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Raise your spirits with winter cocktails

Time:2017-01-08 07:49wine - Red wine life health Click:

Spirits Your with cocktails winter

Nothing may be more pleasurable at day's end than a well-crafted cocktail. The clink of ice on glass, the magical mix of sweet, sour and alcoholic - it's a great way to unwind and be merry, especially during the holiday season.

But who says a great drink has to be cold?

This time of year, when Jack Frost nips at more than just your toes, warm cocktails just might be the thing to heat you back up from the inside.

But don't just take this mulled cider lover's word for it; take it from a professional.

"When you come in from the cold chill you get here in Pittsburgh, there's nothing better than a hot toddy, Irish coffee or mulled wine," says bartender extraordinaire Sean Enright of Pittsburgh's Tiki Lounge and the after-hours Carrick Literary and Social Association.

Warm mugs of boozy coffee or citrus-spiced wine are not just the stuff of a ski vacation. They can be had during staycations, too. You don't have to be a mixologist to create a winning winter cocktail or haul out any special equipment. In fact, some of the best winter sippers can be done in three steps: pour, stir, enjoy.

For larger gatherings, where making many individual drinks could be a drag, nothing beats a large pot of red wine mulled with a few ounces of cognac, slices of citrus, cinnamon sticks and dash of peppercorn. It's easy, relatively inexpensive and ladles up a dose of antioxidants.


Raise your spirits with winter cocktails

O'Halloran's Blarney Buster 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS photo


This cocktail (pictured right) was the first-place winner of the Jameson Irish Cocktail Contest held in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, in March 1983, the whiskey maker's first event in the Pittsburgh market. It's a boozier version of the warm drink made famous in the winter of 1943 by Limerick chef Joe Sheridan.

Preheat a mug by pouring scalding hot water into it to prep it, then pour it out.

1 1/2 ounces Jameson Irish Whiskey

1/2 ounce Bailey's Irish Cream

1/2 ounce Kahlua

1/2 ounce Grand Marnier

Hot coffee

Whipped cream and creme de menthe, for garnish

"Build" the drink by pouring the whiskey, Irish cream, Kahlua and Grand Marnier directly into the pre-warmed mug. Give a quick a stir to integrate flavors and add black coffee to fill. Top with whipped cream and color with a little bit of green crème de menthe.

- "Pittsburgh Drinks: A History of Cocktails, Nightlife & Bartending Tradition," by Cody McDevitt and Sean Enright


Warm and toasty, a hot toddy (pictured above) requires just a handful of ingredients: a base liquor, honey, lemon, and tea or boiling water. Revel + Roost's version features rum and brandy sweetened with allspice honey syrup.

1 1/2 ounces spiced rum

1/4 ounce apricot brandy

1/4 ounce allspice honey syrup (recipe follows)

Hot water

Lemon zest for garnish

Into a footed mug, pour rum, brandy and allspice honey syrup. Top off with hot water, and garnish with a lemon zest.

Makes 1 cocktail.

- Revel + Roost


Raise your spirits with winter cocktails

Spotted Pig Mulled Wine 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS


This classic mulled wine (pictured right) from New York's Spotted Pig is a spicy, citrusy way to warm up your loved ones. Avoid boiling the mixture.

4 bottles of red wine

1 orange, sliced into wheels

1/2 lemon, sliced into wheels

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out

4 cinnamon sticks

4 bay leaves

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

3/4 teaspoon whole allspice berries

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 cups superfine sugar

3 ounces cognac

Combine wine, orange and lemon wheels, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, vanilla bean pod and seeds, peppercorns, allspice, red pepper flakes and sugar in a large pot. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add cognac. Ladle into warmed punch cups. Garnish with orange wheels. Serves 12 to 14.

- "Cocktails for the Holidays: Festive Drinks to Celebrate the Season" by editors of Imbibe Magazine


This spicy cocktail is a signature apres-ski drink at Seven Springs Mountain Resort. It features Tall Pines Distillery Caramel Moonshine from Tall Pines Distillery in Salisbury, Somerset County.

Cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon)

1 ounce moonshine

Hot apple cider

Cinnamon stick, for garnish

Rim a glass mug with cinnamon sugar. Add 1 ounce moonshine. Fill mug with hot apple cider, then stir ingredients with a cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 drink.

- Seven Springs


1 cup water

1 cup honey

1 ounce fresh allspice berries, ground

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