New recipes

Winter Warmer Cocktail Demo

Winter Warmer Cocktail Demo

John McCarthy shows us the steps to a light but warming cocktail for escaping cold weather

Ali Rosen

winter warmer

Winter often means staying inside and keeping out of the cold — so what better to drink than a cocktail intended to bring in the flavors of the season while warming you up! John McCarthy shares his recipe for his Nolet's Winter Warmer, which combines floral Nolet's with a smooth amaro and a touch of spice in order to make the perfect cocktail for sitting by the fire.

With only four ingredients, you’ll have it ready in no time in order to get the party started. Watch the video above or make the cocktail from the full recipe below!

NOLET’S Winter Warmer

2 ounces NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin

.5 ounces Nonino Amaro

.5 ounces "Red Hot" Honey Syrup*

1 dash Angostura bitters

Stir all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with star anise and lemon peel.

*The honey syrup is infused with cinnamon, dried chiles, and dried ginger. For full instructions on the syrup, watch the video above.

Winter Warmers: 10 Hot Cocktails for Cold Weather Weddings

Baby it's cold outside, and we're ready to ease into the festive season with some warming winter cocktails. If you're planning a winter wedding, you may want to serve drinks that pay homage to the season, so why not go one better and set the vibe for your celebration with some hot cocktails?

From a warm cinnamon Old Fashioned to a boozy coconut chai, we've rounded up some of our favourite hot cocktail recipes, for welcoming your guests with a cosy tipple, or sending them off with a warming night cap. We'll always have a place in our hearts for mulled wine, hot toddies or warm apple cider, but if you're looking for something a little bit special for a Christmas wedding or even just a winter gathering at home, stick the kettle on and dig out the whiskey and the dark rum, because these drinks will keep your guests feeling toasty - and maybe a little tipsy too.

1. Smoke & Cinnamon Hot Whiskey Old Fashioned

I came across this smoke and cinnamon cocktail on A Beautiful Mess a while back, it's the perfect festive twist on a classic Old Fashioned. But to go one better for a cold weather wedding, why not add some hot water to the whiskey for a toasty, warming toddy.

Get the full recipe on A Beautiful Mess (but don't forget to add the hot water!).

2. Boozy Hot Chocolate

Add Baileys, whiskey, Amaretto, Frangelico, coconut rum, coffee liqueur or creme de menthe - the options are endless. Set up a hot chocolate station at your wedding (post-ceremony, pre-dinner is the perfect time) and give your guests the option to spike their hot chocolate with something a little stronger.

3. Hot Buttered Rum

Buttered rum is one of those things you see on cookery shows, but nobody seems to make in real life. Well, this Christmas, I'm vowing to change that, and I think you guys should get on board. By the looks of this recipe from Jamie Oliver, this would make the perfect after-dinner sweet treat. Dark rum, butter, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg - that is one moreish combination.

4. Warm London Cup

This is one for anyone who spends their summer sipping on Pimms - a recipe created by gin brand Sipsmith for Stylist magazine, it features their own London Cup, heated with cloudy apple and orange, a drink that's warming without being too potent or sickly.

5. Warm Apple Pie

There are lots of variations on warm apple cider cocktails, some call for whiskey, others call for liqueur - but many include cream and cinnamon, which sounds like an intriguing combination to me. This recipe by The Spruce is a fun, and relatively easy wedding cocktail.

6. Mulled Apple Cider Sangria

A mix between our perennial fave, mulled wine, and apple cider AND sangria, what's not to get excited about! This recipe from The Crumby Kitchen features clementines, vanilla, nutmeg, ginger and at least three kinds of alcohol. The perfect drink for making up in big batches and serving to your guests as a welcome drink or a nightcap.

7. White Wine Toddy

While some white wine lovers will consider this utter sacrilege, if you're looking for a unique alternative to mulled wine, this Riesling Toddy recipe from Serious Eats could be just what you're after. Cardamom, brandy, honey and lemon - this one sounds like it could cure what ails you.

