Along with the change in temperature, winter also brings an air of good cheer and festivity, especially when cocktails add to the merriment. No matter how you celebrate the season, good times go hand in hand with good libations. But if you think eggnog and hot toddies are your only seasonal options, think again. Here is a list of classic cocktails with a seasonal twist.
Dress Up Coffee With a Fancy Rim
Whether it’s a late-night outing or a midday brunch, an on-trend coffee cocktail presented with a lavish peppermint candy rim provides just the right amount of pep for your step.
Winter Waltz Espresso Martini
- 1.25 ounces Ketel One Vodka
- 1 ounce brewed espresso coffee, cooled
- 0.25 ounce coffee liqueur
- 1 teaspoon simple syrup or cane syrup
- Honey and crushed peppermint candy cane rim
- Add about 2 teaspoons of honey to a saucer and dip the rim of a Martini glass, allowing any excess drip off.
- Dip the honey-rimmed Martini glass into crushed peppermint candy pieces. Set aside.
- Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake vigorously until combined, cold and frothy.
- Pour the cocktail into the prepped Martini glass.
Glam Up a Simple Serve With Festive Garnishes
A sprig of rosemary and whole cranberries coated with powdered sugar will give any simple cocktail a holly jolly vibe. This vodka-based highball, composed of subtly sweet-tart and tangy lime notes, is an elegant addition for hangs with friends and family.
Snowed In Vodka Cranberry Spritz
- 1 ounce Ketel One Vodka
- 1 ounce cranberry juice
- 0.5 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 ounces ginger beer
- Powdered sugar-dusted fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs to garnish
- Combine vodka, cranberry juice and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake until chilled and strain into a copper mug or double rocks glass with fresh ice.
- Top with ginger beer.
- Lightly dust fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs with powdered sugar.
- Gently place in the drink to garnish.
Use Seasonal Fruit Flavors or Fruit Juices
Incorporate in-season fruit juices and sparkly garnishes to give a classic cocktail a seasonal spin. Just be sure the flavor notes are similar, such as sweet with sweet versus tart with tart. This take on the Mexican highball comes together quickly, but gets festive with a vibrant magenta hue thanks to cranberry and pomegranate juices in place of the traditional grapefruit. Zhug it up with a sprinkle of edible glitter.
South for the Winter Pomeloma
- 1.5 ounces Don Julio Reposado Tequila
- 2 ounces cranberry juice
- 1 ounce pomegranate juice
- 0.5 ounce agave syrup
- Soda water
- Whole cranberries and/or lime wheel to garnish
- Edible glitter garnish (optional)
- Combine Don Julio Reposado, juices and agave syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake well and strain into a highball glass with ice.
- Top with soda water, stir and garnish with a lime wedge and/or cranberries and a dash of edible glitter (optional).
Swap In Dark Spirits to Mix It Up
Gifts don’t have to be the only things you end up exchanging this season. Try swapping out the usual whiskey in an Old Fashioned for dark rum, and serve it warm instead of cold for a delicious Hot Toddy meets Old Fashioned mashup.
Honey, It’s Cold Outside Hot Rum Old Fashioned
- 1.5 ounces Zacapa No. 23 Rum
- 2 dashes aromatic bitters
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Hot water
- Orange peel
- Combine rum, bitters and honey in a mug.
- Top with hot water and stir until the honey is dissolved.
- Express orange peel over the drink, then place on the rim of the mug to garnish.
Spice to Add Heat and Warmth
Sometimes the best way to beat the cold is to warm yourself up with a spicy cocktail. When it comes to classic serves that are on the spicy side, you can play around with ingredients while still sticking to the original flavor profile. The key is to taste as you mix! A classic Bloody Mary topped with plenty of hearty goodies can be the perfect canvas to play around with and heat things up. Get feisty with the hot sauce, horseradish, and peppers, or mix up the ingredients by using hot chili peppers or multiple hot sauces for depth of flavor.
Bloody Mary in the Winter
- 1.5 ounces Ketel One Vodka
- 3 ounces Ketel One Bloody Mary Base*
- Dill pickle garnish (optional)
- Green olive garnish (optional)
- Pickled okra garnish (optional)
- Pickled onion garnish (optional)
- Beef jerky garnish (optional)
- Lemon slice garnish (optional)
- Combine vodka and Bloody Mary base in a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake until chilled and strain into a Collins glass with ice.
- Add your garnish of choice to a skewer and place on top of the glass.
*Ketel One Bloody Mary Base
- 1 liter tomato juice
- 4 ounces lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 5 tablespoons horseradish
- 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 7-10 dashes hot sauce
- Combine all ingredients in a sealable container and stir to combine. Keep refrigerated.
Put a Twist on Holiday Favorites With Flavored Spirits
The best (and easiest) way to put a festive spin on a classic holiday serve is by swapping in a flavored spirit for traditional ones. Treats like this warming, boozy hot chocolate recipe are simple to prepare and only require a few ingredients. If peppermint is not your thing, Crown Royal Salted Caramel would also work here.
Peppermint Spiked Hot Chocolate
- 1.5 ounces Smirnoff Peppermint Twist
- 4 ounces prepared hot chocolate (a hot cocoa mix is just fine — we won’t judge)
- Whipped cream garnish
- Mint sprig garnish
- Add Smirnoff Peppermint Twist to prepared hot chocolate in a mug and stir to combine.
- Top with whipped cream and garnish with a mint sprig.
This article is sponsored by The Bar.
The article How to Give Classic Cocktails a Festive Twist appeared first on VinePair.
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