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Hot Cocktails for the Holidays

Hot Cocktails for the Holidays

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Snow, sleet, ice... the weather this time of year calls for a heavy-duty defroster: hot cocktails. You can warm up with one of these toasty drinks at your favorite bar, but you also can make them easily at home.

Mastering the classics is always a good place to start, and it’s no different with hot concoctions. The timeless Hot Toddy (basically a mix of whiskey, sugar, boiling water, and lemon peel) is a useful template. You can personalize the recipe with a few simple changes, say by replacing the sugar with an infused simple syrup or by adding some citrus juice. A good example of this is the Spiced Toddy that I created recently for the W New York Downtown, which calls for both rye whiskey and spiced rum, plus baking spices and lemon juice.

Another cold-weather favorite is mulled wine, which, for the record, is not just winter sangria. It’s best made with a combination of spices, red wine, berries, sherry, and stone fruits. The flavors come alive when the ingredients are mixed together and then warmed, releasing an enticing aroma.

Since this is shaping up to be the year for punch, it would be remiss of me not to include a festive communal cocktail recipe that you can make for your friends and family. Try Xavier Padovani’s tasty Hendrick’s Hot Gin Punch (pictured above), which in addition to gin calls for spices, Madeira, honey, and fruit. And best of all, it serves 12. Happy holidays!

Click here for the recipe for the spiced toddy and other hot cocktails.

This story was orginally published at Some Like it Hot. For more stories like this, subscribe to for the best in all things cocktails and spirits.

Hot Drinks for Cold Nights

Whip up either of these warming beverages to close out a winter's gathering or a chilly night. They're perfectly portioned to prevent the seasonal tendency to go overboard.

Traditional recipes for this decadent treat can easily top 500 calories -- and that's without any alcohol. Switching to a lower-fat milk and keeping the whipped cream in check brings the recipe down to about 350 calories.

Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it begins to steam. Add white chocolate and whisk well pour into a large mug. Stir in peppermint schnapps if using and top with whipped cream and crushed peppermint candy. Serve immediately.

Calories: 349 Total Fat: 15 grams Saturated Fat: 9 grams Total Carbohydrate: 34 grams Sugars: 33 grams Protein: 9 grams Sodium: 142 milligrams Cholesterol: 35 milligrams Fiber: 0 grams

*for a non-alcoholic version, replace with 1/8 teaspoon of peppermint extract

This grown-up dessert is lower in sugar and calories than a hot-chocolate treat and has fewer calories than the average Irish coffee (which comes in at 250 to 300 calories). Keep alcohol portions modest, and there's even room for whipped cream.

Chocolate shavings or mini chocolate chips and ground cinnamon for serving

Pour coffee into a large mug. Add vodka and liqueur and stir. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Serve immediately.

Calories: 194 Total Fat: 8 grams Saturated Fat: 5 grams Total Carbohydrate: 7 grams Sugars: 6 grams Protein: 1 gram Sodium: 36 milligrams Cholesterol: 28 milligrams Fiber: 0 grams

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

Top 10 Vegan Holiday Cocktails

Cocktail #1: Vegan Mulled Wine

It’s just not Christmas without mulled wine, my husband explained to me when he first introduced me to this drink. And indeed, for many amongst us it just isn’t Christmas unless you enjoy this warm spiced drink at least once. This Vegan Yack Attack cocktail is a Halloween variation of the traditional drink, which can easily be turned Christmassy and festive!

Key ingredients: red wine, apples, oranges, cloves.

For the full guest post recipe by Vegan Yack Attack, see The Vegan Woman.

Cocktail # 2: Homemade Vegan Irish Cream

Now how about this vegan “Baileys” for a comforting and creamy cocktail? This rum-based Irish Cream cocktail is the perfect classic touch to impress your guests this holiday season!

Key ingredients: Rum, Kahlua.

Cocktail #3: Sparkling Fruit Punch

Don’t let this bubbly punch drink fool you. The original recipe by The Vegan 8 doesn’t have even one drop of alcohol! To make this punch boozyly amazing, replace the sparkling water with sparkling wine… Enjoy!

Key ingredients: strawberries, blueberries, lemons.

