Cozy Winter Drinks To Keep You Warm
There’s a lot to love about winter. Sure, it’s the coldest season, but so often the skies are clearer, the sunsets brighter and in some climates, there’s lovely snow! So put on your favorite sweater and light a fire in the hearth.
Then mix a hot beverage to warm you from the inside out. The following drink recipes are something to look forward to on a cozy night in after shoveling snow, or at an intimate gathering of friends. There are boozy options for the adults, non-alcoholic versions for kids and non-drinkers.
You can also put together a tasty and creative hot chocolate bar that will appeal to all ages. Keep reading for some great ideas on how to warm up winter!
If you’re a butterscotch fan, this is for you! It’s easy and indulgent. If you like, double the hot chocolate amount and give some to the kids before you add the alcohol for yourself! Serves 2.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup half & half
- 4 tablespoons cocoa
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons coffee liqueur
- 3 tablespoons butterscotch schnapps
- Whipped cream or marshmallows (optional)
- Butterscotch syrup (optional)
- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, half & half, cocoa, sugar and salt.
- Heat over medium heat until steaming hot.
- Remove from heat and stir in the coffee liqueur and butterscotch schnapps.
- Pour the hot chocolate mixture into 2 heat-safe mugs.
- Top with whipped cream or marshmallows, and drizzle with butterscotch syrup if desired.
Warm Spiced Orange Amaretto Punch
Enjoy something a little something different, plus it’s easy-peasy and you may already have the ingredients on hand. This is another recipe that ban be enjoyed without the alcohol. Serves 2.
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- 4 cloves
- 2 tablespoons Amaretto or other almond liqueur
- Orange slices for garnish (optional)
- Place juices in a saucepan with the spices and bring to a boil.
- Remove cinnamon stick and cloves and pour into two large cups and add the Amaretto.
- Garnish with orange slices if desired.
Classic Hot Toddy
The classic hot toddy has been a bar staple since the 1700s, and is believed to have originated in (where else?) Scotland. You can’t go wrong with something tried, true and simple. Bonus: leave out the alcohol, and the warm beverage can help reduce cold symptoms. Makes one drink.
- ¾ cup water (hot tea may also be used)
- 1½ oz. whiskey, brandy or rum
- 2-3 teaspoons honey, to taste
- 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice, to taste
- 1 lemon, sliced into rounds or used for peel (optional, for garnish)
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional, for garnish)
- In a teapot or saucepan, bring the water to a simmer. Pour water into a mug (or substitute hot tea if desired).
- Add the alcohol, 2 teaspoons honey and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Taste and adjust with more honey and/or lemon juice if desired.
- Garnish with a lemon round or lemon peel and cinnamon stick.
Mulled wine is easy to make for a crowd at dinner parties or holiday gatherings. It tastes rich and fruity, plus it gives off a delightful aroma, adding a festive mood to any occasion. Makes approx. 8 servings.
- 4 cups apple cider
- 1 (750 ml) bottle full-bodied red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 4 whole cloves
- 3 star anise
- 4 oranges, peeled, for garnish (optional, for garnish)
- Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan.
- Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes
- Pour/ladle into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve.
Attention coffee lovers (and who isn’t a coffee lover?)! Here’s a way to enjoy a boozy version of your favorite beverage. Hint: you can reheat leftover coffee from this morning to make this drink even easier to prepare! Makes one drink.
- 1½ oz. brandy
- ½ oz. dark crème de cacao
- ½ oz. amaretto
- 5 oz. hot black coffee
- Whipped cream, for serving
- Chocolate shavings, for serving
- Combine the brandy, dark crème de cacao, amaretto and coffee in an Irish coffee glass or mug.
- Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings
Hot Chocolate Bar
Cocoa and cold weather go hand in hand. Whether you’re hosting the neighborhood kids after a day of sledding or offering a nostalgic touch to an adult or family gathering, a hot chocolate bar is a warm and welcome treat.
Here are some ideas to make your hot chocolate bar festive and fun. You can set it up anywhere, from a sideboard to a kitchen island, even the top of a bookcase. You don’t need a lot of room to create a whimsical presentation.
Ingredients for a Hot Chocolate Bar:
- Sturdy mugs
- Hot chocolate (make your own from the recipe below or set out a coffee maker full of hot water and offer easy-to-use mixes).
- Any of your favorite toppings. Here are some ideas:
- Candy canes or crushed peppermint candy
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate shavings
- Toffee bark
- Caramel or chocolate syrup
- Pirouette cookies
- Cinnamon sticks
- Butterscotch or chocolate chips
- Chocolate spoons, peppermint sticks or flavored stirrers
Get creative with the presentation by putting the toppings into cute jars with small serving spoons.
Hot Chocolate Recipe:
- 4 cups whole milk
- 8 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Heat milk in a saucepan until barely simmering (do not boil)
- Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate
- Whisk mixture until chocolate is combined
- Add vanilla extract to combine
Transfer the hot chocolate to a large, insulated drink dispenser and allow guests to serve themselves.
Serve these easy and delicious drink recipes for any winter gathering, large or small, from the big game to a neighborhood sledding party, and you’ll be the toast of the town. Cheers to a warm and cozy winter full of fun and festive drinks for the whole family!