A Bartender’s Guide to Hot Cocktails for Fall and Winter – WTRF


Bar & Wine

Mulled wine is the oldest hot alcoholic beverage in history, with its origins in ancient Europe when the Romans heated their wine for winter heat.

Hot cocktails in cold weather

When the weather starts to cool down for the year, many of us retreat indoors to stay warm and toasty, but what if you want to get drunk while keeping the temperature high? ? While high strength spirits are known for their apparent body warming abilities, with choice ingredients and a skillet, you can whip up hot cocktails that will warm the body as well as the soul.

What you need to make hot cocktails

When it comes to hot cocktails, not all spirits are suitable for heat. Generally speaking, the clear liquor does not stand up to the other ingredients of most hot cocktails. Darker spirits, on the other hand, enhance the hot beverage experience with their richer flavors.

Best alcohol to use for hot drinks

Rye Rittenhouse

  • Whiskey (bourbon and rye): Most American whiskeys can be divided into these two categories based on the ingredients of their “mash ball,” the combination of grains that are used in the fermentation process. Rye whiskey, which must include at least 51 percent of the grain in its mash bill, is a bit more peppery and has a particularly spicy finish. On the other hand, Bourbon is smoother and smoother while retaining much of the woody flavor of the barrel aging process.

Flor de Caña 7 Year Old Gran Reserva Rum

  • Rum: While clear rum is a great spirit for daiquiris, gold, dark and spice rum is the best choice for making hot, sweeter cocktails. Gold rum is smooth and rich from barrel aging, just like bourbon, and has an amber color. Black or brown rum is also aged in barrels, but much longer than golden rums. It is also usually made with caramelized sugar or molasses, adding to the dark and rich flavor. The spiced rum is also aged, but with the addition of spices like allspice, cloves, cardamom, star anise, cinnamon and nutmeg, giving it a fruity and tangy flavor. .

Pierre Ferrand 1840 Grand Champagne

  • Brandy: Made from distilled wine, brandy is a fruity and sweet alcohol much appreciated in Europe, especially in wine-growing regions. Cognac and Armagnac are the two most popular varieties of spirits, each named after its region in France. Some are even aged in barrels or barrels for a richer, woody and smoky flavor.

scotch whiskeys

  • Whiskey (Scottish): This malt or grain-based alcohol originates from Scotland, the birthplace of whiskey. It is known for its characteristic smoke, derived from drying barley on roasted peat. Not all scotch whiskeys are smoked, but to be considered a real scotch, it must be aged for at least three years in oak barrels.


  • Red wine: It is the central ingredient of a classic hot winter drink, spiced mulled wine. The best reds for any hot drink are Merlot, Zinfandel and Grenache, all of which have a dark, fruity and full-bodied flavor.


Other ingredients and tools for making hot cocktails

Cuisinart MultiClad Pro 2 Quart Stainless Steel Casserole with Lid

Some other ingredients that you will need, depending on the recipe, include a variety of whole spices (allspice, cloves, cardamom, star anise and cinnamon), lemons for juice, other fruits like apples , oranges or cherries, as well as extras like honey and coffee. For the equipment you will need a stainless steel pan, a hand juicer for citrus fruits, a scrambler, an electric kettle and some irish coffee mugs. Don’t forget a jigger or mini Measuring cup to pour your alcohol well!

Hot cocktail recipes for fall and winter

  • Hot grog: This drink is excellent during cold seasons, but it is also popular as a remedy for sore throats or colds. Pour 1.5 ounces of bourbon or rye whiskey into a hot mug, followed by 1 ounce of fresh lemon juice and 1 ounce of honey. Pour in a little hot water and stir the ingredients until fully incorporated, then fill just below the rim with more hot water. Decorate with a wedge of lemon. Substitute scotch for American whiskey for a smoky variation.
  • Hot wine: Combine your assortment of spices with 2 ounces of brown sugar in a bowl and stir until the ingredients are completely combined. Add this to a saucepan with a bottle (750 mL) of sweet red wine, 3 ounces of brandy, 3 slices of apple and orange (with the zest) and bring to a boil before reducing to low heat, stirring while ‘it heats up. Heat the mixture over low heat for 30 minutes with the lid on. Strain the solids, pour into hot cups and garnish with an orange slice.

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream

  • Kentucky Coffee: This American approach of its Irish cousin calls for Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream and a Kentucky bourbon – preferably a sweet one like Manufacturer’s mark. Simply combine 1 ounce of bourbon and 1 ounce of cream liqueur in a preheated mug, fill with fresh, hot coffee, leaving enough room for a whipped cream topping.
  • Spicy apple cider: In a process similar to mulled wine, heat 1 gallon of fresh, unfiltered apple cider in a saucepan with the same spices and brown sugar mixed together, a sliced ​​apple and half an orange (sliced ​​with the zest). After heating over low heat for 30 minutes, filter the solids. Pour 1.5 ounces of spiced rum into a preheated mug, fill with hot cider and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

What you need to buy to make hot cocktails

Bodum Melior gooseneck electric kettle

Bodum Melior gooseneck electric kettle

With this electric kettle, you will not only have a necessary tool for making hot cocktails, but you will also have all your hot water needs for making pour-out coffee or loose tea. You can also preheat your mugs by pouring hot water and reheating them before preparing your cocktail.

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Zulay manual metal juicer

Zulay manual metal juicer

A hand-held juicer comes in handy for making hot and chilled cocktails. It is easy to use and requires minimal cleaning.

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Duxtop 1800W portable induction hob

Duxtop 1800W portable induction hob

It is not a necessity, but an induction burner is the best appliance for making mulled wine, glogg and mulled cider. You can heat your blend more precisely with digital temperature settings and keep your drink at an appropriate serving temperature. It is also more energy efficient than gas or electric stoves.

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Matt Fleming written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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