If there’s one thing that’s synonymous with cooler weather, it’s the fact that the season brings tons of occasions to celebrate with friends and family. Here’s a thoughtfully curated roundup of 10 Cold-Weather Drink Recipes that will satisfy adults and kids alike. Mix one up for your next get-together!
Am I the only one who starts getting excited about all of the fall and winter holidays in the dead heat of summer? There’s something about the endless celebrations, travel, and loads of family time that just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Not to mention the FOOD and DRINKS. The cold-weather months are a time for not only comforting, hearty foods, but also belly-warming cocktails and mocktails. They’re a time for connection, celebration, and indulgence in things you only get to partake in once or twice a year. If you ask me, the food and drink we get to consume over these next few months is reason to celebrate in itself!
With all of the family time these holiday months can bring, you’re no doubt looking for a festive beverage or two for one special occasion or another (and – let’s be honest – us big kids often need something with an extra little kick to get us through all the craziness!) These 10 cocktails and mocktails are all festive and incredibly easy to make, especially with the addition of my favorite infused syrups from Sonoma Syrup Co. There’s a little something for everyone, whether you’re a little kid or big kid, a whiskey fan or a vodka fan.
You’ll also find a brand new cocktail recipe I created just for this roundup. My Pumpkin Apple Bourbon Smash features all of my favorite fall flavors (and, yes, that includes bourbon!) in one frosty glass. It’s certainly going to be on repeat in our household this holiday season. Read on for the recipe and nine other great drink ideas!
Spicy Ginger Sangria by Sonoma Syrup Co.
Sangria is a fantastic drink for entertaining because you can make a big batch of it in advance and let adults serve themselves. This seasonally appropriate version features flavors of ginger, citrus, figs and apples – it’s like winter in a glass! And because the only booze in this recipe is red wine, the sangria isn’t nearly as strong as some of the other batch cocktails I’ve included in this roundup. Use a wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot to really make the sangria full-bodied. It will warm up cold bellies (or stressed out parents) in no time! It’s also a great option to serve for a winter brunch in lieu of mimosas.
Honey Roasted Pear Sparkling Cocktails or Mocktails by Cotter Crunch
I love this recipe because there’s both a cocktail and mocktail version, making it a great option when you have guests of all ages to cater to. For a fun spin on the original recipe, try substituting Infused Apple Cider Drinking Vinegar for the balsamic vinegar, or add in some Vanilla Bean Infused Simple Syrup in lieu of the vanilla extract. Roasting fruits before adding them to cocktails gives them a whole other dimension of flavor. It’s a fun way to add an unexpected twist to whatever you’re serving!
Pumpkin Apple Bourbon Smash by CaliGirl Cooking
This festive, easy-to-make cocktail features all of my favorite fall flavors – apple, pumpkin and bourbon! Sonoma Syrup Co.’s Pumpkin Pie Latte Syrup is a great way to add real pumpkin flavor to drinks without the extra body of pumpkin purée, and the touch of apple cider makes this drink truly next-level. It comes together in less than 10 minutes and is the perfect libation to sip on after the kids have all gone to bed and it’s time to kick up your feet.
Pay attention to the quality of apple cider you use. I like the cloudy, unfiltered stuff (usually from smaller producers) because it adds so much more flavor than the typically more watery juice.
If you want to make this recipe kid-friendly, simply omit the booze. It would also be just as tasty served warm as it would over ice!
Pumpkin Apple Bourbon Smash
- Cocktail shaker
- Measuring cup that measures in ounces
- Two rocks glasses
- 4 ounces bourbon
- 2 ounces Sonoma Syrup Co. Pumpkin Pie Latte Syrup
- 4 ounces high-quality apple cider
- 8 dashes angostura bitters
- 2 dashes ground cinnamon
- 2 apple wheels
- Combine all cocktail ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled 3/4 full with ice. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
- Fill two rocks glasses with ice and strain shaker contents evenly amongst the two.
- Add a dash of ground cinnamon to the top of each cocktail and garnish with apple wheel. Enjoy!
- Use the highest quality apple cider you can find for this recipe (or make your own!)
- You can easily omit the booze to make this an extra-tasty mocktail!
