After a long day hitting the slopes or hiking in the snow, there’s nothing quite like sitting by the fireside with a cigar and a warm drink to help defrost yourself. And holiday get-togethers aren’t complete without some kind of drink in everybody’s hand.
Whether you’re looking for something warm and sweet – like a Hot Buttered Rum, something a little smoother and sophisticated, or some literally rattling, one or two of these winter drinks is sure to please.
This warm and toasty classic dates back to Colonial times; it was actually a common drink among English sailors, but found a particularly warm welcome in the taverns of Colonial New England, where it served as an antidote to the long, dark and bone-freezing winters of the region. Warm and frothy, the Flip is a mixture of ale, rum or brandy, some molasses and an egg. Traditionally, it is stirred with a hot fire poker to give it a frothy texture, but you can get by with just the stove top. It’s topped off with grated nutmeg for a nutty and spicy finish. Flip Recipe – via Punch
What exactly is a Wassail, you ask? Like the Flip, this drink was extremely popular in the American Colonies, though it is thought to date back to the Middle Ages – at least the 13th century – though it took on a different form then. Traditionally, one would partake in the hot beverage while wassailing, a tradition of singing a toast the orchard trees to ensure a bountiful harvest the next year. The wassailing tradition later took on another form, where wassailers would go door-to-door singing and exchanging gifts – a precursor to the more familiar tradition of Christmas caroling.
The version we’re touching on today is a steamy combination of sherry, apple cider and cinnamon akin to mulled cider or wine, and perfect for the fireside. Wassail Recipe – via Punch
We couldn’t ignore Irish Coffee now, could we? This traditional cocktail is welcome anytime of year, but winter calls for a spiced version. The Irish Coffee itself is simple; black coffee, Irish Whiskey, a dash of brown sugar, and a topping of whipped cream. The spice version includes some nutmeg or pumpkin, as your taste buds prefer, blended with whipped cream. Spiced Irish Coffee Recipe – via The Spice Train
With a name like that, this drink better be strong and bracing if it plans to deliver. Like the Flip and the Wassail, this one dates back to the Colonial Days, and gets its name from the pure strength and vigor of the drink. It’s a blend of beer or ale, mixed with rum, lime juice and nutmeg. But if you want to get the proportions authentically right, it needs to be 3-4 ounces of rum (that’s two drinks) poured into a pint of porter or ale. Add half a lime of juice and top with nutmeg. Guaranteed to warm you up, keep you warm, and rattle your brain a bit in the process. Rattle Skull Recipe
This classic drink is pure winter, and a warm, toasty blend of rum, hot water, butter, brown sugar and spices. Though the recipe usually calls for dark rum, we find it also works well with a white rum, such as El Dorado 3 Year or even some Bacardi Silver. Be sure to mix it properly and thoroughly to keep the butter from forming an oil slick on top, and to get the full flavor. Hot Buttered Rum Recipe
Those drinks a little too sweet for you? The New York Sour is much like your classic whiskey sour, but also has a red wine float on top for some extra kick and maybe a hint of sweetness. Some people even throw on some egg whites for added texture and froth, but it tastes just as good without. – New York Sour Recipe
Regular margaritas are great for relaxing by the beach and all, but when the weather turns snowy, it’s time for a winter margarita. It’s much the same, but this recipe – courtesy of Esquire.com – adds an egg white for some added flavor and texture. They also use mezcal, as opposed to tequila, which gives it a smokier, more substantial – exactly what winter calls for. – Winter Margarita Recipe
Another drink just begging to be enjoyed by the fireside. The Applejack Sazerac uses Laird’s Bonded Apple Jack Whiskey, which gives it some of that spice and flavor to warm you up. Pair it with a spiced whiskey, or one with citrus notes, for the perfect pair. The bitters smooth out the flavor and fruity citrus, keeping the drink well rounded and strong. And don’t forget the absinthe, which gives it veritable kick. – AppleJack Sazerac Recipe
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