Come winters and it’s time to lift your spirits and warm up for a fresh start marked by the new year. It’s time to renew old ties, make decisions, affirm hope, rejoice and hover. Well, a good cup of hot chocolate combined with a romantic book in the lighted corner right next to the Christmas tree could always be a good partner for the late winter night’s cozy ‘me time’. But if you host dinners, you definitely need bubbly spirits. Holidays are all about celebrating with friends and family. Since you can not do without a good dessert, you also need a drink to toast, especially if it is a family dinner or a cozy get-together. After finishing Christmas and New Year baking, shopping, etc., everyone would need a good cocktail and music to curl up in bed or shake a leg with family and friends. So let’s mix a few winter cocktails to enliven the foggy winter evenings. These are easy to make at home if you have unannounced guests on the way or if you are in the mood to party.
Bourbon spiked hot chocolate
A hot chocolate drink with some bourbon added gives a nostalgic taste from childhood. This cocktail also serves as a dessert, while also being bubbly. The heart-warming drink should be made with a thick consistency of cocoa powder mixed with milk and a touch of cinnamon.
Daiquiri is the classic blend of lime and rum with sugar. Raspberries add to the citrus notes and at the same time give the drink a sweet taste. The sparkling colorful drink can make your guests happy.
Ramos Gin Fizz
This velvety textured beverage was invented by Ramos in New Orleans and was hugely popular. The secret behind the taste of this drink lies in the orange flower water and it gets its texture from the egg whites. While adding orange blossom water, be careful not to add more than 3-4 drops of it, otherwise it becomes overwhelming and feels like a perfume. Shake egg whites, gin, lime juice, orange juice, simple syrup in a shaker and then top it with ice and shake a little more. Finally, you can add soda to this frothy frothy beverage. Orange bitters can be added on top as a garnish.
It is a simple and easy cocktail to stir up. Add cranberry juice, pineapple juice, tequila and soda. Add ice cubes and garnish with lime slices and cranberries and serve immediately, otherwise the soda will be flat. Adding large ice cubes with lime or cranberries frozen in can make this drink look so beautiful too.
Who would not love to have a hot drink on a wintry evening? The cozy feel and aroma of wine enhanced with the spices make it so magical. Any dry red wine that is full-bodied is good to go. You can take a pinot noir or even a Shiraz does it well. You need to mix all the ingredients and put them to a boil in a saucepan. The spices that go into it are cinnamon sticks, cloves, peppercorns and star anise. Combine a cup of apple cider, a bottle of red wine with a cup of brandy and a quarter cup of honey or maple syrup. And set it to simmer. Be careful not to boil it. Add the spices, peeled orange slices to it while it is still simmering. Pour into cups and enjoy the warm mulled wine.
This is reminiscent of mulled wine and is hugely popular in the Scandinavian countries as a Christmas winter drink. Cardamom, raisins and almonds are used to garnish with. A little vodka or rum added to the wine and a little water added to the seasonal spices give a nice aroma just like the mulled wine. The English punch is also similar except for the addition of tea and more citrus flavors.
This is a simple sparkling drink. Mix orange liqueur, cranberry juice and champagne and serve. It is ideal for a brunch outing on an expansive lawn.
Eggnog is often served during the winter holidays. While some like it, others hate it. It is known by different names in European countries, but there is a slight variation in each recipe. Eggnog has traditional and modern twists to it. But most people follow the basic recipe of whipping eggs with cream, milk and sugar and adding your choice of spirits. It could be brandy, rum or whiskey. The spices such as grated nutmeg, freshly ground cinnamon and cloves and allspice powder are also essential as they balance the aromas.