8. Hot Gin & Tonic

I know, I know, a G&T is nothing without the clink of some ice cubes, and the thought of a warm one sounds alarmingly close to a boozy version of your mam giving you flat 7up when you were sick as a kid. But I promise, this tipple will be a welcome warmer for your guests! Craft gin distillers Sipsmith swear by it, here's how it's done.

9. Coconut Chai Toddy

This one sounds so delicious, I may need to pick up the ingredients on the way home from work. Blending dark rum with chai tea and coconut milk, this recipe from Running To The Kitchen would be the perfect warming drink with an exotic twist. It's a great hot cocktail for making up in big batches too.

10. Mulled Pomegranate Mocktail

And finally one for the non-drinkers. This mulled non-alcoholic cocktail is filled with festive flavours that will warm the cockles of all your guests - get the recipe on the BBC Good Food blog.

Tips for Serving Hot Cocktails at your Wedding

  • Consider how you're going to serve your drinks, boiling hot cocktails will crack normal glassware - look for insulated (and compostable) disposable cups, mugs, or Irish coffee glasses to serve your winter beverages, or serve them warm rather than hot.
  • Talk to your venue or caterer about how to keep any pre-made drinks warm, batch cocktails tend to be easier if you have a bigger guest list, these can be kept on a stove, or in a Burco boiler-style device.
  • Think about garnishes - creating stylish festive cocktails is as much about how they look as how they taste. Cinnamon sticks, orange peel, candy canes, pomegranate seeds, coffee beans, and marshmallows all make pretty winter-themed garnishes.
  • Remember the non-drinkers too - this goes for any signature cocktails, but it's even more important if you're serving drinks to warm up your guests. Provide a mocktail, chai latte or hot chocolate option for little ones and any guests who aren't drinking at your wedding.

Get ideas for some sparkling New Year's Eve cocktails to ring in 2020 with a bang.

We're not sure whether this Russian drink was created in honor of the country's signature vodka or to combat the fierce cold of their winters, but we're glad it exists regardless! With Irish coffee flavors, it's surprisingly served cold. However, you could easily sub in fresh brewed coffee for the Cafe PatrÌ_n and serve it hot in mugs instead of martini glasses. Enhance the flavor even more by pairing these Russian Winter Cocktails with biscotti, chocolate stirring sticks, or caramels


  1. Tea syrup: Combine the sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Reduce heat to low and add the tea leaves. Allow the tea to infuse for 5 minutes before removing from heat and straining. Let chill before using.
  2. In a punch bowl or large pitcher, mix the gin, lemon and lime juice, mint tea syrup, and maraschino liqueur, stirring to combine. Decant a small amount of absinthe into a small spray bottle.
  3. To serve, spritz each glass with absinthe, then fill with crushed ice. Add the punch and garnish with lemon peel and star anise.

Winter is most definitely here. Lucky for us, then, that Dunnet Bay Distillers have a very special winter edition of their popular Rock Rose Gin.

For this cocktail, simply add in some gingerbread syrup and pomegranate juice and you have one very delicious gin punch.

What will we cover?

In this special winter edition, learn the basics for equipping your home with the necessary tools and knowledge to make some great winter cocktails. Advice from a cocktail aficionado on how to set up for cocktails anywhere – at home or even while travelling – so you can share your skills (and drinks) with friends and family.

You will learn key cocktail techniques to confidently approach selected aged rum cocktails and take home the recipes to impress your friends, your family, your date and yourself!

The class will give you the building blocks necessary to setup a good home bar and introduce categories of tools and equipment useful for making cocktails, and show examples of different glassware and flexible options for serving drinks.

Understand what’s essential and what you can live without (or substitute) to start making drinks on a budget

De-mystify cocktail jargon

List of places to pick up tools and supplies

Recommendations for further self guided learning (books, websites, YouTube channels)

NB: This class will be in Australian English and pirate speak will be kept to a minimum.

