festive winter cocktails

23 Jan

Welcome to January…sure it’s almost over, but if you live in a place with crazy weather patterns like we’ve been experiencing in Baltimore, then you just broke out your winter coat. Sure it’s dark most of the day and your feet are frozen, but those are not reasons to hold back on throwing a little get together. But, what to serve on these chilly nights? Sure there’s beer and wine, the obvious choices, but what about something more fun and delicious? It’s too early for sangria (but like I’ve said before…I do not judge) and I am too old for jungle juice. So here I share some creative options to try at your next shindig..now go ahead, throw a party!

Do you have any thirst quenchers you’d like to share? Send them to us!

Hot Apple-Ginger Toddy (a fancy hot toddy)

Ingredients (makes one drink)

  • a cup or so of apple cider
  • 1 to 2 ounces of dark liquor (bourbon or dark rum)
  • a drizzle of honey
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • peeled fresh ginger root, coarsely chopped
  • mulling spices (cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, allspice, nutmeg – whatever you have on hand)
  • Optional garnishes: cinnamon stick stirrer, lemon slice, apple slice, ginger slice


Add the ginger and mulling spices to the cider and simmer in a saucepan over medium-low heat for at least 5 minutes (or a full 15 or more if you want full flavor). Drizzle some honey into a mug and add the liquor, hot cider, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir and serve!

Pomegranate Champagne Punch


  • 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup pear nectar
  • 1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) Champagne


In a large pitcher, combine pomegranate juice, pear nectar, and orange-flavored liqueur. Slowly add Champagne. Serve over ice.

The Blizzard


  • 1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey or rum
  • 1/2 ounce hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico
  • 1/2 ounce Irish cream liqueur, such as Bailey’s
  • Hot coffee
  • Dollop of Grand Marnier Whipped Cream


In a glass coffee mug, stir together whiskey, hazelnut liqueur, and Irish cream; top with coffee. Garnish cocktail with whipped cream and serve immediately.

Winter Solstice (aka my new favorite drink)


  • 1 1/2 ounces orange vodka
  • 1/2 ounce orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, preferably from Meyer lemons
  • Ice cubes
  • Club soda, chilled
  • 1 mint leaf, for garnish
  • 1 raspberry, for garnish


In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, orange liqueur, lemon juice, and ice; shake until well combined. Strain into a chilled martini glass; add a splash of soda. Carefully fold mint leaf in half lengthwise and place the stem end into the opening of the raspberry. Float on top of cocktail and serve immediately.

And remember…please drink responsibly. Cheers!

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