Cocktail #4: Old Fashioned Cocktail

This bourbon-based cocktail has the flavor and the style! I love the presentation of this cocktail, and for me, bourbon just has the word Christmas written all over it.

Key ingredients: bourbon, Angostura Bitters.

Cocktail #5: Non-Alcoholic Vegan Glühwein

A warm drink to be enjoyed by the young and old! This non-alcoholic drink is a variation on the traditional German mulled wine. Treat the family without uncle Joe getting too tipsy…

Key ingredients: grape juice, pomegranate juice, orange juice.

Cocktail #7: Warm Pumpkin Spice Cocktail

Pumpkin season seems to be synonymous with holiday season, and this warm and creamy pumpkin spice cocktail has the perfect holiday look and taste! Served warm, it has that extra oomph to make the perfect Christmas drink! Talk about capturing the holiday spirit in a glass!

Key ingredients: pumpkin spice coconut milk, rum, cinnamon.

Cocktail #8: Pomegranate Gin Fizz

While this vegan cocktail is perfect as a summer refresher, to me its color just says Christmas! This one is for the gin and pomegranate lovers – how lucky are we that this gorgeous cocktail combines the two?

Key ingredients: pomegranate, lime, gin.

Cocktail #9: Maple Spiced Hot Toddy

Nothing says winter more than a hot toddy, and this maple spiced, bourbon based toddy has that perfect wintry aroma, thanks to its combination of beautiful spices.

Key ingredients: bourbon, cardamom, black tea.

Cocktail #10: White Peach Sangria

I don’t know a single person who can refuse sangria. This recipe’s super rich combination of white wine, brandy and sparkling water gives this vegan cocktail a special fizzy and complex taste, which coupled with its fruity aromas, is an absolute delight!

Key ingredients: dark chocolate, vodka, espresso, orange juice.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to get tipsy! Just remember, alcoholic drink labels can be quite confusing and sometimes incomplete. If you are not sure whether that tempting bottle is cruelty-free, try contacting the manufacturer or consult a vegan alcohol guide such as Barnivore: The Vegan Beer, Wine and Liquor Guide.

Have a happy, relaxed holiday! And if you’re drinking, please drink responsibly.

Sivan Pardo Renwick

Founder, Director and Chief Editor of The Vegan Woman

Sivan is the founder, director, and chief editor of The Vegan Woman. As a vegan lifestyle expert and public speaker, Sivan leads interactive workshops and online communities that help men and women make the transition into veganism and plant-based diets an enjoyable and uplifting journey.

Sivan is also a writer and contributor on various vegan-living topics, and has been featured on CNN’s Eatocracy, Vegan Weddings HQ, Vegan Views, Vegan Lifestyle magazine, and other national and international platforms.

Featuring creamy iced coffee, chai-spiced honey syrup, Licor Cuarenta y Tres, and locally produced Rhum Agricole, this coffee-infused cocktail makes the perfect nightcap and pairs excellently with desserts.

Ku Chai Ku Chai Ku Recipe:

Chai spices (grind 2 ounces cinnamon sticks, 1 ounce whole star anise pods, 1 ounce whole cardamom pods, 1 ounce ground ginger, 1 ounce ground nutmeg, 1 ounce whole cloves)

1 ounce Kuleana Rum Agricole

1/2 ounce Licor Cuarenta y Tres

1 ounce rounded scoop freshly whipped cream

1 ounce honey-chai syrup (2 tablespoons chai spice in cheesecloth placed in a cooking pot with 12 ounces honey, 12 ounces water, boiled and steeped for 15 minutes, cooled and strained)

5 ounces chilled Kona coffee

Shake and garnish with cinnamon stick and star anise pod

10 Wine (Yes, Wine!) Floats to Make This Summer

Those with a creative eye know firsthand that inspiration is all around us. Whether you're energized by the earth tones of nature, a color-filled walk through a local farmer's market, or even by a quick scroll through Instagram, you never know what might spark a new creative project.

In the spirit of inspiring your next masterpiece, we're excited to partner with Bounty to fuel the next generation of artists and designers forward by launching a national design competition. We're calling on graphic designers to apply for a chance to see their work featured on a new Brit + Co and Bounty paper towel collection, set to launch in 2022.

