The Holidays and winter are upon us. So much comes with this beautiful season-sledding and skis in drifts of snow, cookie baking and Christmas decorating, afternoons spent making snowmen and snow angels, or a lazy afternoon curled up in front of a roaring fire. After the holidays pass, we still have a few months full of snow, shorter days, and the need for something to warm us up from the inside out.
Seasonal cocktails and mocktails, warm and cold, add some spice and warmth to the winter days and nights. Be it a festive holiday party, a day on the slopes, or just a cozy evening by the fire, these winter drinks will warm you to your core and brighten up your winter nights.
1. Maple Drinks
This hot drink is perfect to warm you up through fall and winter. Spicy, sweet, and warming all the way through, it’s wonderful for a holiday celebration or to warm you up after an afternoon in the snow. Now, you can buy it in the store and add maple syrup or you can take the time to make it yourself. This is easy and you can control the spice and sweetness to your pleasure.
You will need:
- 6 apples, quartered and halved (use a mixture of honey crisp, fuji and granny smith)
- 1 orange, quartered
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- A few whole cloves
- 2 whole or partial Star Anise pods (optional)
- 4 cups of water or apple juice (unsweetened)
- ¼ to ½ cup Droscha Maple syrup*
Put all the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Strain cider to remove apples, orange quarters, and spices. Serve hot and garnish with a cinnamon stick and a thin slice of orange. Spike your cider with a shot of Bourbon for extra warmth.
*Use maple syrup to sweeten to your liking. For a traditional maple flavor, use Droscha Maple Syrup. For a deeper flavor, use Droscha Cherry Maple syrup. You could also use Droscha Bourbon Maple Syrup for a subtler sweetness.
2. Apple Cider Martini
This drink uses cider from our previous recipe, chilled and spiked with vodka or gin. This is a lovely fall and winter cocktail to serve at holiday gatherings.
You will need:
- 2 oz Vodka or Gin
- ½ oz of Cinn-a-Maple Syrup
- 3 oz Maple Apple Cider
- 2 T. sugar
- ¼ t. cinnamon
Mix cinnamon and sugar on a plate. Moisten the rim of your glass with some apple cider and dip the rim of the glass in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Combine Ice, Vodka or Gin, Cinn-a-Maple Syrup, and Maple Apple Cider in a cocktail shaker and shake. Pour into rimmed glass and serve with a garnish of thinly sliced apples.
3. Maple Old Fashioned
This take on a classic old-fashioned gives the drink a little extra flavor and depth, elevating the cocktail for the holiday season. This is the perfect nightcap on a dark winter evening.
You will need:
- 2 oz Bourbon
- 1t. to 1 T. Droscha Maple Syrup or Droscha Cinn-a-maple Syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
- Slice of Orange
- Cinnamon Stick
Add Maple Syrup, Bourbon, bitters, ice, and a splash of water (or no water if you like it stronger) to an old-fashioned glass. Stir to dissolve syrup. Garnish with cinnamon stick and orange slice or peel.