3 Sophisticated Hot Cocktails to Cure Those End-of-Winter Blues

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Depending on where you live, the weather may be warming up or spring may even feel like it’s already arrived. But in other parts of the world, winter is alive and well (and there’s wallet-draining heating bills to prove it).

When nights are still chilly, there are few better things than cozying up on the couch with a mug of something warm — ideally something boozy and warm. Which is why we thought it was the perfect time for a roundup of the hot cocktails we’ve been turning to in order to get us through the end-of-winter blues.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with simply adding a shot of whiskey to a cup of coffee or tea, but why not approach your hot cocktail with a bit more sophistication? After all, just because a shaker and ice aren’t involved, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to overly simplify. So, without further ado, here are three of the hot toddies, spiced wines, and spiked ciders that’ll keep you warm through the end of winter — all in elegant style.

Hot and Cold Toddy
Traditionally speaking, a hot toddy is whiskey or brandy mixed into hot water with a sweetener like honey and something tangy like lemon. But really, any combination of liquor, hot water, and syrupy sweetener can be considered a toddy. As gin lovers, we’re big fans of this rendition which pairs gin (ideally New Amsterdam for its citrus-forward flavor) with hot mint tea and sweetly-tart cranberry simple syrup. The bright ruby red color also adds a festive spin to the typical drink. See recipe

Cabernet Spice
Made with Cabernet, orangecello, orange juice, lemon juice, and a hint of cinnamon, the Cabernet Spice has all of the tangy, fragrant, warming appeal of a traditional mulled wine, without the need for a bunch of spices. We recommend adding a couple cracks of fresh peppercorn on top of each glass for a little extra kick. See recipe

Salty Maple Buttered Cider
This sweet, rich, and delectable concoction combines two of winter’s favorites: spiked cider and hot buttered rum. The tart cider is an obvious pairing for the full-bodied rum, while maple syrup and fresh vanilla lend an interesting mix of earthy and sweet. A ring of sea salt around the rim adds balance so that all of your taste buds are engaged. Instead of stirring the butter mixture immediately into the drink, let it melt on its own so that the cocktail becomes more complex with each new sip. See recipe

Photo credit: Courtesy of Clos du Bois