Aside from the incredible exposure of having your illustrations on paper towels that'll be in stores across America next year, you'll also receive $5,000 for your art a scholarship for Selfmade, our 10-week entrepreneurship accelerator to take your design career to the next level (valued at $2,000) and a stand alone feature on Brit + Co spotlighting your artistry as a creator.

The Creatively You Design Competition launches Friday, May 21, 2021 and will be accepting submissions through Monday, June 7, 2021.


Who Should Apply: Women-identifying graphic designers and illustrators. (Due to medium limitations, we're not currently accepting design submissions from photographers or painters.)

What We're Looking For: Digital print and pattern designs that reflect your design aesthetic. Think optimistic, hopeful, bright — something you'd want to see inside your home.

How To Enter: Apply here, where you'll be asked to submit 2x original design files you own the rights to for consideration. Acceptable file formats include: .PNG, .JPG, .GIF, .SVG, .PSD, and .TIFF. Max file size 5GB. We'll also ask about your design inspiration and your personal info so we can keep in touch.

Artist Selection Process: Panelists from Brit + Co and P&G Bounty's creative teams will judge the submissions and select 50 finalists on June 11, 2021 who will receive a Selfmade scholarship for our summer 2021 session. Then, up to 8 artists will be selected from the finalists and notified on June 18, 2021. The chosen designers will be announced publicly in 2022 ahead of the product launch.

For any outstanding contest Qs, please see our main competition page. Good luck & happy creating!

Pear Gin Fizz


  • 2 oz Gin
  • 3 Tbsp Bonnie’s Lemon Pear with Lemon Verbena jam
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 6 oz lemon soda water
  • ice

Garnish: lemon peel, cinnamon stick, and a thinly sliced pear


In a cocktail shaker combine gin, Lemon Pear jam, and cinnamon. Add ice and shake until frothy

Strain the mixture into two rocks glasses. Add equal parts of the lemon soda water to each glass. Mix to combine.

Add ice, and a cinnamon stick For the holidays a few cranberries are a good touch.

10 Festive Bourbon Cocktails For The Holidays

Ah, bourbon. It’s so quintessentially Southern and personally — one of my favorite spirits not only cook with, but to drink. As we’re gearing up for the holidays, I thought I would be fun poll a few fellow bloggers for their favorite holiday bourbon cocktails. From ice cold brews to warm and cozy, there is sure to be an adult beverage to suit your mood or the temperature outside.

How To : 8 Hot Holiday Alcoholic Drink Recipes to Warm Your Spirit

Get into the holiday spirit by fixing yourself a hot alcoholic drink. What better way to warm your body and spirit for the cold winter season?

Thankfully, you do not need to be a bartender to get into the holiday cheer with these mixed alcoholic drinks. If you want your coffee fix and alcohol fix, you can easily put together an alcoholic hot coffee drink with Bailey's, Kahula, or Irish whiskey.

For a warm eggnog-like drink, celebrate Christmas with the classic Tom and Jerry. If you are in the mood for apple cider, how about a apple cider and tequila toddy? If you have a lot of wine and a lot of party guests, try the mulled Christmas wine spiced with orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other festive spices.

And then there is buttered rum. Butter makes everything—including hot alcoholic drinks—better.

What are your favorite hot holiday alcoholic drink recipes for celebrating the winter festivities? Share with us by commenting below!

Click on image to enlarge.

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27 Christmas Cocktails to Drink This Holiday Season

From festive martinis to eggnog, these are the hands-down best cocktail recipes.

Sure, there are the tried and true holiday cocktails, but if you're looking to upgrade from your standard eggnog and mulled wine this season, there are plenty of fresh and festive ideas to test out. Spruce you your next holiday party with one of these simple holiday-inspired cocktail recipes.

1.5 oz Ketel One Botanical Cucumber Rose Vodka
.5 oz Aperol
.75 oz simple syrup
.5 oz fresh lemon juice

Shake ingredients in ice filled shaker 25 times. Pour into a champagne flute. Top with whipped cream, and edible rose petal garnish.

