6 Warming Winter Cocktails You Should Learn How To Make

The party season is now in full swing, and the chilly weather adds to the festive feel. But what do you serve any guests, friends or colleagues if they come around for a drink and mince pie? Drinks brands are getting creative with cocktails, especially at this time of year, to entice drinkers.

Want to pimp up an old classic or impress friends with something quirkier? Whether whisky, rum or tequila is your tipple of choice we have something for you. Here are six delicious cocktails created by brands to give a little festive or New Year cheer. Or simply to treat yourself over the coming winter months.

The Grand Old Fashioned

The classic Old Fashioned is considered by many as the original whisky cocktail, with a first reference found in 1806. This places it right at the beginning of the cocktail era and the recipe has changed little in 200 years. It has stood the test of time.

The inclusion of Grand Marnier, the Cognac-based orange liqueur, elevates the cocktail to a new and festive level.

How to make it

To make the Grand Old Fashioned is simple. Add three dashes of Angostura bitters to a large tumbler style glass, then 30ml of Grand Marnier and 30ml of bourbon or rye whiskey.

Add ice, preferably one big chunk but cubes will do. Stir with a spoon for a minute or so and then garnish with freshly cut orange zest. Delicious.

The Dalmore & Champagne

You would not consider Scotch whisky and Champagne to be natural bed fellows in a cocktail, but they can work superbly well together. This is especially true with single malts that have a heavy ex-sherry cask influence like Dalmore.

The combination gives a delightful mix of fruity freshness and vibrant fizz. Perfect for a welcome or pre-dinner drink at any party or gathering.

How to make it

Simply place a sugar cube in the base of a Champagne flute glass and soak with four dashes of orange bitters. Pour 25ml of Dalmore 12 years old over it and top with chilled Champagne (Prosecco or Cava will also work depending on your budget).

Twist a piece of freshly cut orange zest to spritz the surface with the oils. Sip and savour every drop.

The Havana Club 7 Naranja

This exquisite cocktail is great for any occasion and offers a wonderfully warming and delicious orangey hit. It feels like a big hug in a glass, giving bold citrus fruitiness and festive Cuban rum flavours.

Havana Club is such a versatile brand, and it is the 7 Años (7 years old) gold rum and its depth of character that is best used here.

How to make it

You will need a tumbler style glass filled with ice. Add two dashes of orange bitters, 50ml of Havana Club 7 Años Cuban rum and 15ml of apricot brandy (if you don’t have this – add a splash of boiling water to a spoon of apricot jam, mix and then add).

Stir with a spoon for a minute and garnish with a twist of orange peel and a cocktail cherry.

Mulled Gin

Forget mulled wine (or mulled cider – that seems this year’s big thing) and try this delightful alternative using gin. You get all the anticipated and reassuring warm spiciness but with the vibrant freshness of gin.

A super-citrussy one, such as Tanqueray Rangpur, works best – it’s made with Rangpur limes, an exotic citrus fruit from India.

How to make it

Making it could not be easier: you need 25ml of Tanqueray Rangpur gin and 100ml of apple juice per person. Simply multiply the ingredients by the number of people for more servings.

Pour the gin into a heatproof glass and heat the apple juice in a pan with a handful of spices – clove, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, juniper berries and a blob of runny honey.

Pour into a gin glass and garnish with a slice of lemon and a bay leaf.

The Drambuie Espresso Martini

This cocktail offers a festive twist on the popular Espresso Martini. Drambuie is a famous old whisky liqueur brand and really seems to come into its own in the winter months with its sweet, spicy and smoky notes.

It’s also a great addition to a Hot Toddy if you have a flu – just add some Drambuie, a squeeze and slice of lemon, a blob of honey and top with boiling water.

How to make it

Add 25ml of Drambuie, 25ml of blended Scotch whisky and 50ml of freshly brewed coffee to a cocktail shaker. Vanilla syrup (5ml) is a nice optional extra. Shake vigorously and then add ice. Shake again and pour into a chilled martini glass.

For extra sparkle, you can rim your glass with some sugar and edible glitter. Dust with cocoa powder, using a snowflake stencil if you have one.

The Mayan Coffee

This fabulous cocktail has a delicious Mexican twist and uses añejo (which translates as ‘aged’ in Spanish) tequila. It also celebrates a couple of ingredients that the ancient Mayan people gave the world: chocolate and coffee.

The marriage of the three elements is heady, earthy, decadent, and delicious. It’s like Mexico in a cup.

How to make it

You will need a mug or cup and a cocktail shaker (if you do not have one, an old jam jar will do). Add 50ml of Maestro Dobel Añejo tequila, 50ml of freshly brewed coffee, 10ml of coffee liqueur, three dashes of chocolate bitters, two dashes of orange bitters and 10ml of agave syrup to the shaker.

Shake hard for 8-10 seconds with ice and strain into the cup. Garnish with grated nutmeg, chocolate and a pinch of cinnamon.

Matt Chambers

Mr. Matt Chambers has been writing about whisky since 2008, becoming a brand consultant, educator, judge for IWSC and the Spirits Masters awards. His interests lie with the heritage behind the brands and distilleries. He also enjoys the obscure facts, figures and stories that bring the world of whisky to life. In short, what Matt doesn’t know about whisky isn’t worth knowing. You can find his blog named Whisky For Everyone here.