35 delicious winter drinks

Warm up winter with a special mocha, hot cider, mulled wine, glass of bubbly, or fizzy mocktail

Layered Mocha

Photography by Iain Bagwell

Layered Mocha

Sip hot chocolate through layers of hot espresso and thick, cold cream in this deconstructed mocha.

Recipe:  Layered Mocha

Orange-Scented Mulled Wine

Photography by Thomas J. Story

Orange-Scented Mulled Wine

Warm coriander and pungent cardamom―instead of the usual cinnamon―give this traditional spiced wine an earthy floral twist.

Inspired by Megan Nordtvedt, Seattle

Recipe:  Orange-Scented Mulled Wine

Cranberry and Spice Tea "Toddies"

Photography by Thomas J. Story

Cranberry and Spice Tea "Toddies"

Perfect for revelers of all ages, this lightly sweet herbal tea goes well with cookies and other desserts.

Inspired by Dianne Yoss, Tustin, CA

Recipe:  Cranberry and Spice Tea "Toddies"

Coconut Eggnog

Photography by Thomas J. Story

Coconut Eggnog

Try this rich Puerto Rican–style treat with or without the rum.

Inspired by Mike Siwek, Phoenix

Recipe:  Coconut Eggnog

Pomegranate Fizzies

Thomas J. Story

Pomegranate Fizzies

You can throw these sparklers―dressed-up kir royales―together as guests walk in the door.

Inspired by Cassandra LaValle, Seattle

Recipe:  Pomegranate Fizzies

Warm Apple Pie holiday cocktail

Photography by Thomas J. Story

Warm Apple Pie Cocktail

This dessert-themed beverage, a cousin of rum punch, lives up to its evocative name.

Inspired by Elizabeth Hummert, Boise

Recipe:  Warm Apple Pie Cocktail

A holiday drink of Brandied Hot Chocolate.

Photography by Annabelle Breakey

Brandied Hot Chocolate

On a chilly day, our grown-up version--rich with bittersweet chocolate and punched up with French brandy--will warm you to your toes.

Recipe:  Brandied Hot Chocolate

Thanksgiving Star Cider

Photography by Scott Peterson

Thanksgiving Star Cider

Our favorite new holiday beverage is a delicious hot cider made with honey and steeped with dried hibiscus blossoms.

Recipe:  Thanksgiving Star Cider

Pear Tree mocktail drink

Photography by Annabelle Breakey; styling by Dan Becker

Pear Tree

A tart, refreshing, nonalcoholic drink that's appealing to mojito fans.

Recipe:  Pear Tree

Pear Sidecar

Photography by Leigh Beisch

Pear Sidecar

This sweet (but not too sweet) drink should be made one at a time in a cocktail shaker. Energetic shaking and a proper drink-to-ice ratio―possible only in a shaker―are key: The ice dilutes and softens the cocktail, encouraging the otherwise sharp flavors to meld together.

Recipe:  Pear Sidecar

Negroni

Photography by Annabelle Breakey

Negroni

Much of a negroni's flavor comes from Campari, a bitter Italian aperitif.

Recipe:  Negronis

A holiday drink of Marmalade Sours.

Photography by Annabelle Breakey

Marmalade Sours

This take on a classic whiskey sour uses marmalade in lieu of simple syrup to sweeten the mix. The extra citrus flavor and chewy bits of orange peel will convert any neophyte to the magic of this versatile drink.

Recipe:  Marmalade Sours

A warm holiday drink of Spiced Rum Cider.

Photography by Iain Bagwell

Spiced Rum Cider

Steep warm spices in cider, then spike the drink with a generous dose of dark rum.

Recipe:  Spiced Rum Cider

Mulled Cranberry Wine Punch

Photography by James Carrier

Mulled Cranberry Wine Punch

Replace red wine with apple juice and omit liqueur to make a non-alcoholic punch.

Recipe:  Mulled Cranberry Wine Punch

A holiday drink of Hot Cranberry-Ginger Punch.

Photography by James Carrier

Hot Cranberry-Ginger Punch

Cranberry juice gets infused with a kick of ginger and spiked with lime juice for a warming winter drink that the whole family can enjoy.

Recipe:  Hot Cranberry-Ginger Punch

A holiday drink of Hot White Chocolate.

Photography by Alex Farnum; styling by Randy Mon

Hot White Chocolate

It's everything we love about dessert, only more portable and fun to hold in your hands. 

Recipe:  Hot White Chocolate

A Champagne Cocktail drink for the holidays.

Photography by Annabelle Breakey

Champagne Cocktails

Once a widely popular and sophisticated drink, the Champagne Cocktail fell out of favor for decades, deemed sweet and silly. We find it to be neither. The sugar and bitters balance the natural acidity of sparkling wine, and the cocktail pairs very well with both creamy cheese and earthy mushrooms.

Recipe:  Champagne Cocktails

Varieties of Infused Vodkas.

Photography by James Carrier

Infused Vodkas

Our infusions range from traditional caraway to updated saffron-orange.

Recipe:  Infused Vodkas

Sparkling white wine to pair with a crab dinner

Photography by Annabelle Breakey

A great sparkler (with your holiday crab)

A good sparkler made completely from Chardonnay ― aka Blanc de Blancs ― has all those sweet apple and creamy citrus flavors and lively bubbles that set crab off so well. Our current favorite is Schramsberg 2005 Blanc de Blancs (it won our Special Occasion White Wine of the Year Award in November's Sunset Wine Awards).

 And our current favorite crab dish? How can there be just one?

Recipes: 

A holiday drink of Crimson Spice Champagne Cocktail.

Photography by James Carrier

Crimson Spice Champagne Cocktail

Lemon-lime or club soda can be used in place of cognac and Champagne for a nonalcoholic version.

Recipe:  Crimson Spice Champagne Cocktail

Holiday cocktails

Photography by James Carrier

A quartet of cocktails

Update your holiday drink repertoire with any of these four uniquely modern cocktail recipes.

Recipes clockwise, from left:  

Hot Mojito Tea

Christmas Kir

Mocha Nog

Mulled White Wine

Sparkling Spice Mocktail

Photography by Annabelle Breakey; styling by Dan Becker

Sparkling Spice Mocktail

A lively, aromatic, fizzy fluteful that makes a good non-alcoholic stand-in for a kir royale.

Recipe:  Sparkling Spice Mocktail

More holiday drinks from our archives:

 

Printed from:
http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/holidays-occasions/great-holiday-drinks-00400000058591/