The change of seasons means thinking about warming up with some delicious drinks. The cool weather calls for winter cocktails and easy-to-make libations.
The weather may be cold, but it doesn't mean you have to drink warm cocktails. Many people choose classic cocktail recipes with seasonal ingredients. The recently released Mixed Drinks Report from CGA by Nielsen IQ finds that seasonality impacts how consumers select what mixed drinks they enjoy.
Warming spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg are common ingredients in many winter cocktails because they pair well with holiday spices like gingerbread or pumpkin pie. In addition, bright pineapple and citrus fruits are featured heavily. They add the needed color and intense flavors to drinks and are seasonal at this time of year.
We've rounded up our favorite winter drinks that are easy to make — they're also perfect for entertaining a crowd or a date night at home. But don't worry if you're not a pro at mixing drinks: these cocktails are seasonally-inspired, need no special equipment or fancy ingredients, and are ready in five minutes or less.
From hot toddies to mulled wine, these drinks will have you feeling like you're snuggled up by the fire in no time. Continue reading below for 20 mouthwatering winter cocktails that are sure to warm you up.
Classic Winter Cocktails
1. Spiced Apple Old Fashioned From Jaylynn Little
This cocktail is sure to impress. It goes down easy, and the combination of flavors is truly unique. You'll love the spicy cinnamon and clove notes with a tart apple and orange blend.
2. Manhattan Cocktail From Splash of Taste
This Manhattan Cocktail is a classic cocktail that always stays in style. A blend of rye whiskey and sweet vermouth with a hint of maraschino liqueur, its rich, complex flavors are sure to delight. This one is definitely one for the books!
3. Lemon Honey Old Fashioned With Bourbon From Slow Living Kitchen
Bourbon and lemon combine to make this classic cocktail a bit sweet but not too sweet. The lemon-infused honey adds a perfect sweetness, making this an easy sipper on chilly winter days.
4. Cosmopolitan From Splash of Taste
This drink is as fashionable and fun as its namesake. Vodka, cranberry juice, triple sec, and freshly squeezed lime juice give this cocktail crisp notes. While the Cosmopolitan is traditionally pink, it also looks stunning served in a martini glass rimmed with sugar if you want to impress your guests.
5. Spicy Bloody Mary From Slow Living Kitchen
Forget about a mimosa; Bloody Marys are where it's at! This spicy drink is the perfect cure for a lazy winter Sunday morning. The secret ingredient? A hearty shot of fire cider vinegar! This recipe has been tested to cure any Sunday blues. Featuring an apple cider vinegar infusion of roots, fruits, and spices, this savory drink will help you break through the bracing winter chill.
6. Partridge in a Pear Tree Martini From The Budget Savvy Bride
Meet the cocktail that will get you in the mood for some seasonal caroling. This “Partridge in a Pear Tree” is a classic vodka martini infused with seasonal flavors, creating a smooth and fruity cocktail. Vanilla gives it a delightfully sweet taste, while pear makes it delicately crisp. This perfect combination of flavors will get you in a jovial mood for the winter months.
7. “Cape May” Cranberry Moscow Mule From Dude That Cookz
Moscow mules are the perfect cocktail to make at home. They're light, refreshing, and easy to drink. This cranberry mule is a great twist on this classic cocktail. With the addition of cranberries, you get a tart, sweet taste that pairs perfectly with the vodka and ginger beer.
Easy, Hot Winter Drinks
8. Boozy Bourbon Peppermint Hot Chocolate from Beautiful Eats and Things
Boozy hot chocolate? Yes, you read that right! This heady hot cocoa will be your new favorite winter drink. It's rich and creamy, with just enough peppermint and bourbon to give it a festive kick. A dash of peppermint and bourbon will add a delicious, festive touch to your holiday party or your next girls' night in.
9. Hot Toddy With Vodka & Lemon Honey From Slow Living Kitchen
This winter warmer will come to your rescue if a cold snap hits. This classic drink gets a makeover with a shot of lemon-infused honey for a citrus hit. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, and your hot toddy is ready to fight the winter chill.
10. Hot Buttered Rum From The Female Professional
If you're looking for a warm, cozy rum cocktail to help kick off your weekend, look no further. This recipe uses dark rum, apple cider, and a combination of spices for a rich, warming sip that's perfect for kicking back with friends and family.
11. Mulled Red Wine or Vin Chaud From Cooking Clarified
Here's another classic warming winter drink everyone should try making at least once in their lifetime! It consists of red wine mixed with spices such as cinnamon sticks, cloves, and orange peels, giving it its sweet taste and spicy scent too.
12. Irish Coffee With Baileys From Coffee Affection
If you're craving a coffee drink with more kick than a plain old cup of joe, this classic Irish coffee recipe is for you. Made with whiskey, Bailey's cream, and coffee, it makes the perfect go-to cocktail for chilly winter days.
Seasonal Holiday Cocktails
13. Jack Frost Cocktail From Eating Well
The most remarkable thing about this cocktail is that it's blue. Why? Well, it's infused with butterfly pea flowers, which create a vibrant royal blue hue. In addition, it's a blend of mint liqueur and vanilla ice cream that makes this cocktail the perfect frosty holiday dessert drink.
14. Blood Orange Mimosas With Prosecco & Basil Simple Syrup From The Gourmet Bon Vivant
Get ready for your guests to be wowed: This simple yet delicious cocktail is made with Prosecco, blood orange juice, and simple basil syrup. A little bit of this, some of that, and you'll have the most popular drink on your brunch table.
15. Cold Toddy Recipe With Whiskey From Zestful Kitchen
We love a good hot toddy recipe, but this Cold Toddy is anything but. Made with warm spices and a hint of oak-aged Kentucky bourbon, this excellent take on a hot cocktail lets you enjoy all those favorite flavors without the heat, making it the ultimate easy winter cocktail recipe.
16. Chai White Russian From Masala and Chai
This winter, take advantage of the longer days and add warmth to your beverage game with this easy-to-garnish Chai White Russian. It is an excellent twist on the classic White Russian cocktail, which combines homemade chai liqueur with vodka for a drink that's both spicy and smooth.
17. Spiced Red Plum Sour From That Cocktail Life
Make a tart statement with this Spiced Red Plum Sour. The fruity sweetness of plum and the spicy cinnamon orange syrup accent the sour body. Serve this in a stylish coupe glass, and this drink will be the talk of the party.
18. Blood Orange Dirty Shirley From Sweet Tea + Thyme
This Dirty Shirley cocktail will stave off your winter blues. This sangria-style drink combines brandy, blood orange juice, and a club soda splash for perfect sweetness and carbonation. It holds a spicy kick that brings to mind sunshine and spring.
19. Festive Cranberry Holiday Cocktail From Savvy Honey
This holiday cocktail is so versatile. Vodka, raspberry juice, cranberry, and apple juice blend together for a simple but delicious sip that everyone will love.
20. Grapefruit Rosemary Gin Sour From The Gourmet Bon Vivant
Refreshing, herbal, and subtly sweet, this gin-based twist on a traditional whiskey sour is sure to impress. The tart grapefruit is combined with earthy rosemary to create a refreshingly new take on an old classic you'll want to try again and again.
This article was produced by Wealth of Geeks.
Stephanie is the founder of Slow Living Kitchen, a site dedicated to preserving, pickling, fermenting and cooking with seasonal food. Her goal is to help you connect with what's around you through food by offering recipes and pantry staples that work with your skills and space available—not overwhelm it. Stephanie has been published in Food & Wine, The Guardian, Saveur and EatingWell Magazine.