How to Create Cozy Winter Cocktails

Cocktails come in all shapes and sizes, and even though we adore drinking piña coladas on the beach or sipping an Aperol Spritz on a leisurely summers afternoon, there is a whole genre of winter cocktails for you to explore this season. In this article, we will go over how to prepare a delicious cocktail for the winter, the bartending kit essentials you need, and the top cozy winter flavors. Plus, we also have recipes for a winter cocktail and a boozy hot drink for you to try at home. 

Winter Cocktail Kit Essentials 

Before you can whip up some cozy winter cocktails, grab your essential bar tools! 

If you don’t own anything for shaking up cocktails, we recommend investing in the Barillio Complete Bar Tool Set Pro, which contains 32 useful bar tools, including multiple shakers, strainers, measuring jiggers, an ice scoop, bottle opener, muddler, long spoons, a zester and more. This is the perfect set to make 99.9% of cocktail recipes out there. 

Or go for a smaller complete set with a bamboo stand so you can proudly display your cocktail kit on your bar cart or kitchen countertop. This set comes in silver, gold, black, and rose copper.  
Alternatively, if you like to bring the party with you, the Barillio travel Bartender Kit with Canvas Bag is your best bet.

Top Winter Flavours

Before we dive into some winter cocktail recipes, here are a few of our mixologists’ favorite flavors to include in their cozy cocktails:

  • Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, star anise, nutmeg, and cardamom
  • Maple syrup or honey
  • Fruits like clementine, lemon, apple, cranberry, or pear
  • Candy canes 
  • Peppermint
  • Hazelnut 
  • Dark chocolate 
  • Ginger
  • Coffee
Cozy Winter Cocktails

How to Choose Cozy Spirits

Soon we will offer some suggestions for cozy winter cocktail recipes you can try shaking up at home using your mixology set. However, here are the top base liquors to use if you feel inspired to create your own cocktail menu for a Holiday party:

  • Rum is cozy base alcohol for your winter cocktails as it is sweet and earthy. As rum is aged in oak barrels, you can often get spicy notes with this liquor which works perfectly in a winter cocktail.  
  • Whiskey often gets bad press for being more of an ‘older gentleman’s choice,’ but we think this comforting, malty liquor is a great base for various winter drinks. 
  • Gin is a versatile liquor that you can find with all kinds of aromatics and flavors, such as anise, coriander, orange, and more. Therefore, you can choose a gin brand to compliment your favorite gin cocktails and give them a winter twist. 

You may also wish to pair these base liquors with a liqueur that can enhance the flavor of your winter cocktail or opt for a slightly less alcoholic cocktail using these slightly lower alcohol liqueurs as the base. Some of our favorite liqueurs for wintertime include:

  • Amaretto (a nutty yet sweet liqueur that many people often compare to almonds or marzipan)
  • Baileys Irish Cream (sweet milky liqueur with notes of vanilla and chocolate)
  • Kahlua (coffee liqueur)
Barillio bartending home set

Winter Ready Cocktail Recipes 

Aromatic Apple and Gin Cocktail Recipe

Aromatic Apple and Gin Cocktail Recipe


  • 1 fl oz (approx. 25ml) gin
  • 3 fl oz (approx. 90ml) apple juice
  • 1 tsp  lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 dash  of aromatic bitters
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • Optional: Garnish with a slice of lemon


  • Add all the ingredients to your Barillio shaker with 2-4 cubes of ice.
  • Pop on the lid and shake well for at least 10-15 seconds.
  • Strain and serve in a Whiskey glass with a slice of lemon.
Keyword Gin Cocktail Recipe


  • Use a no-booze gin alternative to make this recipe alcohol-free. 
  • Swap the lemon juice for ½ fl oz of limoncello for a more boozy cocktail. 
  • Similar to our previous Spiced Vanilla Apple Spritzer recipe, you could add ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract to enhance the flavor profile of this cozy cocktail. 

Irish Hot Chocolate 


  • 1 cup (8 fl oz) milk of your choice
  • 2 oz chocolate shavings 
  • 3 fl oz Baileys Irish Cream 


  1. Measure out 2 fl oz milk and heat gently on low heat in a saucepan until warm. 
  2. Add the chocolate shavings and mix thoroughly to combine. 
  3. Add the remaining 6 fl oz milk and stir every 20-30 seconds until you reach your desired temperature (do not let the milk boil, or you may burn the chocolate). 
  4. Use your Barillio jigger to measure the Baileys into your favorite mug. Then carefully pour the hot chocolate into your mug. 


  • Adjust the volume of alcohol to your taste. 
  • You may also prefer to use different alcohol such as rum (about 30ml or 1 fl oz), Kahlua, or peppermint schnapps. 
  • Use milk-free dark chocolate, dairy-free milk (such as oat or hazelnut milk), and opt for the dairy-free Baileys to make this a totally vegan-friendly Irish hot chocolate. 
  • Top with whipped cream or marshmallows. 
Aromatic winter cocktails

More Winter Cocktail Recipes:

Try Dry January with These Tasty Alcohol-Free Swaps

If you want to partake in dry January this winter, here are 5 tasty alcohol-free spirits you can use to recreate your favorite winter cocktails in your Barillio shaker: 

  • Figlia Fiore: Italian alcohol-free drink is often served chilled with orange. But the warming spices and notes of blackcurrant, cranberry, and ginger can also make it a tasty spirit dupe for a chilly winter. 
  • Spiritless Kentucky: nonalcoholic Bourbon dupe is crammed with classic comfort flavors like caramel, oak barrel, and vanilla pods. This 0.5% spirit is great for recreating Whiskey cocktails, including Whiskey Sour or Old Fashioned
  • The Pathfinder Hemp & Root: a warming herbal drink with a rich bitter root beer flavor with undertones of flavorings such as licorice, ginger, and orange peel. 
  • ArKay: spiced alcohol-free rum is great for recipes such as the dark and stormy.
  • MONDAY: finally, a zero-alcohol gin to pair in citrus cocktails, combine with botanical flavors or an earthy syrup.  

Winter Mode Activated

Now you know how to choose cozy winter flavors for your homemade cocktails and make them using your Barillio bartender kit. You can copy one of the winter cocktail recipes from our blog or experiment with your wintertime ingredients to surprise your guests and enjoy a cocktail party at home this winter.

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