Boozy winter cocktails: 4 recipes sure to get you in the seasonal spirit

Boozy winter cocktails

4 recipes sure to get you in the seasonal spirit


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There is nothing more Christmassy or comforting than tucking into a warming, boozy winter cocktail. That special combination of heat, spice and alcohol when it’s cold and rainy/snowy outside unlocks the innate British holiday season feeling in all of us.

We have put together four easy-to-make recipes for our favourite boozy winter beverages that are sure to impress your guests at your Christmas gathering or make your night-in on the sofa with a blanket and fluffy slippers, all the more cosy and enjoyable.

1. Hot Toddy

Ah the humble Hot Toddy. An absolute staple of the cold weather season, this warming, spiced beverage can be used to soothe a sore throat or early cold symptoms.

A Hot Toddy should be delicately balanced with the sweetness of the honey complementing the sharpness of the lemon and heat of the raw ginger.

boozy winter cocktails

Hot Toddies are known as generally slow-drink cocktails, something to be sipped and savoured.

A Hot Toddy is made in the individual glass (usually a tall one with a handle) and consists of hot water, lemon juice, honey, star anise, ginger (optional) and your whiskey of choice (popular choices are blended Scottish whisky such as Johnnie Walker or Famous Grouse, Irish whiskey such as Jamieson’s or a bourbon whiskey: Maker’s Mark or Jim Beam). A cinnamon stick and lemon slice studded with cloves are usually added for garnish.

Ingredients:

  • Whiskey
  • Hot water
  • 1 lemon
  • Honey
  • Star anise
  • Cloves
  • Ginger (optional)
  • Cinnamon stick (garnish)

Method:

1. Pour your desired amount of alcohol into the glass (usually 50ml, but who are we to judge if you like it strong!)

2. Add the juice of half a lemon, star anise and a slice of raw ginger (if desired) and fill glass with boiling water.

3. Add honey (to taste) and stir until the honey has dissolved.

4. Garnish with a clove studded lemon slice and cinnamon stick.

2. Mulled wine

We couldn’t miss this beverage from our list. Mulled wine is a staple feature at Christmas Markets the world over. It can be made ahead of time in a large, warm vat (saucepan or slow cooker/crockpot) and ladled into individual glasses with garnish, for serving.

Mulled wine is a sensory experience, the taste, warmth and most importantly the smells are nothing short of Christmas in a glass and perfect for being gripped within gloved hands whilst sitting around a cozy, outdoor fire with friends.

There are many ways to make mulled wine but our favourite recipe calls for red wine (any will do, doesn’t have to be fancy – boxed wine can also be a wonderful cheap alternative), star anise, cloves, cardamom, (sometimes packaged and sold together as ‘mulled wine spice mix’), oranges, sugar and garnished with a cinnamon stick.

You can also add some extra liqueur to your mulled wine recipe such as brandy or cognac to give it an extra kick.

Ingredients: 

  • Red wine
  • Mulled wine spice mix (or star anise, cloves and cardamom)
  • 3 oranges
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon sticks (garnish)
  • Extra liqueur (if desired)

Method:

1. Slice one orange into thin rounds and juice the second orange. Keep the third aside and slice for garnish as required.

2. Place all ingredients including orange slices and juice in a sauce pan or slow cooker and leave to simmer (not boil), stirring occasionally.

3. Add sugar to sweeten (to taste) and stir until sugar dissolves.

4. Mulled wine can be left to simmer and strengthen in flavour from anywhere between 15 minutes and four hours.

5. Pour through a sieve when portioning into individual glasses and garnish with a cinnamon stick and orange slice.

6. Any left over mulled wine can be cooled and kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours.


Parsley Box offer a variety of red wine delivered directly to your door.


3. Mulled cider

Mulled cider makes a wonderful festive alternative to mulled wine, still bringing the warm, fruity, spiced flavours of a typical holiday season cocktail.

It is made all at once in a saucepan or slow cooker, with a similar recipe and method as mulled wine, and flavoured with apples, berries and lemons. Extra liqueur such as brandy, cognac or a spiced rum can be added if desired.

The recipe calls for cider (again – it doesn’t have to be fancy), star anise, cloves, cardamom, (a packaged mulled wine spice mix or mulled cider spice mix, if you can find it, can be used), sugar and lemons, with cinnamon sticks, berries and fresh apple for garnish.

Ingredients:

  • Cider
  • Mulled wine/cider spice mix (or star anise, cloves, cardamom)
  • 2 lemons
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon sticks (garnish)
  • Berries (garnish)
  • Apple (garnish)
  • Extra liqueur (if desired)

Method:

1. Slice one lemon into thin rounds and juice the second lemon.

2. Place all ingredients including lemon slices and juice in a sauce pan or slow cooker and leave to simmer (not boil), stirring occasionally.

3. Add sugar to sweeten (to taste) and stir until sugar dissolves.

4. Leave to simmer and strengthen in flavour for as long as desired.

5. When portioning into individual glasses pour through a sieve and garnish glasses with a cinnamon stick and sliced apple.

6. Again, any left over mulled cider can be kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

4. Bailey’s Hot Chocolate

Our last beverage on the list is a Christmas classic. A great one for a night spent putting the tree up and listening to Christmas music, or Christmas eve when you’ve got the radiators blasting and are watching Love Actually on the telly.

Whilst drinking chocolate powder is a classic and fuss-free method of creating a hot chocolate, our favourite way is to give in to pure decadence and boost the flavour using real melted chocolate.

Toppings can range from whipped cream dusted with chocolate powder to chocolate sauce, marshmallows and even a cinnamon stick or mint candy cane to stir.

Ingredients:

  • Milk
  • Chocolate powder
  • Dark chocolate
  • Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur
  • Toppings of your choice (whipped cream, chocolate sauce, marshmallows, cinnamon stick, candy cane)

Method:

1. Add milk, chocolate powder and dark chocolate to a saucepan on the hob.

2. Whisk constantly as milk begins to heat and chocolate to melt.

3. Once all the chocolate has melted remove pan from heat and add desired amount of Bailey’s.

4. Portion as appropriate into glasses or mugs, add toppings and serve.

We hope you enjoy these winter cocktails.

We would love to hear of any cosy drink traditions that you and your loved ones enjoy around the holiday season.

Please get in touch with us below. Cheers!