Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, or fancy a solitary night in, everyone knows all winter occasions can only be improved by the addition of hot drinks. And as much as we love the classic hot chocolates and chais, mulled wines and hot ciders, we occasionally want refreshing new twists on these classics.
Naturally, I will preface this by saying that, as with all culinary things, there is never a wrong way to experiment with flavour, and you should definitely mess around in your kitchen and try creating your own wild and wonderful winter warming combination.
For a tad of inspiration, though, I have compiled my favourite unique winter cocktails, which are delicious and unusual.
Tip: to keep the drink hot for longer, run your cup under hot water for a minute before using it for your cocktails.
The Spiked Chocolate Kiss is a simple and yummy concoction of dark hot chocolate, peppermint schnapps (or liqueur) and a shot of coffee liqueur.
The coffee shot is optional for those who want an extra kick, or you can also make the drink non-alcoholic by replacing peppermint schnapps with mint syrup.
Just remember to garnish with whipped cream or a Hershey’s kiss, and some mint.
The Autumn Chai Warmer is a fantastic recipe I came upon by chance, and its simplicity and deliciousness are remarkable.
Simply brew a cup, or pot, of strong masala chai tea, add some brown sugar and a cinnamon stick, and then add two shots of Baileys to create a rich, spicy and creamy winter cocktail.
The Hot Buttered Rum is my favourite recipe ever.
Mix together a small slice of soft butter with some brown sugar, a dash of allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla extract, at the bottom of a large cup.
Add a shot of dark rum, and top up with hot (not boiling) water.
Stir gently and serve immediately for a smooth and delicious pick-me-up.
Add a lemon or an orange wedge into the ready-made cocktail for a delicious zesty finish.
For the Irish coffee lovers out there, I give you the Boozy Irish Caramel Cream.
Mix a shot each of Baileys and Jameson into a cup of strong coffee, add some butterscotch syrup, and garnish with whipped cream and caramel sauce. This is also delicious when served chilled.
Finally, for that pre-Christmas flat party, I suggest the Jager Mulled Sangria.
Mix a bottle of red or rosé wine with a cup of Jagermeister and fresh pomegranate, passionfruit, orange and lemon slices, and let the mixture infuse for a few hours.
Before your party, boil some cranberry juice and mulled wine spices (such as nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and allspice) in a saucepan with some honey, then add the wine mixture and warm up until simmering.
Serve with cinnamon sticks.
Remember to add your own touches to these, by switching up the spirit for your fave, or with particular garnishes, sprinkles, syrups or herbs that tickle your fancy!
And of course, pair these with snacks and nibbles, such as fruit, nuts, cheeses and breads.
Have a fantastic festive season!