13 Cozy Cocktails for Winter

Hot Butterbeer Cocktail
Photo: Casey Barber

Ditch the ice-cold glass for your favorite mug: It's time to make cocktail hour cozy with these warm drinks. From slow-cooker mulled wine to Irish coffee, these cocktails are delicious drinks. Recipes like our Red-Wine Hot Chocolate and Hot Cider with Apple Brandy & Spices are perfect to snuggle up with on chilly winter nights in.

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Red-Wine Hot Chocolate


If you love red wine and you love chocolate, you'll love this rich, full-flavored red-wine hot chocolate. It's two of your favorite things together in one warm, cozy mug.

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Hot Cider with Apple Brandy & Spices


A natural, cloudy apple cider is delicious for this exotically spicy and aromatic winter warmer, but if you desire a sparkling-clear drink, apple juice can be substituted. Calvados, which is a French apple brandy, adds richness. If you wish to omit it, just add more cider or juice.

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Kahlua Cocoa


While regular hot cocoa is lovely and warming, sometimes something a bit more spirited is in order. Some other tasty additions to hot chocolate: bourbon, creme de menthe, Galliano, creme de cassis, Chambord.

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Slow-Cooker Hot Cider with Brandy


Brew up a batch of warm apple cider with ease in this no-sugar-added drink recipe. The hot toddy stays warm and party-ready in your crock pot all night long.

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Winter Honey Whiskey Cocktail


Stay a little warmer this winter with this riff on a classic hot toddy. Ginger gives this healthy cocktail a pinch of spice.

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Bourbon Hot Cocoa


Chocolate and bourbon? Say no more. Make this delicious hot chocolate recipe from scratch on a cold winter day.

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Irish Coffee

Irish Coffee
Caitlin Bensel

This Irish coffee has just enough sweetness to keep it balanced and delicious. It's just sweet enough without being cloying.

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Baileys & Chambord Spiked Hot Cocoa

Baileys & Chambord Spiked Hot Cocoa
Jamie Vespa, M.S., R.D.

Who doesn't love a good boozy hot chocolate? Here we amped up hot chocolate with Baileys Irish Cream and Chambord, which is a raspberry liqueur. While it's certainly delicious as is, garnish with whipped cream, marshmallows or another favorite topping to take this festive drink to the next level.

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Big-Batch Hot Bourbon Cocktail with Maple & Apple Cider

Big-Batch Hot Bourbon Cocktail with Maple & Apple Cider

Grab a mug and get all the flavors of fall—apple, maple and spices—in this warm mulled cider cocktail. And this version, with a hint of ginger liqueur for extra spice, is just as enjoyable whether you're sipping it around a bonfire or on your couch with a cozy blanket. It's like a New England autumn evening in drinkable form. If you'd like to make this alcohol-free for a family gathering and spike each glass individually, add 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) bourbon and 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) ginger liqueur to each cup of mulled cider.

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Chai Hot Toddy

Chai Hot Toddy

At its heart, a hot toddy is comfort in a mug—a cozy cold-weather sipper that keeps the chill at bay. In this version, chai spices like cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, along with a dash of spiced rum, give the drink even more of a warming feel. Feel free to substitute a more traditional bourbon in place of the rum and to adjust the level of tart lemon to your liking.

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Slow-Cooker Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine
Victor Protasio

A warm tipple like this mulled wine is the perfect antidote to a chilly winter's night. A full-bodied wine with plenty of tannins is best for mulling because it holds its own against the spices.

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Hot Butterbeer Cocktail

Hot Butterbeer Cocktail
Casey Barber

Based on the classic hot buttered rum, this cocktail gets its richness from a saucepan of homemade butterscotch. Don't be intimidated by the process—it's easier than you think. When blended with seltzer, the sweet sauce magically bubbles up into a warming concoction you'll want to drink all winter long.

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Christmas Cider


Chai tea and fruit juices make this festive hot drink a must-serve at your next holiday gathering.

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