- Use your favorite pumpkin spice latté syrup if you can't find the Sonoma Syrup brand.
The Lemon Toddy by Sonoma Syrup Co.
I don’t know about you, but I love me a good hot toddy. This Lemon Toddy can be served as-is (without the booze) or add a healthy glug of whiskey to kick things up a notch. This is the perfect drink for the dead of winter when you’re fending off colds or snuggled up in a cozy cabin with snow falling down outside. With both alcoholic and nonalcoholic options, it’s the perfect family-friendly recipe and a great way to stay healthy in a season that is rife with sickness.
Apple Cider, Cranberry and Ginger Punch by Martha Stewart
This is another easy batch cocktail that can easily be made with or without booze. Liven up the entire batch with a healthy glug of gin, or split it up and omit the gin from half so there is some for kids and adults alike. The combination of apple, cranberry and ginger is like winter in a glass. You can even cut down on the ingredient list by subbing in some lemon simple syrup for the fresh lemon juice and sugar. This recipe makes four servings, but feel free to double or triple the recipe for a larger group. It’s so easy to do!
Peppermint Mocha by Sonoma Syrup Co.
Call me basic, but I’m a HUGE fan of the peppermint mocha once the cool weather rolls around. In fact, I’ve even been known to order one after the winter holidays have passed and I’m still sporting my leather boots. With this recipe, you can easily make a Peppermint Mocha in the comfort of your own home without having to trek to Starbucks. For the kiddos, just omit the espresso and they’ll have a tasty Peppermint Hot Chocolate on their hands (and hopefully not all over their clothes.) It’s also super-easy to make it dairy-free!
SPICED Vanilla Bean Steamers by The Kitchn
If you’re not a fan of peppermint or chocolate, this is the warm winter drink for you! This particular recipe uses tea bags, but you can also simply heat or froth up your choice of milk with some delicious Vanilla Bean Infused Simple Syrup. If you do go the tea route, feel free to branch out from just the turmeric tea mentioned here. Peppermint, chamomile and Earl Grey are all great alternatives to try instead. I love a good vanilla steamer right before bed, especially at the end of a stressful day. Think of it as an easy act of self-care when the holiday craziness gets to be too much. I guarantee it will give you a more peaceful night’s sleep, plus, this recipe is great for the kiddos, too!
Vanilla Bean Creamsicle by Sonoma Syrup Co.
While hot drinks are all the rage when the weather outside is less than ideal, this Vanilla Bean Creamsicle cocktail will no doubt warm you up inside as well. Vanilla and orange are two classic winter flavors that compliment each other nicely, and vodka will lend that extra kick you may be looking for when things get a little too hectic or stressful. This is the perfect drink to serve at an adults-only party, or even a winter lunch or brunch with your closest gal pals. Get fancy with martini glasses filled to the rim and a tasty selection of appetizers to go with!
Winter Spiced Vanilla Eggnog by CaliGirl Cooking
A cold-weather drink roundup wouldn’t be complete without a classic homemade eggnog recipe! While homemade eggnog may sound intimidating, it’s really not that hard to make. And the flavor payoff is so worth it! I encourage you to give it a shot. Don’t be shy about using the raw eggs, just pay attention to where you buy them to ensure they’re of the highest quality and, of course, don’t indulge in this while pregnant. Adding plenty of Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup and of-the-season spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves make this eggnog its own party in a glass.
Ginger Grapefruit Bourbon Sour by HGTV.com
Let’s wrap up this list with one final batch cocktail! This Ginger Grapefruit Bourbon Sour is a true party in a punch bowl. There’s something about serving a punch that automatically ups the festive factor of any get-together, plus it’s easier on the host. I love that this recipe is brimming with fresh citrus and zesty ginger in addition to everyone’s favorite tummy-warmer: bourbon. And here’s a handy shortcut for ya: instead of slaving away over the stove to make your own ginger simple syrup as the recipe calls for, simply swap in Sonoma Syrup’s White Ginger Infused Simple Syrup! Your party prep just got that much easier.
So, what do you think? Out of all of these cocktail and mocktail recipes, is there one you’re just dying to make? I don’t know about you, but I hope I get the chance to give every single one of them a try. Let me know which one you’re going to try first in the comments below!