When the temperature drops to freezing, is there a better sidekick than steaming-hot cocktail? We think not. So instead of crushing a tray of ice for a round of drinks, consider heating up the kettle.
A good place to start is the toddy template: spirit, hot water, citrus, sweetener plus spices. In the One Hot Ginger, Simone Goldberg makes use of bourbon and leans on cayenne pepper for spice and ginger syrup for a zippy sweetness. With a few more ingredients (but not a lot of fussiness), Chantal Tseng of D.C.’s Reading Room adds Earl Grey tea in place of hot water to make her Scotch-based drink, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. She brings it all together with a splash of allspice dram, evoking the drink’s true winter spirit with distinct notes of clove, nutmeg and cinnamon. And for something more luxe, the Chartreuse Toddy spotlights French ingredients like Cognac and the drink’s namesake green herbal liqueur for a souped-up-yet-simple toddy rendition.
But beyond the toddy are a multitude of other cocktails perfect for the great indoors. It’s not winter without a steaming mug of hot cocoa, and the Jalisco Hot Chocolate far surpasses the standard Swiss Miss mix: Homemade hot chocolate gets accented with cayenne pepper, chile powder, cinnamon and a hit of tequila for the ultimate spiked chocolate drink. For a simpler, but no less festive option, the two-ingredient Amaro Caldo combines two-parts hot water and one-part amaro with a lemon twist for an easy digestif.
For more winter recipes, see Winter Drinks, a collection of 70 cocktail recipes built to fortify against the cold, featuring essential classics; updated riffs on traditional toddies, punches, nogs and spiked coffees; and thoroughly modern drinks built to channel the season.