From Morton's The Steakhouse

1 whole egg
1 oz heavy cream
.5 oz maple syrup
.25 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1.5 oz Paul Beau VS Cognac
Freshly grated nutmeg, to garnish

Combine all of the ingredients into a shaker. Shake without ice first, then add ice and shake again to chill and dilute the eggnog slightly (by about 1 ounce). Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

2 oz Absolut Elyx
Fresh cranberries
Ginger beer

Muddle fresh cranberries in a copper mule mug and fill mug 2/3 of the way with ice. Add vodka and top with ginger beer and fresh squeezed lime juice. Garnish with cranberries.

1.5 oz Flor de Cana 12
.5 oz Amontillado sherry
.5 oz agave nectar
2 oz apple cider
2 dashes apple bitters

Combine in a mug and heat or combine ingredients with ice and shake well. Strain over fresh ice in a rocks or tall glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

1.5 oz vodka
.75 oz peppermint schnapps
.75 oz white chocolate liqueur
Candy cane
Red sugar

Mix and chill ingredients. Pour into a red sugar-rimmed martini glass. Garnish with a candy cane hanging on the rim.

From Morimoto Asia at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida

4 oz Grey Goose vodka
1 oz organic maple syrup
1 sprig rosemary
5 oz pink grapefruit juice
1 pinch of salt

In the bottom of a rocks glass briefly crush the rosemary leaves into the maple syrup and salt. Fill glass with ice and add the vodka. Top with fresh pink grapefruit juice and salt and stir well. Garnish with an extra sprig of rosemary.

1 oz Buffalo Trace bourbon
.5 oz Aperol
.5 oz Amaro Montenegro
.5 oz lemon juice
.75 oz simple syrup
3 oz hot tea, to top

Combine all ingredients but hot tea in a metal shaker. Submerge the bottom of the shaker in another shaker filled with hot water and stir to combine and warm ingredients. Pour into a mug and top with hot tea. Garnish with a few gratings of cinnamon.

2 oz Reyka Vodka
1 oz 100% cranberry juice
.75 oz vanilla spiced syrup*

Combine all the ingredients into shaker with ice. Shake, strain into a martini glass and garnish with skewered cranberries.

*Vanilla spiced syrup: Add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, .25 tsp ground black pepper, 5 tsp allspice, and a cinnamon stick to a saucpan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool completely. Strain and add .5 oz vanilla extract.

6 oz eggnog
1 oz spiced rum
2 oz bourbon
1 tbsp ground cinnamon, for garnish
Cinnamon stick, for garnish

Add spiced rum and bourbon to eggnog and stir to combine. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with cinnamon stick, for garnish.

.5 oz Grey Goose
.5 oz plum jam
2 tsp Cointreau
Juice of a quarter of a lime
Top with prosecco

Shake all ingredients (except the prosecco) over ice, strain into champagne flute and top with prosecco.

From Sophia Rosser of Green Room in London.

1.5 oz Milagro Añejo
3 oz Taza Guajillo Chili Chocolate
Heavy cream
1 pinch chili powder

Build in a clear mug or other drink vessel suitable for hot beverages. Top with whipped cream and chili chocolate shavings.

1.5 oz Makers Mark 46
.25 oz Oloroso sherry
.25 oz Benedictine

Stir all ingredients together over ice. Strain into coupe glass and garnish with orange peel.

1.5 oz Beefeater Gin
1 oz cranberry sauce
.75 oz lemon juice
.5 oz orange juice

Build all ingredients in a tin with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with rosemary.

1.5 oz Bespoke Bourbon Cream
.75 oz Citrus Forward Gin
3 dashes cranberry bitters
.5 oz simple syrup

Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into martini or coupe glass. Garnish with an orange wheel

1.5 oz Belvedere vodka
.5 oz green chartreuse
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz simple syrup

Shake all ingredients and strain into Collins glass. Garnish with cranberries on the bottom and a rosemary sprig on top.

1.5 oz Captain Morgan Oakheart rum
.75 oz lemon juice
.75 oz simple syrup
1 strawberry

Muddle strawberry in the bottom of a shaker tin. Add all other ingredients and ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnished with cranberry and mint sprig.

