The holidays have come and gone, the parties have wound down, and we now find ourselves nestling into the cold days and long evenings of the new year. For our money, no spirit complements this time better than whiskey. And whiskey does its warming best in a hot cocktail. To that end, here are five toasty, steaming whiskey cocktails to up your cozy factor this winter.
Ginger Hot Toddy
As perhaps the staple of the cold-weather, hot-cocktail universe, the hot toddy holds a central place in any repertoire of winter imbibing. The addition of ginger in this version lends the drink a kick that warms deeply and readies you to face winter head on. Snowball fight, anyone?
2 oz. Pinhook Bourbon
1 cup Water (or less for a stronger drink)
1 oz. Honey
1 oz. Ginger syrup (We like Liber & Co.’s)
.5 oz. Lemon juice
1 Cinnamon stick
01 Boil water
02 Mix water, bourbon, and lemon juice in a mug, then add honey and ginger syrup and stir.
03 Garnish with cinnamon stick.
Hot Old Fashioned
Here we have a staple of cocktail culture in general, adapted for those snug nights in front of the fire. Our version adds orange bitters to the traditional Angostura. Nothing old fashioned about that.
1 tbsp. Demerara sugar
2 oz. Pinhook Bourbon
3 oz. Water
3 dashes Angostura bitters
3 dashes Bittercube Orange Bitters
1 Orange peel
01 In a small saucepan, heat water until it simmers.
02 Add bourbon, sugar, and bitters, and stir.
03 Pour into a mug or heat-safe glass and garnish with orange peel.
Here’s the toastiest, spiciest, most soul-warming cocktail known to man. It involves first making cider in a batch, then doling that cider out by the mugful, mixed with Pinhook Bourbon. (Thanks to Pinhook Master Blender Sean Josephs for creating it.)
1.5 oz. Pinhook Bourbon (per mug served)
9 cup Apple cider
3 cup Water
1 ⅔ cup Fresh sliced ginger
1 Small handful cloves
4 Whole dried juniper berries
12 Cinnamon sticks
1 oz. Whole allspice
.5 cup Maple syrup
01 Slice peels using all 6 lemons.
02 Combine lemon peels and all other ingredients except bourbon in a saucepan and bring to a boil on high heat.
03 Once the cider comes to a boil, immediately remove the pan from the heat and let steep for 25 minutes.
04 Separate spices and lemon peel from the cider with a strainer and either serve immediately or save cider and reheat when ready to serve.
05 Mix cider and bourbon in an individual mug, add cinnamon stick for garnish (optional), and serve.
The original recipe for Irish coffee calls for Irish whiskey. We prefer bourbon. It’s a surprisingly versatile concoction: Make it a dessert, serve it in place of a hot chocolate, or enjoy it as a pick-me-up with a kick. Also great for après-ski, real or imagined.
2 oz. Pinhook Bourbon
1 tbsp. Brown sugar
1 cup Coffee
Heavy cream, to taste
01 Brew coffee.
02 While coffee is brewing, whip the heavy cream until just solid enough to dollop with a spoon.
03 Mix the coffee, brown sugar and bourbon together in a mug and stir.
04 Spoon whipped cream over the coffee, and serve.
There comes a time in the darkest throes of winter when sitting in front of the fire and sipping a hot drink is no longer enough. Enter the Bourbon Blazer, bartender extraordinaire Alec Kass’ unique take on the blue blazer cocktail. It’s a grand finale of a cocktail, so hot it’s flaming, literally. With elements of performance, danger, and drama, it’s just the thing to liven up the sleepiest months of the year.
Before getting started, heed this warning from Kass: “if this is your first time making a blue blazer-styled cocktail, practice pouring water between pots before using any flames. Best to start with them low and close together. With practice you can create a more extravagant stream. And remember, fire and furniture don’t mix well.”
1 tsp. Demerara sugar
2 oz. Pinhook High Proof Bourbon
1 oz. Crème de mûre
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 Whole orange
01 Boil water, then pour into two small pots on the stove. Allow to simmer, then pour out.
02 Preheat a mug with boiling water.
03 Pour 4 oz. of boiling water and sugar into one of the small pots, and the booze and bitters into the other.
04 Using a candle lighter, set the now-warm alcohol aflame and pour in an arc into the small pot containing the boiling water. Repeat the process, pouring back and forth between the two pots—carefully. You should see and hear a stream of blue flame.
05 Extinguish by smothering one of the pans with the bottom of the other, repeat, then pour into a pre-warmed mug and garnish with a fresh twist from the orange.