Cocktail & Other Recipes Preparation Style Hot

8 Hot Boozy Drinks to Try Right Now

What better way to ward off winter’s chill?

Francophile cocktail / Tim Nusog

When winter is at its coldest, nothing warms quite like a hot, boozy drink. There’s nothing wrong with a traditional Hot Toddy, Irish Coffee, Hot Buttered Rum, Spiced Apple Cider, or booze-spiked Hot Chocolate—but the world of hot cocktails is wide, and these eight drinks created by top bar pros reimagine those favorites in spectacular fashion, offering a wide variety of renditions perfect for winter’s worst months. They’re just what you need to feel cozy.

  • The Lookout

    The Lookout cocktail / Tim Nusog

    From Beau du Bois of The Corner Door, this Hot Buttered Rum-Spiced Cider mashup sees your favorite mulled cider heated and spiked with aged rum, plus butter that’s been infused with pedro ximenez sherry. Add a sprinkling of Chinese five-spice powder on top for additional aromatics, and this winter warmer will satisfy all your cravings. 

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  • Wassail

    Wassail cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This traditional drink is most often made with spiced apple cider, but this version from Washington D.C. bartender Chantal Tseng calls for brown ale and oloroso sherry. The two get simmered along with brown sugar, whole apples, a clove-studded orange peel, lemon zest, cinnamon sticks, and cardamom pods, forming a richly flavorful drink in a batch large enough to serve a small gathering.

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  • Jeffrey Morgenthaler's Hot Toddy

    Jeffrey Morgenthaler's Hot Toddy / Tim Nusog

    Bartending legend Morgenthaler takes an unconventional approach to the ubiquitous toddy. He adds allspice dram and ginger syrup to the usual bourbon for a double hit of extra warming spice. The mix, plus a bit of lemon juice, is heated in a bain-marie before being topped with boiling water, as the optimal way to warm all ingredients without boiling off the booze. The result? A warming toddy served at as hot a temperature as possible. 

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  • Buena Vista Irish Coffee

    Buena Vista Irish Coffee / Tim Nusog

    If anyone knows how to make the perfect Irish Coffee, it’s the folks at the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco, which has sold upwards of five million of them over the past few decades. In this recipe, it’s not so much the ingredients that matter—they’re the fairly standard combination of Irish whiskey, brewed coffee, sugar cubes, and heavy cream—so much as the proportions, refined over time to the ideal mix.

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    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • Francophile

    Francophile cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Rioja wine and calvados form the boozy backbone of this drink from Alex Day of the Death & Co bars, among others. Simply add them, along with water, lemon juice, and cinnamon simple syrup, into a saucepan and heat. It’s an easy recipe to multiply to please a party—or at least make two servings at a time for a cozy night in.

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  • Last-Minute Mulled Wine

    Last-Minute Mulled Wine

    H. Joseph Ehrmann

    This recipe makes it quick and easy to throw together mulled wine on a moment’s notice. Using ingredients you probably already have around the house—fruity red wine, bourbon or brandy, star anise, lemon peel and sugar—all you have to do is throw it all into a saucepan until warm and serve in mugs or punch cups. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and enjoy.

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  • Heated Affair

    Heated Affair cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Añejo tequila may not be the first spirit you think of when you consider making hot cocktails, but it displays its flexibility in this recipe from San Francisco bar pro Jacques Bezuidenhout. When mixed with hot spiced apple cider and topped with heavy cream, nutmeg, and a cinnamon stick, tequila proves that it works just as well in your winter warmers as it does in your summer refreshers.

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  • Pumpkin Toddy

    Pumpkin Toddy / Tim Nusog

    The apple, syrup and winter spice notes in this drink created by bartender Jane Danger while at PDT fill this toddy with seasonal flavors. It combines apple brandy and rye whiskey with lemon juice, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, and Angostura bitters, topped with boiling water and garnished with grated cinnamon, for a festive winter treat.

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