This winter season is more than just hot toddy and hot chocolate. We bring you the best winter cocktail recipes with a twist, which are made with homemade concoctions and infusions.
Mulled wine with coffee and winter spices
This is one of my favourite adapted recipes for years with winter spices like cinnamon, star anise infused with orange slices, a dash of brandy, and coffee. The coffee layers the mulled wine with a sweet earthy aroma, pairing perfectly with the acidity of the wine and blends with the spices. It’s a great surprise for all coffee lovers and should be enjoyed lukewarm. I love making a large batch of this a day before serving it.
Red Wine 1 bottle (try and choose a fruit but not a sweet wine)
Apple Cider 1 cup
Floral honey 1/4 cup
Cold Bre Coffee 1/4 cup
Cinnamon 2 sticks
Star anise 2 to 3 whole spices
Orange zest 1 whole orange
Orange slices 4 to 5
Cloves 3 to 4
Brandy – 1/4 cup
Green Cardamom 2 pods
Add wine, cider, honey, orange zest, and orange slices to a saucepan. Stir to combine. Add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and star anise. Cook on low until warm, 30 minutes to 45 minutes. Stir in the brandy and cold brew coffee. Allow it to cook for another 5 minutes. Make sure you rest this liquid for at least a few hours for the flavours to blend and settle. Ladle into mugs or red wine glass and serve with an orange slice and cinnamon sticks. Always serve it warm, not hot.
Gingerbread martini – a martini with a Christmas twist
This is by far the most addictive and delicious martinis I have sipped. It makes you feel festive. These are stiff and perfect for a Christmas Brunch with your family & friends. I usually make a large jug of this concoction and sometimes even have shots with it. The recipe is super simple and yummy.
Vodka 300 ml
Lime Juice 75 ml
Club Soda to top-up the Jug
Cinnamon Powder – a pinch
Gingerbread syrup (available easily on the shelf) – 100 ml
Orange peels for garnish – For the Jug
1. In a large jug add vodka, lime juice, gingerbread syrup, cinnamon powder, and mix well. This will be the concoction for the main drink or can also be sipped as shots for your party. Then take a martini glass and add 60 ml of this mixture with ice cubes. Add club soda to top up the glass and use the orange peel as the garnish.
Hot Chocolate with Thai Chillies, Bourbon, and Cocoa Nibs
It’s time for you to up game this festive season. Try this recipe from scratch and spike it with bourbon to make your winter day warmer with Thai red chilli, and the crunch of sweetened cocoa nibs on the rim of the glass. The recipe is comforting and delicious.
Unsweetened cocoa powder 2 tbsp
Dark Chocolate 53% 1/2 cup
Cooking cream 1 cup
Milk 1/2 cup
Thai red chilli whole finely chopped 1 whole
Sweetened cocoa nibs – to rime the glass
Chocolate sauce 2 tbsp
Bourbon 60 ml
1. Choose a saucepan and add cream, milk, cocoa powder, cooking chocolate. Stir well till all of it comes together. Do not boil it.
2. Add finely chopped red chillies and stir for at least 8 to 10 minutes. Make sure the chillies are without seeds. You don’t want to make this too spicy and hot.
3. Add the bourbon and stir. Remove the pan from the heat.
4. Rim your favourite mug with chocolate sauce and cocoa nibs. Be generous, and it’s okay to be messy here. Add the bourbon hot chocolate. If you like add vanilla whipped cream and make it even more decadent.
Apple Pie Hot Toddy
This is one hot toddy that will make you sip a bit extra. It’s festive and flavourful. You need to make this apple pie bourbon infusion and keep a big jar handy for this month.
Recipe for Bourbon Apple Pie
Bourbon – 750 ml
Green and red apples – 3 whole apples sliced
Cinnamon sticks – 2
Vanilla beans – 1
Recipe for Hot toddy
Honey – 2 Tsp
Hot water – To pour
Apple slices – a few
Cinnamon stick – for garnish
Method for Apple Pie infusion
1. Slice and core the apples. Place the apple slices, cinnamon, and vanilla bean in a large jar. Add bourbon, making sure it covers all the apple slices. Close tightly and stir or shake every few days. Allow infusing for about two weeks or until it reaches your desired taste. Keep in mind that the flavours will mellow and change over time. Strain and filter through a strainer, cheesecloth, and coffee filters.
Almost immediately, the harsh alcohol flavour was mellowed. The cinnamon took over pretty quickly. Be patient, the rest of the flavours will come through. After infusing for a month, the apple and vanilla were much stronger. And as with many infusions, flavours change and mellow after all of the ingredients are filtered out.
Recipe for Hot Toddy
Take a brandy balloon and add 45 ml of the apple pie bourbon infusion. Add honey, warm water, and mix well. Garnish with cinnamon and apple slice. This smooth and aromatic toddy will keep you happy and warm for a long time.
This is a holiday classic. Tiramisu Eggnog Cocktail is a delicious twist on traditional eggnog. Just by adding coffee liqueur, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, a sprinkle of cocoa powder, or a drizzle of caramel sauce, you can enhance the original eggnog.
Good quality dark rum 60 ml
Egg yolks – 01
Cream – 10 ml
Baileys – 15 ml
Espresso shot – Cold / single shot to be used.
Nutmeg – To grate and garnish the drink.
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Vigorously shake without ice for 10 seconds. Add cubed ice and shake for 10 more seconds. Double-strain into a cocktail coupe. Grate nutmeg and cinnamon over the top.
All images: Courtesy Getty