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Five warm cocktails that you should make at home

Written by
Dan Q Dao

Party hosts during this time of year are dealt a tough hand, what with all the festive holiday magic expected of them. Luckily, when it comes to the booze, there's no shortage of drinking apps (and Amazon) for on-demand delivery to save you some hassle. To help out even more, we've compiled five do-it-yourself recipes for warm cocktails created by NYC bartenders for the winter. From a Mexican yuletide punch to a whiskey-spiked tea, these steamy elixirs will have your guests (and you) festively sloshed in no time. 

1. Gnomo Cioccolato from Baita by BirreriaFor this boozy take on Italian hot cocoa (pictured above), Eataly beverage director Emily Hand offsets sweet hazelnut and rich chocolate with herbal, anise-charged Galliano liqueur. 

4 oz Lavazza hot chocolate
1 oz Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
1/2 oz Galliano liqueur

Combine the Frangelico hazelnut liqueur and Galliano liqueur in a glass. Then, pour hot chocolate and stir gently until blended. Top with whipped cream, and garnish lightly with cocoa powder and crushed peppermint candy.

Ponche Navideño at Hecho en DumboPhotograph: Michael Tulipan

2. Ponche Navideño from Hecho en DumboAt this Mexico-City–inspired restaurant, co-owner Ethan Smith recreates a warm, communal punch traditionally served during Christmastime in Mexico.

4 quarts water
1lb tejocotes, whole
1 1/2 unrefined sugar
6 tamarind pods, peeled and seeded
4 sticks cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/12 lbs guava, peeled and chopped into bite-sized cubes
1 1/2 lbs apples, peeled and chopped into bite-sized cubes
1/2 cup prunes
1/2 raisins
2 cups sugarcane, peeled and cut into 1" pieces

Wrap cinnamon sticks and cloves into cheese cloth. Bring water to a boil. Add the ingredients to the pot, return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 mins. Remove cinnamon and clove pouch, as well as tamarind pods. To serve: Ladle hot punch into a mug with 1.5 oz of Osocalis Rare Alambic Brandy (though any brandy or rum will do); be sure to include fruit and a piece of the sugar cane to suck on when the drink is finished.

The Warm Embrace at Middle BranchPhotograph: Courtesy of Middle Branch

3. The Warm Embrace at Middle BranchIn this soul-warming cup, drinks maven Lucinda Sterling doubles up on apple with fresh-pressed cider and apple-spice tea, before fortifying the mix with whiskey. 

1 oz Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey
1 oz Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
1/2 oz fresh-pressed apple cider
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
2 oz Celestial Seasonings Cinnamon Apple Spice Tea  

Build in a heatproof glass. Serve warm and garnish with an apple slice. 

Mulled Wine at PioraPhotograph: Michael Tulipan

4. Mulled Wine from PioraA winter staple since medieval times, traditional mulled wine gets a modern tweak from head bartender Shinya Yamao at this Michelin-starred eatery. 

Housemade spice mix (1 piece star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 5-6 cloves)
4 oz red wine
1 oz KAS Honey liqueur
1 teaspoon fine cane sugar

Combine ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs and serve. 

Prohibition Hot Toddy at Ward IIIPhotograph: Paul Wagtouicz

5. Prohibition Hot Toddy at Ward IIIBar man Kenneth McCoy slings a classic Prohibition-style toddy at this bespoke cocktail den in Tribeca. 

2 oz Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz honey water syrup
Splash of fresh-pressed ginger juice (or muddle fresh ginger in the glass)
Hot water from a kettle

Combine ingredients into a mixing vessel, and stir with a bar spoon. Pour hot water into the glass to warm it. When ready to pour contents into glass, pour out the hot water, strain in your cocktail, then top with about 4 oz of hot water. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and orange peel (flaming optional).

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