The first days of fall have come and are soon to be gone. As I welcome the holidays, with the magic of the winter months, I find myself in need of libations that will fight off the chill as the mercury drops. Now, don’t get me wrong… I need many things during this time of year, but I’ve learned over time that a hot cocktail can make the coldest days of the season seem a little brighter. So, when asked by The HOT Report, to give the tea on cozy drinks for cold nights… I, literally, felt warm all over.
As one might guess, many of the winter cocktails have certain similarities. Most are served hot involving plenty of cinnamon, coffee, chocolate, cloves and whipped cream. Hence the reckless disregard for calorie counting and the “too noticeable” resemblance to (perhaps) your childhood favorites, i.e., hot cocoa, hot cider, and so on…but add a healthy shot of liquor and you have yourself a reason to come inside.
Best of all, these cocktails are easy to make, for one or for all, and can be enjoyed any time of day, especially after Holiday shopping, snowball fighting, snowman making and even after lazing around in front of the fire on a blustery afternoon. Tis the season, when guests are constantly dropping by! Here are five festive reasons that will not only make your guests feel more welcome, but, if you drink enough of them, you won’t mind them staying around for so long!
1. Hot Toddy
Easy and rather therapeutic… This is a personal favorite as the honey and lemon add excitement to this combination of tea and brandy. There are many variations of this recipe worth investigating. I have found that dark rum and bourbon make great substitutions for the brandy. For a quick warm up when coming in from the cold, this is my number one choice and most of the ingredients are already in the kitchen.
2. Irish Coffee
If you're looking for a mid-day warm up that gets you ready to go back out there to conquer the cold, nothing is easier than brewing a cup of coffee and adding your favorite dark spirit (or chocolate liquor). As an added indulgence, substitute the whipped cream with Irish Cream.
3. Christmas Punch
I refer to this as winter sangria and the answer to mulled wine. A traditional English punch is the perfect icebreaker for a large holiday party, but don’t be afraid to make a batch to keep in the fridge… only serving it up (hot or cold), one cup at a time, on an as needed basis.
4. Hot Buttered Rum
A little more labor intensive, the spicy, sweet and warm qualities of Hot Buttered Rum mix together to create a wonderful fireside cocktail. Kick off your boots and light the fireplace, sit down and relax after a hard day of outdoor work or play.
5. Hot Spiked Cider
I love this one! Apple brandy gives this delicious cider its kick! On those most frigid days, make things extra festive and serve this cider in mugs rimmed with sugar, or topped with orange twists, whipped cream or nutmeg. Oh! And don’t forget the caramel! Cheers!