Whether you're raising a glass at an intimate Thanksgiving dinner party or just sitting by the fire with a loved one, these craft cocktails from high-end restaurant and bar menus are sure to be a hit.
You can easily replicate the recipes — including a classic hot toddy, eggnog cocktail, and a spicy, smoky margarita — at home with just a few steps.
The autumn and winter months are finally here, making us want to curl up with a hot toddy or a mug of mulled wine by the fireplace.
While cocktails can make for a cozy night in, it's also never too early to start planning the drinks menu for your intimate holiday soirée.
From chile-infused concoctions to beverages mixed with dashes of cinnamon and wasabi, these cold-weather cocktails certainly bring the heat. Plus, since many of these recipes come straight from top restaurants and bars across America and Mexico, they're sure to impress even the pickiest of dinner or holiday party guests.
Here are 15 cocktails perfect for the fall and winter season.
Chocolate lovers, listen up — the After All cocktail is a chocolatey treat with just a hint of spice.
Featuring Mezcal, Bouvery CV chocolate vodka, Grand Brulot, tangy orange marmalade, and bitters, the classic combination of chocolate, orange, and a subtle touch of heat makes this cocktail from Bagatelle NYC a great holiday drink.
After All Recipe:
1 ounce Mezcal
1 ounce Bouvery CV chocolate vodka
1 ounce Grand Brulot
1 ounce orange marmalade
2 drops Scrappy's firewater
Shake and serve in a martini glass
The Cozy Sweater from 1833 Kitchen & Bar in Aurora, New York, provides a twist on a hot toddy.
This cold-weather drink certainly lives up to its name and pairs perfectly with 1833 Kitchen & Bar's eclectic menu of regional, sustainably sourced cuisine.
Cozy Sweater Recipe:
8 ounces cup of Earl Grey tea
1 shot of Amaretto
Pour the tea into a teacup or a clear, handled glass and mix in Amaretto shot
This warm pumpkin pie cocktail is inspired by the holiday dessert.
Pumpkin pie is often associated with Thanksgiving. So, why not serve it all season long in a cocktail form, like this beverage by the Cookie Rookie?
Pumpkin Pie Cocktail Recipe:
4 cups milk (can substitute with nondairy)
2 cups Cinnamon Vanilla Baileys Irish Cream
1/2 cup pumpkin pie vodka
1 can pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Bring the almond milk, Irish cream, and vodka to a boil in a pot, then stir in pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Garnish with whipped cream.
The Hiroki Sky, from Queensyard in Hudson Yards, New York City, is a spicy cocktail inspired by a book written by Japanese Chef Hiroki Yoshitake.
This cocktail brings the heat with Toki whiskey, sweet wine, white peach soda, lemon extract, and foam. It is served with white chocolate and wasabi ice cream.
Hiroki Sky Recipe:
2 ounces Toki whiskey
1 ounce sweet wine
½ ounce white peach soda
½ ounce lemon juice
An eggnog martini is a more upscale spin on the classic holiday drink.
Making a creamy cocktail with eggnog takes the festive drink to a whole other level.
Eggnog Martini Recipe:
3 ounces eggnog
1 ounce vanilla vodka
1 ounce amaretto liqueur
Sprinkle nutmeg over the finished drink
Ku Chai Ku Chai Ku from Merriman's Honolulu, created by master mixologist Jim Lunchick, is a dangerously delicious winter cocktail.
Featuring creamy iced coffee, chai-spiced honey syrup, Licor Cuarenta y Tres, and locally produced Rhum Agricole, this coffee-infused cocktail makes the perfect nightcap and pairs excellently with desserts.
Ku Chai Ku Chai Ku Recipe:
Chai spices (grind 2 ounces cinnamon sticks, 1 ounce whole star anise pods, 1 ounce whole cardamom pods, 1 ounce ground ginger, 1 ounce ground nutmeg, 1 ounce whole cloves)
1 ounce Kuleana Rum Agricole
1/2 ounce Licor Cuarenta y Tres
1 ounce rounded scoop freshly whipped cream
1 ounce honey-chai syrup (2 tablespoons chai spice in cheesecloth placed in a cooking pot with 12 ounces honey, 12 ounces water, boiled and steeped for 15 minutes, cooled and strained)
5 ounces chilled Kona coffee
Shake and garnish with cinnamon stick and star anise pod
Inspired by brothel owner Belle Brezing, the Diabla Burdel from Belle’s Cocktail House in Lexington, Kentucky, is a new take on the classic Sazerac cocktail.
The drink infuses Arbol chilis, cinnamon sticks, and orange and chocolate bitters with Herbsaint — a substitute for absinthe — and Corazon Anejo Tequila re-aged in mini barrels, which provides a cooling effect.
