It’s time to sit by the fire with a book and a warm drink! Whiskey is a lot more versatile than most people imagine. Warm drinks tend to do really well with a little added whiskey, whether that’s in your apple cider, cherry cider, hot cocoa, tea, or even your holiday coffee! Check out these warm cocktail recipes – including one made with mezcal and one with vodka – that are sure to warm you up from the inside out.

Frey Ranch Bourbon + Honey Hot Chocolate Recipe

2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup of Frey Ranch Straight Bourbon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups of whole milk
4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Method: Heat milk over medium heat until bubbles form on the sides. Over low heat, whisk in chocolate and honey until completely melted. Stir in Frey Ranch bourbon and vanilla until warm. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with baking cocoa.

*Check out our Meet the Makers with Frey Ranch Co-Founder Ashley Frey!

Winter Boulevardier

4 ounces warm cider
2 ounces Blue Run High Rye Whiskey
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes of Orange Bitters

Mix all ingredients in a mug. Enjoy!

Courtesy Miranda “Randi” Densford, bar manager of Barn8 Farm Restaurant & Bourbon Bar

Cowgirl Coffee

8 oz hot coffee
1.5 oz Rittenhouse Rye
2 oz spiced coconut cream
1 oz spiced walnut syrup*
Combine ingredients in a mug and stir. Serve warm.

*Spiced Walnut Syrup

½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water
¼ cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup toasted walnuts
Pinch of salt

In a small saucepan, stir to combine the two syrups, water, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 2 minutes. Add toasted walnuts, stirring to combine, and allow to boil for 2 additional minutes. Remove pan from heat. Stir in pinch of salt. Allow to cool slightly, then serve. For longer storage, cool completely, transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to a month.

Courtesy Katie Tobin, bar manager at New Riff Distilling

How Bout Dem Apples

1.5 oz Martinellis Apple Cider
2 oz New Riff Kentucky Straight Bourbon
.5 oz Cinnamon sugar simple syrup*
¼ lemon juice
¼ oz Braggs apple cider vinegar
¼ oz bourbon maple syrup
¼ oz REAL brand Apple Syrup
*Cinnamon Sugar Simple: Mix equal parts cinnamon sugar and boiling water. Stir to combine, let cool.

Heat cider and bourbon in the microwave, then add syrups and stir to combine. Add lemon juice and apple cider vinegar and stir again. Garnish with dehydrated apple.

*Check out our Meet the Makers about New Riff Assistant Distiller Stephanie Batty!

Courtesy Scott Harris, founder and general manager of Catoctin Creek Distilling Co.

Mulled Hot Rye Cider

½ gallon of apple cider
2 satsuma oranges
1 honey crisp apple
3 cinnamon sticks
10 cloves
Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Whisky

Thinly slice the oranges and apple horizontally. Pour the cider in a large pot and add the slices of fruit, the cinnamon sticks and cloves. Bring to a boil over high heat then lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes until fragrant. Fill up mugs about three quarters full and add about an ounce of rye whiskey to each mug. Garnish with an apple or orange slice, half a cinnamon stick and cloves.

*Check out our Meet the Makers with Master Distiller Becky Harris!

Courtesy Sara Bradley, chef/proprietor of Freight House

The Cocoa Diablo

1.5 oz Xicaru Mezcal Silver
1 oz Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao
4 drops Woodford chocolate bitters
1 tiny pinch ground cayenne pepper
1 cinnamon stick
1 orange slice

Build all ingredients in a glass mug and top with 3-4 oz of boiling water. Tastes just like a Mexican hot chocolate, but is clear.

Courtesy Kentucky Owl

Wise Chai Old Fashioned

2oz The Wiseman Bourbon
0.5oz chai syrup*
2 dashes aromatic bitters

Stir in a mixing glass with ice and strain into Old fashioned glass over ice block, sphere or cubes. Garnish with orange peel, star anise, and smoking cinnamon stick.

*Chai Syrup: Brew one bag of chai tea per cup of water, combine with equal parts sugar and heat until dissolved.

Courtesy Tory Pratt, founder of Pratt Standard Cocktail Company

Smoked Tea Old Fashioned

2.25 oz whiskey
0.5 oz Pratt Standard Earl Grey Vanilla Syrup
2 dashes aromatic bitters
1 cinnamon stick

Add bitters and syrup to the bottom of an old fashioned glass. Swirl the glass to combine. Pack the glass with ice. Pour whiskey over the ice. Stir gently around the inside of the glass, making little to no noise, for 15-20 turns of the barspoon. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

Relax and Recuperation

1.5 oz Source One Vodka Rested in Oak Sherry Casks
1.0 oz Brewed Cascara syrup
0.25 oz Lemon Juice
Hot water

Add the sherry rested vodka, brewed cascara syrup and lemon juice to a toddy glass. Top with hot water. Garnish with an orange twist and cinnamon stick.

*Check out our Meet the Makers about Bently Heritage Distillers Noya Gilmore and Chelsea Hendricks!

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