As hospitality experts, COLUMBIA signature loves a good party themed for the season. Winter is the perfect time for cozy and warming drinks to enjoy at a post-New Year’s cocktail party. Here are some delicious suggestions that are easy to prepare and will appeal to a wide group of guests.
Spiced Mulled Wine: This comforting drink has a long history that dates back centuries. One of the earliest recorded instances of mulled wine can be found in the 2nd century in Rome when it was called “concoctum paradoxum.” The Romans would mix heated wine with spices like pepper, saffron, and honey. During the Middle Ages, the addition of spices was not only for flavor but also for their perceived health benefits. Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg were believed to have warming properties and were thought to help fend off illnesses during the winter. Today, mulled wine remains a beloved winter beverage enjoyed around the world. Its warm and aromatic qualities make it a welcome drink during the colder months, and it continues to be a festive tradition in many cultures, particularly during holiday celebrations and winter gatherings.
Ingredients: Red wine, orange slices, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, honey, and a splash of brandy.
Instructions: Simmer the ingredients together on low heat, strain, and serve warm.
Hot Toddy: A hot toddy is a warm and soothing alcoholic drink typically made with a combination of whiskey, hot water, honey, and lemon. It is often garnished with a cinnamon stick or a lemon wedge, and sometimes cloves are added for extra flavor. Widely believed to have originated in Scotland where the term “toddy” refers to a drink made with whiskey, hot water, and sugar, the hot toddy has become a classic and timeless drink enjoyed around the world. It’s not only appreciated for its taste but also for the way it provides warmth and comfort, making it a popular choice for relaxation and relief, particularly during colder months or when someone is feeling under the weather.
Ingredients: Whiskey, honey, lemon juice, hot water, and a cinnamon stick.
Instructions: Mix whiskey, honey, and lemon juice in hot water. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Irish Coffee: Associated with Ireland’s warm hospitality and the comforting appeal of a hot beverage with a kick, Irish coffee is enjoyed worldwide, and variations of the classic recipe abound. It’s a beloved after-dinner drink, especially during colder months, and is often associated with the warmth of Irish hospitality and the convivial atmosphere of Irish pubs.
Ingredients: Irish whiskey, hot coffee, brown sugar, and whipped cream.
Instructions: Pour Irish whiskey and brown sugar into hot coffee. Top with whipped cream.
Chai Eggnog Latte: With any gathering it’s important to offer non-alcoholic options as well, like this delicious blend of chai that includes a jolt of espresso.
Ingredients: Chai tea bags, eggnog, espresso or strong coffee, and nutmeg for garnish.
Instructions: Steep chai tea bags in hot eggnog, add a shot of espresso or strong coffee, and garnish with nutmeg.
Cranberry Orange Mule: This vodka drink is thought to be a variation of a classic Moscow Mule, a beverage traditionally served in a copper mug and consisting of vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. Over time, mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts have experimented with variations to add new flavors and seasonal twists to classic recipes. The addition of cranberry and orange flavors to a Moscow Mule likely reflects a desire to create a festive and refreshing drink, especially during the holiday season. Both cranberries and oranges are commonly associated with winter and holiday flavors.
Ingredients: Vodka, cranberry juice, ginger beer, and fresh orange slices.
Instructions: Mix vodka and cranberry juice over ice, top with ginger beer, and garnish with orange slices.
Warm Apple Cider with Rum: Historical and cultural traditions surround both apple cider and rum and the tradition of combining the two may have started in colonial America, where apple orchards were abundant, and apple cider became a staple beverage. During the colonial period, rum was also readily available and it is plausible that people experimented with combining the two. Today, warm apple cider with rum is enjoyed as a cozy and seasonal drink.
Ingredients: Apple cider, dark rum, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and orange slices.
Instructions: Heat apple cider with cinnamon sticks and cloves. Add dark rum and garnish with orange slices.
Feel free to add your own creative twists to these recipes to suit your taste and the theme of your party. Cheers to a warm and festive post-New Year’s celebration!