Everything Wine And More

Samantha Torrance
November 12, 2015 | Samantha Torrance

Creative Warm Winter Cocktail Recipes

As the winter months start to set in you may be thinking of having a warm drink inside. Most people turn to Bailey’s or Kahlua in coffee, but I’ve got recipes for some new and old favourite warm winter drinks to put a spark back into this chilly season. You can use anything to make a delectable winter beverage, you can even use wine!

Honey Bourbon Toddy
For this recipe you can use any bourbon, but I highly recommend Woodford Reserve Bourbon ($46.99/750ml) as it is very smooth and enjoyable. It has notes of dried fruits, hints of mint and oranges with cocoa, and a faint vanilla on the nose. The palate reveals citrus, cinnamon, cocoa, toffee, caramel, chocolate and spices. Nothing better to go with a honey toddy. You can also try this bourbon at our Sherwood Park tasting bar!

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 6 tablespoons bourbon or Apple Bourbon
  • 2 strips of lemon peel
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Stir honey and water in a 2-cup measuring cup until honey dissolves. Add bourbon (or better yet, Apple Bourbon, in which case you'll use 1 Tbsp. honey). Divide between 2 Toddy glasses. Twist a strip of lemon peel over each drink, and then add to glass. Stir each with a cinnamon stick and serve.

Salted Maple Butter Cider
In this recipe you will need dark rum; my recommendation is Gosling’s Black Seal Rum ($29.99/750ml). This rum is balanced with aromas of sweet, dark cooked fruits and a spiced herbal fruitcake, and intricate flavours of butterscotch, vanilla, and caramel. This rum is perfect for this drink as its natural aromas and flavours compliment the flavours of this beverage. You will also need some apple cider, I recommend Pommies Farmhouse Cider ($4.49/437ml) as it is dry so we don’t add too much sweetness to the cocktail because it will already be sweet from the maple syrup.

  • Maldon salt
  • Half of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped out
  • 4 ounces dark rum
  • 8 ounces apple cider

Scatter Maldon salt* on a small plate. Rub the rim of two heatproof glasses or mugs with the lemon half, then dip in salt. Combine the butter, maple syrup, and vanilla bean seeds in small bowl. Set aside. Combine rum and cider in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Pour into prepared glasses, and then top each with half of the butter. Serve immediately.
*I highly recommend getting Maldon salt instead of regular table salt as the texture and flavour is fantastic compared to its regular counterpart. You can find it at the Italian Center or online.

Tequila Mint Hot Chocolate
This recipe does not call for a specific tequila, but I would recommend an Añejo as it pairs with chocolate the best, but if you’re looking for something lower in price a Reposado works well too. For an Añejo I recommend Cazadores A ejo ($51.99/750ml) for this hot chocolate recipe for the citrus, cinnamon, and caramel on the nose and citrus, caramel, honey and floral notes on the palate to compliment the beverage. If that is a bit more than you’re wanting to spend we also have Camarena Reposado ($36.99/750ml) with a nose and palate of raw apple, butter and vanilla. Last but not least you also need some peppermint schnapps. Phillips Peppermint Schnapps will do the trick ($23.99/750ml).

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces peppermint schnapps
  • Whipped cream and mint leaf garnish

In medium saucepan, stir cocoa with sugar and salt. Stir in milk, milk chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate. Heat over medium heat until, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is hot. Gently whisk to completely homogenize mixture. Add tequila and peppermint schnapps. Divide into serving cups and top with whipped cream and mint.

Orchard Boulevardier
In this recipe we use a Rye Whisky, Campari ($27.99/750ml), Sweet Vermouth, and apple cider. For the Vermouth I recommend using Martini Rosso ($13.49/1L or $8.49/500ml), but you can also use Martini Bianco ($13.49/1L). For the apple cider I would recommend either a dry or off dry variety. For the dry we can use the Pommies Farmhouse Cider ($4.49/437ml), or for an off dry you can use Angry Orchard ($15.99/6 Pack). Now with the Rye I highly recommend Forty Creek Rye Whisky ($27.99/750ml) with its aromas of honey, vanilla, apricot, toasty oak, black walnut, and spice. On the palate you’ll find sweet fruits followed by a zesty pepper and spice.

  • 8 ounces apple cider
  • 4 ounces rye whiskey
  • 2 ounce Campari
  • 2 ounce sweet vermouth
  • Garnish: 2 orange twists

Bring apple cider to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add rye, Campari, and vermouth, stir until warm. Divide between two heatproof mugs or glass serving glasses, garnish with orange twist and serve immediately.

Riesling Hot Toddy
Now for a twist this recipe calls for a white wine base instead of a spirit. The Riesling I recommend using is Relax Riesling ($14.99/750ml). On the nose you find apples, and floral notes following with apples and peaches with a hint of citrus on the palate. This recipe also calls for a bit of brandy. My favorite is Torres 10 Year Brandy ($29.99/750ml). It has a distinct raisin aroma on the nose with spice and vanilla on the palate.

  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle Riesling
  • 2 teaspoons brandy
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 bay leaves   
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4 strips lemon zest

Toast cardamom pods in a dry skillet over high heat, tossing often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Gently crush with a mortar and pestle. In a medium saucepan combine Riesling, brandy, honey, cardamom pods, and bay leaves. Squeeze lemon halves over liquid and add rinds to the pot. Bring to a gentle simmer then reduce heat to lowest setting and steep for 45 minutes. Strain and divide between 4 cups. Garnish with lemon zest.

Spicy Aztec Hot Chocolate
Last but not least we have another hot chocolate, but in the traditional Aztec style. It uses Mezcal which is similar to tequila. Tequila is Mezcal, but made with blue agave, whereas Mezcal is made from the maguey plant which is a form of agave.  I recommend the Oro De Oaxaca Mezcal ($39.99/750ml). On the nose it is intensely smoky with more smoke, green peppers and a touch of sweetness on the palate. It also comes with a bag of “spices” that include chile pepper, salt and ground up, roasted maguey worms. Fear not, if you don’t want to use this spice bag you don’t need to.

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 whole dried ancho chile pod, split
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 5 ounces Mezcal
  • Chile powder, cocoa nib, and/or dark chocolate shavings for garnish

In medium saucepan, stir cocoa with sugar and salt. Stir in milk, 2 cinnamon sticks, ancho chile, and bittersweet chocolate. Heat over medium heat until, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is hot. Gently whisk to completely homogenize mixture. Simmer over low heat, whisking occasionally, until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Carefully drain and discard chile and cinnamon sticks. Return to pot and add Mezcal. Heat through. Using a hand blender, a milk frother, or a whisk, beat chocolate until foamy, then divide into four glasses. Garnish with chile powder, cocoa nib (or chocolate shavings), and a cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.

Time Posted: Nov 12, 2015 at 8:22 AM
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