With Halloween firmly in the rearview, Thanksgiving on the horizon, and a seemingly limitless amount of pumpkin spice everything in storefronts everywhere there can be little doubt that fall has arrived. Even people in locations like Los Angeles are donning their jackets as temps continue to drop across the nation. Fall and early winter are a magical time. Any inconveniences of icy air and snowy streets are more than make up for with festive cheer and warm holiday treats. Though gingersnaps, snickerdoodles, and candy canes may be the order of the day, that doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy yourself with a few, more adult themed, delights. Here’s a list of holiday cocktails guaranteed to keep your spirit warm, and your holidays cheerful.
Hot Apple Cider
Let’s start with something basic, but outrageously good. There’s nothing quite like hot apple cider on a cold day, and you don’t even need to booze it up for it to be amazing. Take some cider, heat it on the stove, then serve it to anyone with a pulse to instantly change moods for the better. But if you want to take the edge off and cut loose, simply add a shot of whiskey in your mug after you do. If you really want to take things to the next level, add in a shot of Tuaca, a delectable Italian vanilla brandy citrus liqueur, instead of whiskey. Top that off with a little whipped cream and now you’ve created a cocktail called a hot apple pie. If that sounds sensational, that’s only because it is.
Since we’re talking about tasty hot alcoholic drinks, we’d be remiss not to include the hot toddy; the tried and true old standby. A hot toddy isn’t difficult to make. There are a million variations, but at its core it’s basically just hot tea and whiskey. Simply grab a teabag of your favorite black tea, and put the kettle on. Steep the tea in a mug of hot water, then add a shot of brandy or whiskey, a wedge of lemon, and a tablespoon of honey. It’s a great beverage to have a night before bed; especially if you’re getting over a cold. Along with chicken soup, the hot toddy is the go-to choice for the rainy day cold.
Imagine you’ve made it back to the cabin after a long trek through snowy fields on a fidget day. You kick your boots off in front of a fire, and you have yourself one of these. It’s 1 ½ ounces of your whiskey of choice with ½ an ounce of cherry brandy. Serve it over rocks, and add a Maraschino cherry on top. Resting your feet on a fur rug is optional.
Caramel Apple Martini
It’s time to bring out the big guns. This is the kind of drink that turns your small holiday gathering into the festive occasion of the year, or a run of the mill date night into the stuff of fantasy. People are going to be impressed with this one, is what we’re saying. Enter the Caramel Apple Martini. This drink comes to us from the folks over at Inspired by Charm, and does it ever deliver. Get started one of two ways: either rim a martini glass with cinnamon sugar, or caramel. Both are tickets to victory, so choose whichever method suits you. If you choose cinnamon sugar, dip the rim in apple cider to get it to stick. Next take 2 ounces of apples cider, 2 ounces of caramel vodka, and 1 ounce of butterscotch Schnapps and shake vigorously in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Pour it and garnish with a slice of apple. It’s perfect as a post dinner dessert cocktail, and it also works well as a companion for a salty appetizer.
I’d be downright negligent of us if we didn’t include Irish coffee on the list. This warm delight has been a hallmark of comfort for years, and for good reason. It’s high time you made some of your own. A good Irish coffee is all about the ingredients. Of course you’re going to want to land a fine Irish Whiskey, but the coffee matters just as much. A rich, robust bean is needed here, and a good French press is a good way to go as far as preparation is concerned.
Pour 4 ounces of the coffee into a coffee glass and stir with 2 tsp of sugar. Add an ounce of whiskey then stir again. Finally float a fresh whipped double cream on top over the back of a spoon, and do not stir again. This ensures that you’ll be able to enjoy the beverage through a fine layer of cream every sip.
Hot Peppermint Patty
If coffee isn’t your thing, give this a shot. You probably already know that a cup of hot coco is the cure-all for a clinical case of the holiday blues, which makes this beverage nothing short of the magic maker. Take 1 ounce of peppermint Schnapps, ½ ounce of Dark Crème De Cacao, and a1 teaspoon of crème de menthe and add them to a coffee glass. Now fill it with the best, richest, most soul hugging hot chocolate you can find. Top it off with whipped cream and garnish it with shaved chocolate pieces. Enjoy your newfound bliss.