Cremosa de Cocoa

“Cremosa de Cocoa is my favorite holiday drink at the moment,” says chef Nelson German, owner of Afro-Latino cocktail Lounge Sobre Mesa. “I do want to shout out and mention my amazing bar manager Sadé Stamps for creating it. She wanted to create something festive but staying within our Afro-Latino concept.

“What I love about the cocktail is the childhood memories I get of times enjoying hot chocolate during the cold NYC winters. Especially when me and my cousins would sit around during Christmas before opening gifts sipping on hot chocolate. The coolest thing, though, is the addition of guava in the cocktail. I use to eat these amazing Dominican pastries that were a stuffed—Pan de Agua—with guava jam and chocolate. The cocktail brings me there.”

2 oz. Corbin Cash Sweet Potato Liqueur

1 oz. Chairman's Reserve Spiced Rum

7–8 oz. semisweet Guittard chocolate

Marshmallow syrup: In a saucepan whisk 4 oz. marshmallows with 8 oz. water over medium heat until well combined. Stir in cinnamon. Let cool before storing in the fridge. Keeps for 2 weeks.

Rum sweet cream: In a bowl, using a hand mixer or whisk, whip cold whipping cream until it starts to thicken. Add 1 oz. spiced rum and sugar, whip until just firm.

Combine coconut milk, guava paste, chocolate, marshmallow syrup, wine, allspice, and nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until combined without allowing to boil. Remove from heat and stir in sweet potato liqueur. Strain and pour into a mug. Garnish with rum sweet cream and a sprinkle of chocolate powder.

#11 &ndash German lemon, ginger, mint tea

When I want a hot winter drink that doesn&rsquot negate my morning workout, I whip up this lemon, ginger and mint tea that I had in Germany last Christmas. It&rsquos SO good &ndash and good for you! I now make this all the time at home. It&rsquos one of my favorite hot drinks for winter because it warms me up and it&rsquos refreshing. If you like lemon, ginger and mint, try this herbal tea drink.

6. Coffee & Cream

Created by Ryan Gavin for Gran Tivoli and Peppi’s Cellar

Spiked coffee makes a great pick-me-up for the colder months. Gavin’s Coffee & Cream is a decadently delightful variation with a chilled sweet vanilla cream crown that floats on top of the drink. “We were aiming for some sort of elevated Irish coffee style of drink that would show off not just the delicious espresso but some nutty and rich notes from the brandy and Vin Santo,” Gavin says. “By adding the Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur, we were able to elevate the natural coffee flavor and bring the sweetness up to that magical point that is lip smacking, but not too syrupy.”

.75 oz Brandy
.75 oz Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur
.175 oz Vin Santo
1 oz Espresso
2 oz Hot Water
.75 Vanilla Cream
Glass: Footed 6 oz

Directions: Build and layer all ingredients in a footed 6 oz. glass. Garnish with cacao and bee pollen.

6 cocktail recipes to snuggle up with this winter

When you can see a frosty landscape out the window, you’ll want a drink with the flavors of winter.

The popular image of stalwart St. Bernard dogs bravely carrying brandy to people stranded in the snow is, sadly, more a creation of cartoons than real life.

That is probably a good thing, actually. If you are truly freezing, alcohol will only make it worse.

But wintertime cocktails are a real thing. When you&rsquore cold &mdash or you&rsquore inside where it is warm but you can see a frosty landscape out the window &mdash you want a drink with the flavors of winter.

I recently made a selection of cold-weather cocktails and, if I may risk seeming immodest, I found them all to be highly enjoyable. Of course, that may be because I had to sample all six of them.

Two of the drinks were similar in style, and both used a simple syrup that I gussied up for the season.

