12 Winter Cocktails to Help You Brave the Snow

Since the sun sets at happy hour and all...

Winter cocktails
(Image credit: Future)

If you're one of the people brave enough to go to the bar in 30-degree weather, congratulations: You're a champ. For those of you who are the Netflix-and-never-leave-the-couch types that prefer to hibernate from December to March (same), consider this your definitive home winter cocktail guide. Ahead, a dozen delicious warm pick-me-ups to lift your spirits after the holidays and keep them there until frosé season.

1. Spiked Cinnamon Chai Lattes

Winter cocktails

(Image credit: Elegant Affairs)


2 tbs powdered sugar

1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp chili powder

3 oz hot coffee

2 oz chocolate vodka

1 oz Kahlua

1 oz Baileys

Splash of milk

Whipped cream for serving


In your favorite coffee mug, mix the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and chili powder. Add in the hot coffee, vodka, Kahlua, and Baileys until dissolved. Stir in milk. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Courtesy of Andrea Correale, founder and president of Elegant Affairs

2. Winter Fiesta

Winter cocktails

(Image credit: Jose Cuervo)


4 oz Jose Cuervo Red Sangria Margarita

1 oz sparkling water

1 lime

1 orange

1 pomegranate

1 apple

Mint leaves


Combine the margarita mix and sparkling water. Garnish with lime, orange, pomegranate, apple, and mint.

Courtesy of Jose Cuervo

3. Altos Spiced Old Fashioned

Winter cocktails

(Image credit: Altos)


2 parts Altos Anejo

2 tsp Agave syrup

2 dashes Smoked chili or chili chipotle bitters

1 grapefruit


In an Old Fashioned glass, muddle the agave syrup and the bitters. Add Altos Anejo and fill with ice. Stir. Squeeze a grapefruit twist on top.

Courtesy of Altos

4. Spiked Hazelnut Gingerbread Hot Cocoa

Winter cocktails

(Image credit: Elegant Affairs)


2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tbsp sugar

1 pinch of salt

1 cup milk or cream

3 tbsp gingerbread syrup

1 tbsp Frangelico

Whipped cream

2 tbsp hazelnut spread


In a saucepan, heat milk until hot but do not let boil. Whisk in the cocoa, salt, sugar, milk, and other ingredients until fully melted and creamy. Top with whipped cream and hazelnut spread.

Courtesy of Andrea Correale, founder and president of Elegant Affairs

5. Nouveau Espresso

Winter cocktails

(Image credit: Liana Oster)


1.5 oz Grey Goose

1/2 oz J Rieger Caffe Amaro

1/2 oz white creme de cacao

1/4 oz simple syrup

1.5 oz cold espresso

Pinch of cayenne

Poppy seeds


Combine all ingredients except cayenne and poppy seeds in a chilled martini shaker. Shake hard and fine strain in a coupe glass. Garnish.

Courtesy of Liana Oster at Nouveau

6. Caramel Apple Toddy

Winter cocktails

(Image credit: Butter & Scotch)


3 oz Caramel Apple HI-CHEW Infused Applejack*

1.5 cups apple cider

1 oz fresh lemon juice


In a small saucepan, heat the cider until hot. Remove from the heat, stir in the applejack and lemon juice, and divide between two mugs. Garnish with a lemon wheel and dried apple ring.

Courtesy of HI-CHEW and Allison Kave of Brooklyn bar and bakery Butter & Scotch

7. Hot Buttered Bourbon

Winter cocktails

(Image credit: Rabbit Hole Distillery)


1.5 oz Rabbit Hole Bourbon

1 heaping tsp. Holiday Compound Butter

0.25 oz heavy cream

0.25 oz Rich Demerara Syrup

4 oz hot water

1 cinnamon stick


Combine the ingredients in an Irish coffee mug and stir. Then garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Courtesy of Rabbit Hole Distillery

8. The 8th Day

Winter cocktails

(Image credit: Havana Club Rum)


1 ½ parts HAVANA CLUB Añejo Clásico Rum

3 parts Chai Tea

1 ¾ parts coconut milk

1 part simple syrup or 1 tbs white sugar

1 cinnamon stick


Prepare Chai Tea. While the tea steeps, warm coconut milk over medium heat. Do not boil. Combine remaining ingredients in a high temperature resistant mixing glass, add rum last, and stir. Serve in a glass coffee cup, and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Courtesy of Havana Club Rum

9. Holi-Yay Punch

Winter cocktails

(Image credit: Strawberry Blondie Kitchen)


2 bottles Smirnoff Ice Strawberry

2 bottles Smirnoff Ice Original

1.5 cups Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka

4 cups blood orange juice

4 cups pomegranate juice

1/4 cup simple syrup - optional

1/4 cup lemon juice

Sliced strawberries

Blood orange slices

Pomegranate arils

Fresh mint leaves


Mix everything—except Smirnoff Ice Original—in a punch bowl or large pitcher. Pour punch into glasses, top with Smirnoff Ice Original, and garnish with mint leaves, pomegranate arils, strawberries, and blood orange slice.

Courtesy of Megan Marlowe, Strawberry Blondie Kitchen

10. Winter Blue

Winter cocktails

(Image credit: Elegant Affairs)


1 oz vodka

1 oz blue curacao

4 oz lemonade

1 lemon


Fill a glass with ice and pour in vodka and curacao. Top the rest of the way with lemonade. Garnish with a wedge of lemon.

Courtesy of Andrea Correale, founder and president of Elegant Affairs

11. All the Fixin's 

Winter cocktails

(Image credit: The Botanist Gin)


1.5 oz The Botanist gin

.75 oz fresh lemon juice

.75 oz Amontialdo sherry

.75 oz fresh grapefruit juice

.5 oz cinnamon syrup

2 dashes angostura bitters

Cracked white pepper for garnish


Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake. Fine strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with cracked white pepper.

Courtesy of The Botanist Gin

12. Cranberry Mulled Wine

Winter cocktails

(Image credit: Elegant Affairs)


1 ½ cups cranberry juice cocktail

1/2 cup sugar

2–4 cinnamon sticks

2–3 pieces of star anise

3–4 cups of dry red wine

1/2 cup fresh cranberries


In a saucepan, combine the cranberry juice cocktail, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Simmer for 15–20 minutes. Add in the wine and cranberries and bring back to a simmer. Serve warm.

Courtesy of Andrea Correale, founder and president of Elegant Affairs

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Rachel Epstein

Rachel Epstein is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in New York City. Most recently, she was the Managing Editor at Coveteur, where she oversaw the site’s day-to-day editorial operations. Previously, she was an editor at Marie Claire, where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop.