Stay Warm With Our Top 7 Hot Winter Cocktails

If you’re anything like us, with the Chicago winter in full force, you’ve been curled up under a blanket wondering when the sunny rays of summer will show themselves again. As we’ve got a bit more of wintertime to get through, we wanted to share a handful of our favorite hot cocktails that get us through those frigid winter nights.

Chai Hot Toddy

Brit + Co

Starting off by giving our classic chai tea a makeover by adding a few special ingredients.  Spiced rum and cinnamon give this classic a kick that will warm you all the way through to the last sip. Oh, and you can even add a shot of espresso if you need an extra boost!


  • 6 cups of water
  • 8 chai tea bags (make your own or use a high quality brand of black tea and spices
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus a bit more for sprinkling on top
  • 6-8 ounces spiced rum (more or less according to your taste)

Bourbon Spiked Hot Apple Cider

Another favorite with an exciting twist! Spike your hot apple cider with bourbon, finish it off with a cinnamon stick and orange juice for the perfectly spiced, perfectly spiked, warm apple cider.

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • Bourbon (recommend Bulleit or Basil Hayden’s)

Black Cherry Bourbon Hot Chocolate

Sugar and Soul

Been looking for a way to step up your hot chocolate game? We may have the answer: Black Cherry bourbon! The deep, oaky bourbon paired with black cherry give this hot chocolate a vibrant flavor that’ll leave your craving this treat every winter.

  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 5 tbsp Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate Mix Or mix of your choice
  • 2 oz. Red Stag Black Cherry Bourbon by Jim Beam
  • Whipped Cream I like homemade
  • Chocolate Shavings

Hot Ward 8 Cocktail

Serious Eats

If you’ve never had a classic Ward 8 cocktail, just know that it is full of deep notes of pomegranate and a citrus-y after taste. This recipe has everything that’s great about the classic Ward 8 with the twist of making it warm—the perfect end to a day in the cold.

  • 8 ounces (235ml) boiling water, plus more for preheating thermos
  • 16 ounces (475ml) rye whiskey, such as Bulleit 95
  • 4 ounces (120ml) unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 2 ounces (60ml) dry orange curaçao, such as Pierre Ferrand
  • 8 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 8 lemon zest strips, for garnish (optional)


Cranberry Orange Mulled Wine

Kitchen Treaty

Mulled Wine will always be a favorite of ours as it’s just so smooth and drinkable. Did we mention it’s also super easy to make? Throw it all in a slow cooker and forget about it until you’re ready to enjoy your delicious, warm winter treat.


  • 1 (750 ml) bottle of Merlot or another fruity (but not too sweet!) red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel
  • 2 cups orange juice (I either like squeezing my own or buying a 100% pure fresh-squeezed version)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries, rinsed and picked through
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar plus more to taste
  • 1 medium orange (I like to use an organic orange for recipes like this because it will be soaking in the beverage, peel and all)
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • Garnishes, if desired: cinnamon sticks, orange slices, and/or fresh cranberries threaded onto a cocktail pick

Spiked Coconut Vanilla Steamer

Sugar and Soul
This steamer is very similar to a latte but with spiced rum in place of espresso. Imagine being curled up under a blanket with a good book on a snowy afternoon. We can’t think of anything better!
  • 3 oz. Spiced rum
  • 1 1/2 whole milk
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • Toasted coconut for garnish
  • You will also need a frother.

Spiced Vanilla Pear Apple Cider

My Baking Addiction

Yes, another apple cider! We just couldn’t resist this lovely take on the classic. Pear AND Vanilla? We’re sold. The sweetness from the vanilla and pear make it seem like you’re having dessert. To make this a bit stronger (like for a cocktail party), just add a shot of Rum or Bourbon.


  • 2 quarts fresh apple cider
  • 2 quarts pear juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • Rum or Bourbon (optional)

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