Typically, simple syrup boils together equal amounts of sugar and water. You get a sweet liquid that you can use in drinks in place of sugar, which does not dissolve well in cold drinks. I made that, but I added a cinnamon stick, a clove and the zest of an orange and a lemon. It all steeped together until the syrup took on the flavors that are so familiar in the coldest months.

I used this winter simple syrup to make what I call a Manhattan in Winter. When mixed in with bourbon and sweet vermouth, it softened the edges of an ordinary Manhattan. It gave it a rounder and fuller flavor, with a subtle overtone of spice.

Then I took the same formula and created what I am tentatively calling a Jamaican Solstice.

The base this time is dark rum &mdash think Myers&rsquos or a similar brand instead of a gold rum (that comes later). Grand Marnier gives it a rich orange taste, which is then accentuated by the citrus zest, cinnamon and clove of the winter simple syrup.

If you like rum, you&rsquore going to love it.

I can&rsquot claim credit for the third winter cocktail, even though I created it. I am certain it has been made thousands of times before, and probably nearly always with the same name: Peppermint Pattie.

I was inspired by the popular candy that made York, Pennsylvania, famous &mdash dark chocolate encasing a creamy peppermint filling. I decided to give the flavors an alcoholic twist by combining Godiva chocolate liqueur with peppermint schnapps. A two-to-one ratio (two parts chocolate, one part peppermint) was perfect.

The drink is deep and rich and glorious, but it isn&rsquot really a cocktail. It is more of an after-dinner drink, a dessert. And with just 20% alcohol by volume, it is too weak to be considered a proper cocktail.

So I added some vodka to make it more boozy, but that only diluted the silky, luxuriant texture of the lower-alcohol drink. Still, it had more of a kick, and it wasn&rsquot bad. It just wasn&rsquot as good as the original.

My next wintery cocktail, which was created by a national distillery, is one of those ideas that are so simple you wonder why you didn&rsquot think of it first. Apples bring out the best in bourbon, so why not make a drink out of bourbon and sparkling apple cider?

It&rsquos called a Bourbon and Cider, and that is what it is made from, along with a lot of crushed ice. For a garnish, simply add a slice of apple with a sprinkling of cinnamon on it. Cinnamon, needless to say, also goes well with bourbon, and also apples.

The recipe for the Merry Maple Sour that I made next also comes from a national distillery. They&rsquore always thinking of innovative ways to use their products.

This one begins with the idea of a sour, like a whiskey sour or a pisco sour, and uses gold rum as the main ingredient.

It is a sour, so it is shaken with fresh lemon juice, but the sweet third ingredient may be a surprise. It is maple syrup.

The syrup adds some lovely low notes to the cocktail, but they are subtle. This is a sweet-and-sour drink that favors the sour at least as much as the sweet.

My final cocktail is meant for a celebration. It is a Cognac French 75, a wintery variation on the classic French 75.

The original French 75, which was named for a particularly lethal field gun in World War I, is a gin drink. But gin is a summertime spirit, especially when used in such a lighthearted cocktail as this.

To make it appropriate for this time of year, simply replace the gin with a warmer and more robust cognac. To that, you add fresh lemon juice and simple syrup &mdash I used the winter simple syrup because I had it on hand, but the drink would be equally good with the unflavored variety.

And then, of course, comes the champagne. You pour champagne over the other ingredients to create an effervescent drink that is serious (the cognac) yet frothy (the champagne) at the same time.

Champagne is universal. It should be enjoyed in the winter as well as the summer. It is delightful anytime.

Winter is the time to try warming cocktails like this sweet Peppermint Pattie. (Hillary Levin / St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Peppermint Pattie

2 ounces chocolate liqueur, such as Godiva

1 ounce peppermint schnapps

Combine chocolate liqueur and peppermint schnapps. Optional vodka gives the drink more of a kick but dilutes the flavor and mouthfeel. Serve in a martini glass.

