (adapted from A Couple Cooks)
Yields four drinks
Ingredients for spiced butter
- Six tablespoons of salted butter
- Three tablespoons of brown sugar
- One teaspoon of cinnamon
- One-fourth teaspoon of nutmeg
- One-fourth teaspoon of allspice
Ingredients for each drink
- One and half tablespoons of spiced butter
- Two ounces (a little over a shot) of rum
- Six ounces of boiling water
- If you want something sweeter, use hot apple cider
- Make the spiced butter: Roll the butter with a rolling pin until it is flattened. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Use a spatula to combine the butter with the sugar and spices. Use immediately or refrigerate until making the drinks.
- Make the drinks: Add one and half tablespoons of the spiced butter to each glass. Add rum and boiling water. Stir until combined. If you like a sweeter drink, top with whipped cream.