Winter Drinks Worth Sipping
Peppermint Mocha Latte
This month, put your workday fuel to more relaxing use. A tiny drop of essential oil gives these chocolaty sippers a peppermint punch, while a cool microwave trick foams the milk, no frother needed. Like to spike? A splash of Kahlua or bourbon makes them all the merrier. Look for peppermint oil at Whole Foods or natural foods stores in the essential oils section. While we love very dark chocolates (80% percent or more), bittersweet works best here, making for rounder, smoother flavor.
Holiday Coconut Cooler
Wow your guests this holiday season with a whimsical white cocktail. A mix of coconut milk and coconut rum adds Caribbean flair, making even the coldest winter days feel bright and blissful. Entertain a crowd with ease by making a double or triple batch ahead of time—just give it a stir right before garnishing.
Red and Pink
If you like tea to be as functional as it is avorful, red rooibos (ROY-boss) is your new go-to. Smoky, spicy, and naturally sweet, the decaf herbal from South Africa may contain 50% more antioxidants than green tea, plus plenty of essential minerals. Enjoy a steaming mugful, or make ice cubes with it and toss into a cocktail, as we do here, for a avor infusion as the cubes melt.
Soothing Cardamom Sipper
Wind down at the end of the day with the adult version of a glass of warm milk. Research shows cardamom may help ward off stomach ulcers. It and sesame seeds (the essential ingredient in tahini) also have heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory benefits. Be sure to use refrigerated coconut milk (found with nut milks in the dairy case) and not canned coconut milk.
This hot toddy comes together in a flash thanks to the microwave. A touch of salt, though it may seem counterintuitive, actually heightens the sweetness of the drink, though the beverage is far from cloying. Pear vodka, such as Absolut, can be found at most liquor stores. We love the floral fruit flavor of pear, which is perfect for late fall. Cognac adds a little oak-cask richness and complexity to the mix. We add the liquor to the hot sugar mixture, which yields a very warm drink that can be sipped right away. Moreover, it avoids safety concerns with heating flammable alcohol. A little fresh lemon juice adds a bright top note and balances the sweet pear flavor with light tang.
Spiked Hot Chocolate
This warming treat is the perfect accompaniment for a walk through the snow: A hint of peppermint schnapps will give everyone a little pep in their step. Think of it as more of a dessert than a beverage, as this hot chocolate is a bit of a splurge. Canned coconut milk gives it full-bodied richness and makes it an indulgence. Blogger and cookbook author Molly Yeh explains that "coconut goes well with chocolate and mint, so it really brings this hot chocolate together nicely."
Citrusy Gin and Blood Orange Punch
If the word "punch" makes you think of old-fashioned, too-sweet concoctions, this drink will be a revelation. Don't skip the oleo saccharum stage: The mix of oils and other citrus flavors that come from the muddling gives amazing body to the final drink.
Turmeric Chai Latte
The addition of turmeric boosts the Indian flavor and the antioxidants in chai tea. Our healthier version mixes fresh ginger, cardamom pods, and whole cloves in orange pekoe tea sweetened with honey.
Barcelona Hot Chocolate
Cocoa and espresso together: not as sweet, deeply flavorful.
Warm Spiced (and Spiked) Cabernet
Warm guests up with this sweet spiced wine punch. Whole cloves, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and orange juice infuse the wine with citrusy flavor with a hint of spice, while two bottles of cabernet sauvignon and brandy make it especially boozy. Press cloves into the peel of quartered orange. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat (do not boil). Reduce heat to low, and cook 30 minutes. Garnish this punch with a cinnamon stick or orange slices. See our Apple Cider Recipes for more boozy winter drinks.
This simple twist on the traditional kir royale blends tart-sweet pomegranate juice with subtle herbal notes from a rosemary-infused syrup. Float rosemary leaves on the drinks for a pretty garnish.
This old-fashioned drink is reminiscent of decadent egg custard. You can easily double or triple the speedy recipe to serve a bigger crowd.
Slow-Cooker Blood Orange Fizzy Mulled Wine
The slow cooker offers great convenience here, keeping the stovetop open for meal prep. Pouring the soda into the hot wine right at the time of service brings the temperature down enough to drink immediately. Change out the orange slices for fresh when serving to punch up the look.
Don't forget the drinks! Welcome guests to your home with a warm cup of spiced cider spiked with brandy.
Pink Grapefruit and Lychee Cocktail
Pink grapefruit, a popular winter fruit, stars in this pretty beverage. Look for canned lychee fruit, which has a delicately sweet flavor, in the ethnic food aisle at the supermarket or at Asian groceries. Use the leftover lychees in a fruit salad.
Port of Call Punch
The muddling technique draws complex flavors from the lemon, making the beverage floral, bracing, and irresistible. A sprinkling of grated nutmeg on top adds a warm, soothing, fragrant layer to the punch, which is remarkably complex-flavored despite having only 6 ingredients. Ruby port has spent less time cask-aging than tawny port, and so is a little sweeter and fruitier, perfect in this recipe. This drink has a lower alcohol content than standard cocktails, a great quality in a punch that's meant to refresh as much as relax.
Spiced Mocha Mix
For those nights when a cup of something chocolaty is exactly what you need, here’s a healthier cocoa mix with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg to warm you.
Wilga Hill Boomerang II
We streamlined and lightened the original recipe but kept true to the gin, apple, and vermouth at its heart. Premix big batches (except the ice) in a pitcher up to a day ahead. Shake servings for 1 or 2 at a time with ice.