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5 best hot cocktails to help survive the freezing cold

By / 01.06.14

Colin Joliat

Colin Joliat

The high temperature in Chicago today is -10°, so many people are stuck inside. What better way to pass the time than by making these 5 hot cocktails? They’re sure to keep people warm when the polar vortex drops the wind chill to -50°.

Spiked Hot Chocolate

Colin Joliat

Colin Joliat

Everyone loves a good cup of hot chocolate, but you can do better than Nestle with mini-marshmallows. Mexican (spicy) hot chocolate and scotch were meant to be together, and I’m not one to keep star-crossed lovers apart. There’s nothing better than Spiked Hot Chocolate in the winter.

Jacques Torres Wicked Hot Chocolate
Bowmore 15-year-old

Instructions: Make hot chocolate as instructed then add 2 oz. scotch. Drink; repeat.

Hot Toddy


<a href="" target="_blank"> MaybeNextWeek</a>

The Hot Toddy is one of the most well known drinks that no one actually knows how to make. You’ve definitely heard of it, but do you know what’s in it? Part of the problem is that everyone makes it a little differently. Being from Michigan, mine obviously involves Vernors ginger ale. They say Toddys help ease a cold or flu, so it’s time to start drinking if you’re feeling under the weather.

1.5 oz Traverse City Whiskey Co. Straight Bourbon
6 oz. cup Vernors ginger ale
1 tbsp honey
1/4 lemon wedges

Instructions: Pour honey in bottom of Toddy glass or mug. Heat Vernors almost to a boil and pour in mug, stirring to dissolve honey. Add whiskey and juice from lemon quarter. Garnish with cloves if you’re feeling frisky.

Tom & Jerry


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Tom & Jerry isn’t just a cartoon about frenemies, it’s also a great cocktail in the winter. Put on your chefs hat though because this one involves some work. Including an egg gives the drink great texture and you an excuse to have it for breakfast. What more could you want out of a cocktail?

1 egg
1/2 oz simple syrup or 1 tsp powdered sugar
1 oz Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum
1 oz Cognac or brandy
Hot milk or hot water
Grated nutmeg for garnish

Instructions: Separate the egg white from the egg yolk and beat them separately. Fold the beaten eggs back together and place into an Irish coffee glass. Add the sugar or simple syrup, dark rum, and brandy. Fill with hot milk or hot water. Stir well, garish with grated nutmeg, and enjoy your breakfast.


Irish Coffee


<a href="" target="_blank">Chezus</a>

The Irish Coffee is probably the most common winter cocktail, or at least it’s the one you’re most likely to order at a bar. Part of the appeal is that it often comes in a coffee mug instead of cocktail glass so people concerned about being judged are more comfortable ordering one at 10am. We’re not here to judge though, so pour yourself a couple.

6 oz. freshly brewed hot coffee
3 oz. Bushmills’ Black Bush Irish whiskey
2 tsp brown sugar
Heavy cream

Instructions: Pour hot coffee in mug. Add whiskey and sugar and stir until dissolved. Carefully pour heavy cream over backside of spoon held just over the drink to form cream layer on top. Drink. Burn yourself. Complain. Drink.

Hot Buttered Rum


<a href="" target="_blank">KitchenTalks</a>

This of the Hot Buttered Rum as Harry Potter for adults. It’s what Butter Beer would taste like if it wasn’t fictional and gross. It’s a little more complicated than most so you probably won’t mix one of these up just for the hell of it. If you have friends over to play GoldenEye 64 all day though, this is the winner.

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch salt
Bottle Bacardi 8 dark rum
Boiling water

Instructions: In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Refrigerate until almost firm. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the butter mixture into mugs as needed. Add about 3 ounces of rum into the mug then topup with boiling water. stir well, and serve immediately.

From Emeril Legasse.

TAGSbest hot cocktailsbest winter cocktailsCocktailcolumnshot buttered rum recipehot toddy recipeirish coffee recipespiked hot chocolate recipetom and jerry recipewinter cocktails
Colin Joliat
About Colin Joliat... Colin Joliat is the 2nd best person to ever come from Flint, Michigan, behind only Andre "Bad Moon" Rison. He covers the food & alcohol industries with two parts information, one part comedy, and one part WTF is wrong with this guy. When not passing off drinking as research, he can typically be found in parks trying to trick people into believing he's funny. Follow him on Facebook.

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