.25 oz rich demerara syrup
.75 oz amaro (preferably Meletti)
.75 oz 1776 Rye
4 oz brewed coffee

In a preheated 7 oz. glass, add the Demerara syrup, amaro, rye, and brewed coffee. Top with whipped cream.

2 oz cranberry Juice
1 oz fresh lime juice
1.5 oz blanco tequila
.5 oz Cointreau (optional)
.25 oz simple syrup or agave syrup
Fresh cranberries and lime for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake until outside of shaker is frosty and cold. Pour into a salt rimmed glass over fresh cubes. Garnish with cranberries and lime wheel.

Created by Trisha Antonsen, chief cocktail officer at

2 oz spiced rum
2 bar spoons cranberry preserve
1 oz lime juice
.5 oz vanilla orgeat

Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass an garnish with mint, dried pineapple, and powdered sugar.

1.5 oz Sagamore rye whiskey
3 oz sparkling wine
.5 oz lime juice
.75 spiced cranberry syrup*

Add Sagamore Rye, lime juice, and spiced cranberry syrup to a champagne flute. Swirl the glass to mix. Tilt glass and gently pour in cava. Garnish with lime and cranberry.

*Spiced Cranberry Syrup: Mix equal parts water, sugar, and fresh cranberries in a pot. For every one cup cranberries, add one cinnamon stick and one rosemary sprig. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Chill overnight, and strain.

1 oz Absolut Elyx
1 oz Lillet Blanc
.5 oz Suze
2 oz fresh orange juice

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain over cubed ice in rocks glasses and garnish with orange wheels.

4 oz Nooku Bourbon Cream
2 oz concentrated cold brew coffee or 1 oz espresso
Sprinkle of ground espresso on top

Combine all ingredients in Double Old Fashioned Glass over ice and stir for about 20 seconds. Sprinkle grounded espresso.

1.5 oz vodka
.75 oz cherry brandy
Juice of 1 lime
Raspberries for garnish
Rosemary for garnish
Sugar for rim

Rim a martini glass with sugar. Fill your cocktail shaker halfway with ice and pour in the ingredients. Shake until chilled and strain the mixture into the glass. Garnish with two raspberries and sprig of rosemary.

2 oz bourbon
1 oz ginger syrup*
1 oz unfiltered apple juice
1 oz lemon juice
A few cracks of black pepper

*Ginger Syrup: 2 oz. of ginger to 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water. Simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool. Strain. Store in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Combine all ingredients, shake, and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with an apple ball.

2 oz gin
.75 oz lemon juice
.75 oz cranberry juice
4 dashes Angostura bitters
1 egg white

Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin, add ice, shake and strain into a coupe, garnish with a single clove.

1.5 oz Jack Daniel's Single Barrel whiskey
.5 oz peppermint syrup*
Hot coffee
Lightly whipped cream

Add Jack and sugar to warm glass. Add coffee and top with cream. Sprinkle crushed candy cane on top.

*Peppermint syrup: Crush candy cane and heat with one cup water until candy dissolves. Let cool before use.

1.5 parts Reyka Vodka
6 parts hot chocolate
.75 part Ancho Reyes
1 dash of Angostura bitters

Combine ingredients in a hot toddy glass or styrofoam cup. Garnish with mini marshmallows or whipped cream.

Hot tea plus alcohol? Absolutely! This hot mixed drink upgrades the traditional hot buttered rum by steeping some Earl Grey hot tea ($3, Target) first. The homemade spiced butter features pumpkin pie spice and is the perfect way to add richness to your warm holiday drink. For a kid-friendly version (that can be spiked for the non-kids, too!), try this hot buttered yum.

Floral and spa-like flavors such as hibiscus are in, so this is one hot alcoholic drink to try if you want to join the trend. A hibiscus tea gives this warm beverage the signature pink hue, while gold or silver tequila gives it the liquor boost. And did we mention this is a slow cooker ($50, Bed Bath & Beyond) recipe? That means it&aposs the perfect warm cocktail for a crowd.

Watch the video: 5 Winter Warmer Cocktails (August 2022).