In Cocktail Compilations

Warming Cocktails for Winter

With the Midwest blanketed in snow and arctic temperatures, there’s no better time to warm up with a great winter cocktail. There are more than a few ways to create the sensation of warmth, and in the same way there are more than a few ways to make a warming winter sipper! Here are some tips and tricks for the different types of winter cocktails, and some of our favorite recipes.


Of course, the first way to get that sense of warmth is by applying heat! The vast majority of cocktails are served chilled, or even over ice, but there have always been hot drinks for the cold winter days.

The most classic hot cocktail is the Hot Toddy:

Classic Hot Toddy

Most commonly made with whiskey, this cocktail combines sweet honey, bright lemon and rich spirits in a cozy winter hug of a drink.

2 oz Gin No. 6 (or Twisted Citrus VodkaMalt WhiskeyAmerican Whiskey, or Aquavit — Private Reserve)
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1½ oz Honey Simple
Hot Water

Add first 3 ingredients to a mug and top with hot water. Garnish with a wheel of lemon, and a cinnamon stick if you have one on hand.

(all recipes based on a 12 oz mug — adjust to size of mug used)


The Firelight

Kick up the spice and layer the citrus with this warm sipper.

1½ oz NS American Whiskey
½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
½ oz Chai Simple
¼ oz Spiced Orange Simple
Hot Water

Add first four ingredients to a 12 oz mug and top with hot water. Stir & garnish with a cinnamon stick.


Hot G&T

Technically this one isn’t a Hot Toddy, but if you can get your hands on a bottle of this uniquely flavored syrup, make the hot version of another classic!

2 oz Gin No. 11
1 oz Tomr’s Tonic Syrup
4½ oz Hot Water
Lemon Wedge

Add gin and tonic syrup to a mug, add hot water. Stir well, and garnish with lemon wedge. (We recommend squeezing it in, but you do what you want!)



Those warming winter spices won’t literally warm you up, but they will provide a sense of warmth and coziness that is a great remedy for chilly nights. Here are some of our favorite spiced sippers:


The Velveteen Rabbit

The ultimate comfy, cozy sipper; pair with flannel pjs, a roaring fire and your favorite feel-good movie.

1½ oz North Shore Vodka
¾ oz Half & Half or Heavy Cream
½ oz Coffee Liqueur (we prefer Mr Black)
½ oz Winter Spice Simple

Shake ingredients with ice, then strain into a chilled rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.


Norwegian Bear Hug

This cocktail definitely lives up to the name, with layers on layers on layers of winter spices, held together by warm honey.

2 oz Aquavit-Private Reserve
½ oz Honey Syrup + 1/4 oz Chai Syrup (or 3/4 oz Spiced Honey Syrup)
¾ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
2 drops Peychaud’s Bitters

Shake first four ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled coupe glass or over rocks into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.


Fly by Night

Building on NSD Malt Whiskey’s rich spice, honey & nuttiness, this cocktail builds a luxuriously frothy version of a winter warmer.

2 oz Malt Whiskey
¾ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
¾ oz Honey Simple
1 oz Egg White
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Shake ingredients without ice, then add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass & garnish with bitters.



When warming cocktails are on the mind, our first thoughts are often for cocktails that highlight the spirits within.

Classic Sazerac

For some reason this is the cocktail we always reach for at the distillery when the cold weather hits — it’s a complex Old Fashioned riff, and one of the warmest spirit-forward cocktails.

In a Mixing glass, stir:
2 oz American Whiskey
¼ oz Demerara Simple
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Before making, fill a rocks glass with ice and add ¼ oz Sirene Absinthe Verte.
Stir ingredients well with ice. Then swirl the rocks glass with the ice/absinthe combo and dump (or keep the absinthe for later!). Strain the cocktail into the rinsed rocks glass, then garnish with a swath of lemon peel.


Delightfully unexpected, combining the savory layers of Bokamaro with the oakiness of American Whiskey, uplifted by the subtle fruit tones of two vermouths.

1 oz Bokamaro
1 oz American Whiskey
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

Stir ingredients with ice, then strain into a chilled coupe glass or over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a swath of grapefruit.


A modern classic that could fit right in with the oldest cocktails — warming & refreshing at the same time.

2 oz Malt Whiskey
¾ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
¾ oz Honey-Ginger Simple
¼ oz Peated Single Malt Whiskey*

Shake first four ingredients with ice, then strain into rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Float ¼ oz of the single malt on top, then garnish.
*if you still have any For Peat’s Sake Whiskey around, it’ll do the trick!

We hope this help you to stay warm and drink better!

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