Best Winter Cocktails to Try

Who doesn’t enjoy sipping on a nice cocktail on a hot and sunny day while peacefully sunbathing on the beach? But why wait until your next summer holiday to treat yourself to a glass of fine mixed drink? There are many cocktails which can be consumed throughout the entire year and others which were created namely for cold-weather days. In fact, the choice of winter cocktail drinks is so impressive that you will not be able to taste all of them in the span of just one winter. But worry not because we have a deep understanding when it comes to mixed alcoholic drinks and we will offer you a deep insight into the best winter cocktails that you can find out there.



The essence of a true winter cocktail

If you are a newbie to the world of cocktail drinks, you may have a hard time spotting the differences between mixed drinks that are suitable for the warmer days of the year and other that can be enjoyed even during the freezing winter. However, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to master that skill. You only need to familiarize yourself with some really basic facts about cocktails. First of all, you need to remember that they are three main types of mixed drinks. Those include shots, short and long cocktails. Out of them, long cocktails are traditionally viewed as summer-time drinks. That is because their main purpose is to offer some quick refreshment to the person who is drinking them. As a result, they contain less alcohol compared to both shots and short cocktails.

Basic types of cocktails

Cocktail type

How are they served

Best way to drink them


Long cocktails

In a big glass and with a lot of ice and often with a straw. Alcohol volume tends to be low.

Slowly and with a straw in order to feel more refreshed.

Long Island, Tequila Sunrise, Bloody Mary, Cuba Libre, Sea Breeze

Short or strong cocktails

In a smaller glass ranging between 50 ml and 120 ml. Alcohol volume is higher compared to that in long cocktails and can reach up to 45%.

With or without a straw or a stick. Often times, however, the straw or the stick are used only for is.

Caipirinha, Daiquiri, Bellini, Black/White Russian

Shots or Shooters

In small (shot) glasses (40 ml – 60 ml). Can be served as a side drink to another mixed alcoholic drink.

Without a straw or a stick and in one gulp.

Coffee shooter, B-52, Mind Eraser, Kamikaze, Four Horsemen, Snake Bite


white russian cocktail

Pictured: White Russian

The next thing you should remember about cold-weather cocktails is that usually, they contain a greater volume of alcohol. The main reason for that is that the higher your alcohol intake is, the warmer you are likely to feel during the freezing days of the winter. Last but not least, do not assume that winter mixed drinks are always served hot. Many of the cocktails which are suitable for the cold-weather season are actually served cold or even with ice.

Best winter cocktails

It is tricky to pick just a few winter cocktails for this list because different people prefer different types of mixed alcoholic drinks. That is why we will explore the best among the best in a few separate categories. In that way, you will have an easier time finding your own all-time favorite winter cocktail.

Cocktails with winter-inspired names

Some lounge and cocktail bars feature a special selection of winter-themed cocktails to their menu which customers always appreciate. So, if you are feeling in a festive mood, you can try Winter Wasteland. This is a sweet yet strong drink that includes Baileys, spiced rum and fireball and it is served in a glass with a candy cane rim. Ginger the Grinch is yet another winter cocktail with a winter-inspired name and it is quite refreshing as it features:

  • Ginger syrup

  • Ginger brandy

  • Candied ginger

  • Amaretto

Both of these cocktails rank not only among the best winter mixed drinks but also among the best cocktails in Philadelphia and they are served in the Mad Rex entertainment experience restaurant.

Cocktails you can only drink in the winter

Looking for a drink that is exclusive only to the winter? Ask the bartender for a hot cocktail. A truly classic choice here would be Buttered Rum. It has a sweet taste and it is probably one of the oldest and most popular hot cocktails you can enjoy. Its ingredients include:

  • Unsalted butter

  • Brown sugar

  • Ground cinnamon

  • Ground nutmeg

  • Dark rum

  • Ground ginger

  • Boiling water

  • Vanilla extract or grated orange zest

If you add some Angostura bitters in it, you will also get the winter version of yet another classic cocktail – Old Fashioned.

buttered rum cocktail

Pictured: Buttered Rum

Another hot cocktail you can try out this winter is the Cardinal. The ingredients tend to vary but it most of the cases it includes at least one type of strong liqueur. You can use anything from spiced wine to herbal liqueur depending on your personal preferences. Also, you should add some sugar and crème de cassis and voila! If you are a chocoholic, you can also throw about 50g of quality dark chocolate and some milk in the mix.

If you are looking for a year-round winter cocktail, you should go with a classic Irish Coffee or with a delicate drink like a slow-cooker mulled wine with cranberries, for instance. Both of them will keep you warm but the first one is more refreshing while the second one tends to be a gentle and relaxing drink.

irish coffee cocktail

Pictured: Irish Coffee

Non-alcoholic winter-time cocktails

Not a big fan of alcohol? No problem! You can simply opt for a non-alcoholic mixed drink. One excellent choice here is the mulled cranberry apple cider. It is served warm and it is a great drink for parties as it is appreciated even by guests who are generally picky. Other amazing cold-weather cocktails for non-drinkers include ginger honey lemon tonic, caramelized white hot chocolate and rosemary citrus spritzer.

Ok, now that you know so much about winter cocktails, it is time for you to enjoy one or two in the company of your friends.

Video on Winter Cocktail Tutorial