The holidays are here and that means cuddling by a fire and warming up from the inside out with something hot to drink. We're used to the mulled wines, hot apple ciders, and classic hot toddys, but for the hostess who wants to really impress her holiday party guests, this is the season to try a more adventurous hot cocktail.
For a simple upgrade, add an extra kick to your egg nog by adding 1.5 oz of the spirit of your choice and garnishing with a dusting of nutmeg and some orange zest, says Spike TV's Bar Rescue expert Mia Mastroianni. And to perfectly spike your homemade apple cider (2 quarts of cider, 3 cinnamon sticks, 6 whole cloves, an orange sliced into thin wheels, and optional small piece of ginger simmered in a saucepan on low heat), she suggests adding 1.5 oz of spiced rum or bourbon to your seasonal mug. "One of my favorite things to do is keep a pot of cider mulling on the stovetop—it makes the house smell wonderful, and it's incredibly easy to prep."
But if you're looking to go for something more novel and dazzling, check out our favorite hot cocktail recipes below, from a ginger hot toddy to lavender-spiked hot cocoa—plus what to add to your shopping list so you're always ready to pour.
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Step 1: Stock Your Fridge
All of these cocktails are a breeze if you add a few bar-back staples to your food-stocked fridge. Mastroianni suggests keeping mixed juices, egg nog, apple cider, citrus fruits, and cherries in your fridge and cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves, star anise, and cardamom in your spice cabinet over the holiday season. Now you're ready to make these warming drinks...
Bar Goto Hot Toddy
This Japanese-inspired hot toddy will knock the reindeer socks off of your unsuspecting holiday guests. A mix of apple, ginger, and yuzu make this cocktail a standout.
Maman Lavendar Hot Chocolate
Instead of loading up your holiday drinks with cinnamon and nutmeg alone, try adding in a subtle hint of aromatic flowers with this spiked lavender hot chocolate from Maman, the French-inspired café in Manhattan.
By Chloe Eggless Egg-Nog
Into the idea of eggnog but just can't stomach the raw eggs? Same. Try out this vegan no-egg-nog cocktail recipe from By Chloe instead. It features turmeric and pumpkin pie spice for a special kick.
Flaming Hot Toddy
A spiced-up take on the original hot toddy, this hot cocktail from our friends at Experimental Cocktail Club with nutmeg, rosemary infused honey, tonka bean, an orange slice, and more makes for the perfect full-bodied cocktail.
The Eddy Mulled Cider
This Chinese-inspired ginger-infused take on the hot toddy from RedFarm in NYC is a great cure-all for all your winter ailments like the ever-common sniffles. Plus, it's super easy to make and delicious.