Best warm alcoholic drinks for winter: Cocktail recipes to kill the winter blues

It might be winter, and you might not want to head outside, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun. Here's a collection of great, warm alcoholic cocktail recipes, perfect for the cold weather.

Hot, fruit-based alcoholic drinks are totally underrated, and we're here to change that.
Hot, fruit-based alcoholic drinks are totally underrated, and we're here to change that.  © IMAGO / Panthermedia

We're not saying that because it is cold, gray, and miserable, that means you should drink alcohol. That's a slippery slope and an outlook best to be avoided.

What we're saying is that making cocktails is fun, warm drinks are underrated, and you should check them out if you want.

In TAG24's latest food and drinks guide, we present you with some of the best warm alcoholic drinks for winter.

Want to kill those winter blues? Here are some cocktail recipes to try at home.

Warm alcoholic drinks for cold weather can be a life-saver

Few things can be more tedious than the long dark of the cold winter months. With gray skies, white snow that turns to slurry ice, and trees barer than a furless cat, sometimes it may feel that there isn't much to look forward to.

That's not to say you are excused for turning towards alcohol, but it is certainly a nice alternative to tea on the rare occasion that a friend may brave the weather to pay you a visit.

Hey, if they're going to risk the ice (and the ever-present risk of becoming the next viral TikTok video), then why not enjoy a nice, warm Hot Toddy together?

Hot winter cocktail recipes

Not keen on Hot Toddy? Well, don't fear, we have a bunch of other recipes for you as well. There are few things more relaxing and enjoyable than a lovely hot alcoholic drink on a cold night, and we're here to make sure that you always get what you want.

Here are six of the best hot alcoholic drinks to warm up those chilly, yet dulcet, winter nights.

The Hot Toddy is a true classic and a great hot cocktail.
The Hot Toddy is a true classic and a great hot cocktail.  © IMAGO / agefotostock

Hot Toddy Recipe | The classic winter cocktail

The classic Hot Toddy is an alcoholic drink worth its weight in salt. This beverage is incredible for sore throats and uncomfortable coughs. While the Hot Toddy is hardly a medicinally approved remedy, it's certainly good for the heart, mind, and soul.


  • 1 cup of water
  • 1–2 shots of whiskey
  • 2 tsp honey
  • A big squeeze of lemon
  • Lemon rind
  • 1 cinnamon stick


After bringing the water to a light simmer, add the whiskey, honey, and lemon juice. Continue to heat lightly in a saucepan until the honey has dissolved into the liquid. Place in a cute mug and garnish with the lemon rind and cinnamon stick.

Other versions of the Hot Toddy

There are tons of different Hot Toddies to try out. Simply replace the lemon with another form of flavoring, or the whiskey with some other liquor of choice. Honestly it's a no-brainer – just go with what you like and follow the same recipe.

Here are some other Hot Toddy ideas:

  • Black Tea Toddy (just chuck a tea-bag in there)
  • Apple Cider Toddy
  • Ginger Toddy (just chuck some sliced ginger in there)
  • Gin / Rum / Tequila Toddy
  • Maple Toddy (just chuck some maple syrup in there)

Keep this in mind, folks: You can chuck in some spices with whatever Toddy choice you make. Having some Apple Cider Toddy? Throw in some cinnamon and nutmeg!

Mulled Wine Recipe | When alcoholic worlds collide

Mulled wine is a treat for the whole family – besides the kids.
Mulled wine is a treat for the whole family – besides the kids.  © Gaby Dyson / Unsplash

Mulled wine doesn't just have to be a European thing. Embrace the vino and make yourself a warm, delicious, and dangerous treat for the cold season. Don't worry, this one's easy!


  • 1 bottle of red / white wine
  • 1 orange
  • Cloves (to taste)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star-anise
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • Alternatively: Pre-prepared sachet of mulled wine spices


After slicing up the orange into rounds, combine all the ingredients into a pot, stirring slowly to keep everything from settling on the bottom. Cook the wine for around a quarter-hour, or longer if desired, keeping it on a slow simmer. Strain out all the clumpy bits and plop your conconction in a mug.

Grog Recipe | Prepare your liver

"Yo ho, ho, and a bottle of rum!" If Long John Silver had a favorite winter cocktail when he was sailing the high seas (yes, we know he's fictional), it would probably have been a good ol' Grog. What's that, you have a bit of a pirate complex? Don't worry, we've got you covered!


  • 2 shots of rum
  • 1 lime, squeezed and juiced
  • Sugar, to taste
  • A couple dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • 2 shots of water


This one's simpler than most: add all the ingredients to a small pot and slowly heat it up until the sugar has melted, the ingredients are mixed, and it is lightly simmering.

Hot Buttered Rum Recipe | Stay home with this one

We're going to go more tropical with this particular choice, considering the pineapple. That's alright, it'll remind you of summer, and in the depths of the cold, cold winter, that's not such a bad thing.


  • 2 shots of dark rum
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6-7 oz pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz butter, unsalted
  • Dash of water


Start by adding the pineapple juice and a dash of water to a small pot, heating until it is lightly simmering on the stove top. Mix in everything except for the butter, allowing the sugar to melt and the cinnamon stick to infuse. Serve with the tiny blob of butter floating on the top.

Spiked Hot Chocolate Recipe | Not for children

This is some naughty cocoa!
This is some naughty cocoa!  © Giancarlo Duarte / Unsplash

This is one where you're going to need to be a little careful, especially if you have kids. This recipe is a delicious and heart-warming treat that'll toast you in more ways than one. Just keep it away from the children!


  • Mug of hot chocolate (whatever style you prefer)
    • Hot chocolate powder or real chocolate to melt
    • 1.5 cups of milk / milk substitute
  • A liquor to make this innocent beverage a little naughty
    • Rum
    • Whiskey
    • Baileys
    • Kahlua
    • Cointreau


This bad boy is not hard to make. It's actually quite simple: make hot chocolate, and add your poison. Mix them together well, and maybe heat everything up with the liquor in it so you don't have a lukewarm drink. Again, keep out of reach of children.

Hot Apple Cider Recipe | The perfect hot winter cocktail

It's time to warm your soul with some apple stuff. After all, no winter foods (or drinks) list would be complete without some kind of apple-based product (some apple pie, perhaps?). Let's go!


  • One bottle of apple cider
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Zest of one whole orange


Mix all the ingredients together in a small pot and lightly heat on the stove top. Stir thoroughly and feel free to add a few whole pepper corns or a teaspoon of sugar if that's your thing. Strain and serve.

A perfect, hot alcoholic drink, will warm your soul on those long, gray winter days.
A perfect, hot alcoholic drink, will warm your soul on those long, gray winter days.  © João Mansano / Unsplash

There are many easy and warm alcoholic drinks to try

Considering our tendency to stay inside during the winter, avoiding the snow and drizzle, it's probably not the best idea to overindulge in delicious alcoholic treats. Then again, they do warm your soul and provide an opportunity for socializing, so... just be sensible, okay?

This isn't an exhaustive list of drinks. There are many more delicious beverages to try this winter, but as you experiment, remember to stay out of the cold and stay hydrated with water or tea.

Cover photo: IMAGO / Panthermedia

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