It’s no great secret that a bit of bourbon or scotch during the winter does wonders for our internal temperatures, whether before or after shoveling. But while a neat nip will always do the trick, sometimes we crave a few seasonal additions. Here are our picks:
- 3 oz. bourbon
- 6 oz. ginger beer
- Fresh squeezed lime
Those icy copper mugs seemed ubiquitous over the summer, but the fizzy tingle of a Moscow Mule is just as suitable for chillier evenings. Switch out vodka for bourbon to impart distinctive charred oak warmth, and be sure to use ginger beer with plenty of bite.
- 1.5 oz. rye whiskey
- 1 part simple syrup OR 1 sugar cube
- 2 dashes chili or ‘hellfire’ bitters
- Orange slice and cocktail cherry
Pepper-infused bitters will kick this cocktail up a notch, adding a spicy-sweet dimension. The bold flavors of rye are a good match for the chili, and the citrus element provides the acidity that ties it all together. Muddle your bitters and sugar as usual—just don’t rub your eyes after.
Maple Whisky Sour
- 2 oz. scotch
- 1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ½ oz. pure maple syrup
No mix packet required. Just shake up these ingredients with ice for a smoky and tart yet smoothly sweet cocktail that puts a stop to any lingering shivers.
- Punch bowl of hot mulled cider
- Real apple cider
- Fresh citrus (orange & lemon, etc.)
- Spice blend
- Flask of your favorite whiskey
It all starts in the orchard—real cider makes really good wassail. Any bartender knows freshness is paramount, so use just-squeezed and zested citrus before you start the crockpot or stovetop simmer.
For your punch bowl potpourri, it’s best to feel things out—everyone should have their own secret ratio of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, allspice…already, we’ve said too much.
As for the spiking, that one’s up to you. Some just go for a bottle of whiskey straight into the punch bowl, but a sans-alcohol version isn’t going to leave anyone out in the cold. If there are younger wassailers present, a simple tip of the flask into your personal mug provides that extra bit of holiday spirit.