Patricia Noonan shares some of her favourite holiday cocktail recipes…

When the winds begin to blow colder and the snow starts to fall, it’s time to think about entertaining both guests and ourselves with winter warming drinks. While these  are designed with seasonal events in mind, they are certainly good for a cozy night in by the fire. For holiday gatherings, it’s a treat to have a pot simmering on the stove, filling the air with aromas of spice. Better yet, use a crockpot, tea pot or carafe to keep serving simple. These winter warmers are great for friendly get-togethers and seasonal sports like après ski, après shopping and après holiday wrapping!

Hot Apple Spiced Rum

Combine ingredients in order above. Heat in pot or crock pot and serve. Garnish glasses with an apple wedge. While you can use your rum of choice, El Dorado Demerara rum has a rich, full flavoured taste profile that accentuates the spiced cider.

Hot Gin Punch

The hot gin punch is actually a recipe unearthed from Dickensian times, and would have been typical for a Christmas event.

  • 3 teacups of your preferred gin (Brokers, Hendrick’s, or the latest, Reid’s Spiced gin)
  • 3 cups Madeira wine
  • 3 cloves
  • A pinch grated nutmeg
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 large lemon twists
  • 1  orange slice
  • 3 slices of pineapple
  • 4 tablespoons of honey
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Dash of water to taste.

Combine all of the ingredients in a pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Pour into a teapot and serve hot in fancy teacups. Makes six to eight servings.

Wiser’s Spicy Hot Toddy

  • 1.5 oz Wiser’s Spiced Canadian Whisky
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 lemon wheel

Add all ingredients to a  coffee mug. Top with hot water. Makes one drink.

Baileys Coffee

Finally, the easiest drink is  made with Bailey’ Irish Cream.

  • 1 6 oz mug of freshly brewed coffee
  • 1.5 oz Baileys Irish Cream
  • Pour the Baileys into a hot mug of coffee.

Cheers! Keep warm!

Patricia Noonan is a Toronto based food and drinks writer and educator. Follow her on Twitter at @lovetoeatndrink.