Bourbon and cider will warm you up after a snow day. (Hillary Levin / St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Bourbon and cider

3½ ounces sparkling apple cider

Apple slice sprinkled with cinnamon, for garnish

Add bourbon and apple cider to a highball glass filled with crushed ice and stir. Garnish with a cinnamon apple slice.

&mdash Recipe by Ezra Brooks bourbon

The warming flavors of rum highlight this Jamaican Solstice. (Hillary Levin / St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Jamaican solstice

1½ ounces dark rum (such as Myers&rsquos)

1 tablespoon winter simple syrup (see recipe at right)

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

Combine rum, winter simple syrup and Grand Marnier in a glass. Add ice if desired. Garnish with a slice of orange.

Merry maple sour

1 ounce fresh lemon juice

Combine rum, lemon juice and maple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until cold. Strain into a glass, garnish with lemon twist.

&mdash Adapted from a recipe by Mount Gay Rum

The Manhattan in Winter is a dark-season take on the classic cocktail. (Hillary Levin/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS)

Manhattan in winter

1 tablespoon winter syrup (see recipe below)

1½ tablespoons sweet vermouth

Pour bourbon, winter syrup and vermouth over ice in a rocks glass, and add cherry.

Cognac French 75

½ ounce (1 tablespoon) lemon juice

½ ounce (1 tablespoon) simple syrup

3 ounces sparkling wine, such as champagne

Combine cognac, lemon juice and simple syrup in a champagne flute. Fill with sparkling wine.

Winter simple syrup

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and liquid turns clear. Allow to cool to room temperature. Strain out clove, cinnamon, orange zest and lemon zest. Pour into a clean jar, close and store almost indefinitely in refrigerator.

  • You can tell us about news and ask us about our journalism by emailing [email protected] or by calling 425-339-3428.
  • If you have an opinion you wish to share for publication, send a letter to the editor to [email protected] or by regular mail to The Daily Herald, Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206.

Bourbon and cider will warm you up after a snow day. (Hillary Levin / St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

The warming flavors of rum highlight this Jamaican Solstice. (Hillary Levin / St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

The Manhattan in Winter is a dark-season take on the classic cocktail. (Hillary Levin/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS)

The Cognac French 75 mixes brandy and sparkling wine. (Hillary Levin / St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Winter Bourbon Smash

Friends! 2013 is almost over. Do you have New Year’s plans yet? Whether you’re going out or staying in, we have the perfect simple drink for you: A winter bourbon smash.

This drink has quite the history. We especially loved this excerpt:

“The smash is an open-ended cocktail, freely variable and seasonally flexible. There must be ice…There should be fruit in season, though you may use it simply as a garnish. There should be a spirit base…You may want to water your smash down a little or add a spritz of seltzer. At its heart, the smash is a wonderfully forgiving and flexible drink, made for…using what’s on hand and for smashing it all together over ice for pure sipping bliss.”

Now that we’re all learned on this beautiful, simple cocktail, let’s get to mixin’.

It all starts with raspberry jam. We called this a winter smash since traditionally a smash should contain a seasonal fruit. Being that it’s frigid outside and fresh fruit isn’t exactly plentiful, a jam is the perfect solution.

For flavor we went with raspberry, but you could really use any jam or preserve you have on hand. A perfect pairing to raspberry is orange, which we used as both a garnish and juice to add a brightness to this cocktail.

Two things I love about this drink:

1) It has a quenchable thickness thanks to the preserves.
2) It highlights the bourbon beautifully.

I wouldn’t consider myself a huge bourbon fan (unless it’s in caramel). But the more I try it in drinks like this, the more I love it. It has less of a punch than vodka and tequila and a distinct flavor that’s absolutely delicious when well mixed.

This drink is my new favorite. It’s:

Not too sweet
Slightly creamy
Bright with citrus
Not too strong
& So easy to make.

Make it this New Year’s Eve to bring in 2014 right. This is definitely what we’ll be cheersing to at midnight. Enjoy!