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Best Winter Drinks

Best Winter Drinks

As residents of CNY, we are no strangers to the harsh realities of winter. For many of us, celebrating and preparing for the holidays distracts us from the gray skies and cold wind outside our windows. This season, take your festivity one step further with classic winter or Christmas alcoholic beverages from across the world. Our writers tried out cozy cocktails from different cultures, and compiled recipes for our favorites:

Photo fromühwein-wein-zimt-alkoholisch-972827/

German Winter Wine

When it gets cold in Germany, it’s about time for German Mulled Wine again. This warm alcoholic drink is probably the reason why most Germans are looking forward to the cold season. Strolling through Christmas markets and drinking a German Mulled Wine is one of their favorite annual traditions. In Germany, the winter wonder is originally called “Glühwein,” which can be literally translated to “Glow Wine.” A few sips of this hot alcoholic drink will heat your cold body from the inside out. If you want to try the taste of Christmas, this winter you can make it easily at home.
What you need:

1 bottle red wine
2 sliced oranges
Juice from 2 squeezed oranges
2 cinnamon sticks
7 cloves
1 star anise
sugar to your taste

How it Works:

Put the wine, the sliced oranges, the orange juice and the spices in a pot and heat it up at a low temperature. It’s very important that it doesn’t cook. Add the sugar and heat it up another again. Next, strain out the orange slices and the spices. Your mulled wine is ready to be served.

You can also add a little bit of rum and cardamom if you’d like.

If you want to find some great wine, read these articles:




Christmas in the Big Apple

New York would not be New York without the red, juicy apples from upstate orchids. If you’re throwing a holiday party, let your cocktail menu change with the seasons and incorporate some crisp apple cider – hot or cold.

Photo by Lindsey McClafferty

Apple Cider Margarita

-Silver tequila
-Apple cider
-Fresh lemon juice


Glass Rim-
On a plate, pour out a tablespoon of ground cinnamon, and a
tablespoon of sugar. Mix with a fork. Wet the rim of your margarita glass, then roll it in your mixture until the rim is covered.

The Drink-
Fill the pocket of your margarita glass with the tequila of your choice. Add two teaspoons of lemon juice, and then fill the remainder of the glass with chilled apple cider.


Recipe adapted from 


Photo by Lindsey McClafferty

Caramel Vodka and Cinnamon Hot Cider

-Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka
-Caramel sauce
-Apple cider
-Whipped Cream


In a mug, drop a spoonful of caramel sauce. Add in your desired amount of Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka (I like to pour out a shot). Fill the remainder of the glass with cider, and sprinkle a layer of ground cinnamon on top. Stir well. Microwave for two minutes. Top off this cozy drink with a mountain of whipped cream, and add cinnamon for garnish.

Now, head to the fireplace!


Korea -Yogurt Soju

Soju is the national alcohol of Korea. It is a clean, pure, scentless and mild version of vodka. But it’s still pretty strong for first-timer. You can turn it into a party drink that goes well with any food within a minute. The only thing you need to do is buy Korean yogurt. (Korean yogurt is thinner and sweeter than other yogurts. A small bottle is pictured above.) If you can’t find it, grab the thinnest yogurt on the shelf. Yogurt soju is not only easy to make, it’s also easy to alter and personalize. Consider adding grapefruit, peach, or blueberry flavors.

-1 bottle of soju (the famous green bottle of soju is
about 12 fl oz)
-Korean yogurt (or other flavor beverage)
-Sprite(or sparkling water)

Put all ingredients in a jar and shake. It’s that simple!

A Chilean Christmas

In Chile, the Cola de Mono, which translates to “monkey’s tail,” is served throughout the Christmas season. The creamy drink resembles a White Russian, a beverage believed to have originated in Belgium. If you’re a coffee fanatic or brandy lover, this may be the holiday drink for you.


-1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
-1/2 cup water
-1/4 cup granulated sugar or to taste
-3 whole cloves
-1 cinnamon stick
-1 tablespoon NESCAFÉ CLÁSICO 100% Pure Instant Coffee Granules                                          -1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-Pinch ground nutmeg
-1 cup Chilean aguardiente, white rum, brandy or vodka


COMBINE evaporated milk, water, sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick in medium saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Add coffee granules; stir to dissolve. Add vanilla extract and nutmeg. Remove from heat. Cool 20 minutes. Remove cloves and cinnamon stick. Add brandy. Pour into empty bottle. Refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours.

TO SERVE: Serve in aperitif glasses for a 2-ounce serving. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

Recipe and directions from Very Best Baking by Nestle.


Jamaican Sorrel Punch

Throughout the Caribbean, punch is the holiday drink of choice. In Jamaica, sorrel punch is commonly served during Christmas time.


-8 cups water
-6 ounces sorrel (dried hibiscus flowers)
-5 ounces sliced fresh ginger
-4 whole cloves
-1 cinnamon stick
-3 scrapes from a whole nutmeg (optional)
-1 cup Jamaican white rum (optional)
-1 to 1 1/2 cups simple syrup
-Juice of 1 orange (about 1/2 cup)
-1 teaspoon lime juice
-Orange slices, for garnish


Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Remove from the heat and add the sorrel, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg if using. Cover and let steep for 1 hour.

Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Discard the dried sorrel and spices.

Add the rum, if using, simple syrup, orange juice, and lime juice to the strained mixture and stir to combine. Transfer to a pitcher or punch bowl filled with ice. Garnish with orange slices before serving in ice-filled cups.

Recipe and directions from

About The Author


This site celebrates the people places, and culture that make Central New York one of the most vibrant and livable regions in the country. From Auburn to Utica, from Syracuse, to Ithaca, this is LivableCNY.

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