Diabla Burdel Recipe:
Corazon Anejo Tequila, re-aged in 5-liter mini-barrels
Arbol chiles and cinnamon sticks
Herbsaint, a substitute for absinthe created in New Orleans in '34
Regan's orange bitters and Aztec chocolate bitters
Shake and stir over ice, serve with an orange peel and chile garnish
Made with tequila, this red and green punch is perfect for lovers of spicy drinks.
This tequila punch's colors couldn't be more festive.
Tanteo Tequila Cranberry Punch Recipe:
20 ounces Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila
20 ounces 100% Cranberry Juice (No sugar added)
10 ounces Fresh Lime Juice
7.5 ounces Agave Nectar
10 ounces of cold water
Top with lime slices, fresh cranberries, and jalapeños.
The Burning History can be found at Zuma, an upscale Japanese restaurant in New York and Boston, but more experienced cocktail connoisseurs may want to replicate this drink at home.
This smoky cocktail is a twist on the Penicillin cocktail. Honey, yuzu, and egg whites lend sweet and frothy notes to the drink, while smoke from a wood fire seasons the glass.
Burning History Recipe:
1/2 ounce Nikka Coffey Grain Whiskey
1/2 ounce Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch
1/2 ounce ginger syrup
1/2 ounce honey water (¼ oz honey + ¼ oz water)
1/2 ounce yuzu juice
1/2 ounce egg white
Mix equal parts honey and water and heat in a saucepan until honey melts into water. Then combine all ingredients in a tumbler and shake well. Burn a small fire in a wooden plank. Invert snifter and trap smoke inside. Cover snifter with a napkin. Pour cocktail into the snifter. Garnish with orange and enjoy!
Enjoyed best by a roaring fire, hot toddies have just a touch of bitterness, balanced out by a tangy hint of lemon and cinnamon.
This cold-weather favorite pairs well with savory pastries like sausage rolls, pigs in a blanket, and beef wellingtons.
Hot Toddy Recipe:
1 ounce bourbon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup hot water
Garnish with a lemon slice
The Fire Pit Margarita from West Main Crafting Co. in Lexington, Kentucky, is made with Blanco tequila, mezcal, chipotle-pineapple syrup, lime, curaçao, orange bitters, and a smoking thyme sprig.
This smoke-infused margarita gets a kick from the chipotle-pineapple syrup.
Fire Pit Margarita Recipe:
2 dashes orange bitters
1/4 ounce dry curaçao
3/4 ounce chipotle-pineapple syrup (fresh pineapple, 2:1 simple syrup, chipotle peppers, a dash of adobo sauce from the chipotle peppers)
3/4 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce Fidencio mezcal
1 1/4 ounce Silver tequila
Rim glass with sugar and cracked black pepper and garnish with an orange slice (fresh or dehydrated) and burned thyme.
Don't let the exquisite chile garnish throw you off – this spicy margarita is relatively easy to make at home.
The Spicy Devil's Margarita, from Panama Jack Resorts Cancun in Mexico, packs a punch.
Spicy Devil's Margarita Recipe:
1/2 ounce of tequila
1/2 ounce of triple sec
1/2 ounce of lime juice
1/2 ounce cranberry juice
1/3 ounce jalapeño syrup
Tajin (chili powder)
Shake and garnish with chili "horns"
This spicy Moscow mule from Zuma Miami is a new twist on a classic favorite.
Although this cocktail is relatively easy to make, the classic copper cups Moscow mules are commonly served in make any at-home date night extra special.
Wasabi Mule Recipe:
1 1/2 ounces Ketel One vodka
4 ounces ginger soda
Dash of wasabi
Stir and garnish with a lime wedge
If you can't get enough coffee cocktails, consider serving an espresso martini at your holiday shindig.
When it comes to holiday parties, keeping guests' energy up is important. Even during the coronavirus pandemic, what better way to keep the party going with your immediate family or friend bubble than with an espresso martini?
For an added sweet touch, you can also add chocolate to the rim of every glass, or even a toasted marshmallow for a s'mores flavor.
Espresso Martini Recipe:
1 part Kahlúa
1 part Absolut
1 part espresso
Pour Kahlua, Absolut, and espresso into a shaker. Shake the Kahlúa, Absolut Vodka, and espresso together with plenty of ice. Strain into a cocktail glass to get rid of all the small ice chips. Shake for 10 seconds for optimal frothiness.
Looking ahead to the holidays or New Year's Eve, make a toast with a festive sparkling berry champagne cocktail.
For this festive drink from recipe expert Plated Cravings, you can add whichever fruit you prefer, but raspberries and blackberries work well with dry champagne.
Sparkling Berry Champagne Recipe:
1 1/2 cups vodka
1 1/2 cups raspberry simple syrup
1 750 ml bottle champagne
Stir and garnish with fresh berries, e.g., raspberries, blackberries, and mint leaves
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