6 Great Winter Cocktails
Food and Drink

6 Great Winter Cocktails

With crisp and cooler temperatures outside, nothing warms you up better than a boozy cocktail. Winter libations often feature fresh seasonal produce and festive add-ins. Planning to host a tailgate or football watching party at home? We have a few winter cocktails to choose from as you make preparations to entertain your guests!

Winter in Manhattan

Courtesy of Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet

"A wonderful winter weather treat. Tart cherry juice and Amaretto join the usual Manhattan ingredients for a deep and warming flavor."

Serves: 2


1 ounce bottled tart cherry juice

3 ounces Amaretto liqueur

2 ounces Knob Creek whiskey

1 ounce dry vermouth

¼ teaspoon blood orange bitters

2 fresh cherries with stems for garnish (optional)

Chill two cocktail glasses by filling with ice water. 

Combine all the ingredients, except the cherries, in a cocktail shaker with ice. Stir until thoroughly chilled.

Empty the ice water from the chilled glasses. Strain the cocktail into the glasses, and garnish with a fresh cherry.

The Comrade Cocktail

Adapted from liquor.com

"Reposado tequila has been aged in oak barrels for two months or up to a year, giving it a far smoother, subtler flavor."

1 ounce spaghetti squash cordial (recipe below)

1 ounce Reposado tequila

1 ounce Drambuie liqueur

½ ounce dry sherry

2 dashes chocolate bitters

2 dashes angostura bitters

cinnamon stick


Spaghetti Squash Cordial:

1 ½ cups squash purée

1 cup granulated sugar

1 sprig rosemary

1 cup vodka

Combine all the ingredients, except the cinnamon stick, into a cocktail mixer and stir until the concoction attains a consistent cloudiness. Strain into a chilled coupe glass, and garnish with the cinnamon stick.

For the Spaghetti Squash Cordial: Add into a saucepan and stir slowly over medium heat until it reaches a rolling simmer. Remove and let cool. Strain the concoction through cheesecloth into a bowl and stir in vodka. This mixture remains good for a week if refrigerated in an airtight container.

Chocolate Eggnog with Bourbon

Courtesy of Creative Culinary (creative-culinary.com) filled with almost 1000 recipes from appetizers to desserts plus a cocktail feature every week.

"Eggnog is a Christmas holiday tradition. This rich, chilled, sweetened dairy-based beverage is traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar, whipped egg white and egg yolks. Of course, this time of year you can also buy a carton of it at your local grocer. Follow this recipe by mixing in some chocolate and bourbon and you’ve got the best eggnog cocktail ever!"

Serves: 2–3


2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup milk

2 cups eggnog

4–6 ounces bourbon (I prefer mine on the light side)

shaved chocolate, to garnish

Place chocolate, cocoa powder and milk in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Heat and whisk until the chocolate has melted and is incorporated into the milk. Remove from the heat and cool.

Beat the eggnog in a stand mixer for about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to low, and slowly add the chocolate milk mixture until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Add bourbon and mix until combined. Chill for at least one hour.

Divide between the glasses and serve garnished with shaved chocolate. If you use coupe or martini glasses, this makes three drinks. In a highball glass, you’ll get two.

The Warm and Toasty

Courtesy of Creative Culinary (creative-culinary.com) filled with almost 1000 recipes from appetizers to desserts plus a cocktail feature every week.

"aka Bourbon, Cranberry & Warm Apple Cider Cocktail. It’s like fall and winter in a warm mug, with a bit of spirit, to boot."

Serves: 1


1 ½ ounces bourbon

1 ½ ounces frozen cranberry juice concentrate, thawed

5 ounces hot apple cider

whipped cream

brown sugar to sprinkle

1 dash ground cinnamon

1 apple slice for garnish (optional)

1 orange wheel for garnish (optional)

In a warmed coffee mug, combine the apple cider, cranberry juice and bourbon. Stir and top with whipped cream and cinnamon. Garnish with the apple slice and orange wheel, if desired.

Pumpkin Toddy

adapted from liquor.com

"Warm the belly and soul with this spiked Pumpkin Spice Hot Toddy. The perfect cocktail to sip on cold winter nights!"

Serves: 1


1 ounce apple brandy

½ ounce rye whiskey

½ ounce fresh lemon juice

½ ounce Grade B maple syrup

1 teaspoon pumpkin purée

2 drops Angostura bitters

5 ounces boiling water

grated cinnamon

Warm a mug (fill with water, microwave for 1 minute, empty and dry). Add all the ingredients except the water. Pour in the boiling water and stir thoroughly. Top with grated cinnamon, add whipped cream, if desired, and serve immediately.

Holiday Red Sangria

courtesy of Santa Margherita

"Infused with warm seasonal spices and flavors. This Holiday Sangria is the perfect pitcher cocktail recipe for all of your entertaining needs."

serves: 4


1 bottle of Santa Margherita Chianti Classico Riserva

1 large orange, sliced

1 large apple, chopped

1 large pear, chopped

seeds of 1 pomegranate

4 cinnamon sticks

Add fruit and seeds to a large pitcher. Top with Santa Margherita Chianti Classico Riserva. Place in fridge for an hour before serving. 

Spoon fruit in glass before pouring wine. Garnish with cinnamon stick. Add ice to top (optional).