Traditional recipes

5 Spicy Cocktails to Warm You Up

5 Spicy Cocktails to Warm You Up

Booze, spice, and everything nice

Despite the freak snowstorm in October, this time last November we found ourselves walking outside to warmth, sunshine, and no snow in sight. This year, late fall is as it should be: chilly, windy, and bitter enough that a light jacket will not do. As the seasons change, so does our change of pace when it comes to the cocktails in which we indulge.

The upcoming late autumn and winter months are begging for drinks that will warm up your chilled bones. Swap out the late-summer and early-fall flavors of cucumber and strawberry for blackberry and cherry, and throw in flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Don’t be afraid to kick it up a notch with some truly hot add-ins, too. Spicy ingredients like jalapeño peppers, cayenne, and even serrano chiles will keep those insides nice and toasty. With these late fall-friendly ingredients, we can mix up some truly warming cocktails, each with a nice spice to keep you chill-free on colder nights.

Below are a few spicy cocktails to warm you up. All feature the most seasonal of ingredients and the best spices with which to warm up. Cheers, and happy cocktailing!

Click here for recipes for a spiced rum punch and more.

— Sara Kay, The

5 Wine Cocktails to Warm You up This Winter

Whether you’re raising your glass over Zoom or with your close family at home, wine cocktails can bring some much-needed enjoyment to you this winter.

Even though winter gatherings will be smaller or around a laptop instead of the dinner table, it's still important to connect with each other and have fun however we can.

Winter wine cocktails are great because they feel like a special treat and use ingredients that will warm up your soul. Share the recipes with your friends and family and meet up for a virtual or social distanced cocktail hour.

These wine cocktails feel fancy and like a special treat but are super easy to make. There is a recipe here for every kind of palate.

Cheers to getting through the winter with wine cocktails and warm boozy concoctions!

1. Red Wine Hot Chocolate
Decadent, delicious. Wine and chocolate are even better together!


1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup Baco Noir by Snow Farm Vineyard
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoons sugar, optional
1/4 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt

    • Combine the chocolate chips, wine, milk, and sugar (if using), in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate chips are melted.
    • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Pour into mugs. Serves 1-2.

    1.5 oz. Bourbon or Rye
    .5 - 1 oz. Fox Hill Maple
    Orange peel

      • Pour the bourbon/rye over ice, add Fox Hill Maple wine.
      • Garnish with an orange peel and sprinkle cinnamon on top.

      Recipe courtesy of Connor Decker of Snow Farm Vineyard.

      3. Holiday Sangria
      The cranberries and raspberries make this sangria feel festive.

      1 bottle Rose Red by Snow Farm Vineyard
      2-3 cups cranberries and raspberries
      12-24 oz. of tonic water or seltzer

      Combine the fruit and red wine in a pitcher. Top with seltzer water.

      Recipe courtesy of Connor Decker of Snow Farm Vineyard.

      4. Mulled Wine
      It’s hard not to fall in love with a warm mug of wine that is full of the flavors of winter.

      1 bottle of Leon Millot by Snow Farm Vineyard
      1 orange, peeled and sliced into rounds
      8 whole cloves
      2 cinnamon sticks
      2 star anise
      2–4 tablespoons maple syrup to taste

      optional add-in: 1/4 cup brandy (or your favorite liqueur)
      optional garnishes: citrus slices (orange, lemon and/or lime), cinnamon sticks

        • Combine all of the ingredients in a crock pot.
        • Cook the mulled wine on LOW (to avoid letting it come to a bowl and the alcohol burning off), cover, and let the wine simmer on low for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.
        • Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, discard the orange slices, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise.
        • Add extra maple syrup if desired.
        • Serve warm in heatproof mugs, topped with your favorite garnishes.

        1/3 Cranberry Juice
        1/3 American Riesling or Vidal Blanc by Snow Farm Vineyard
        1/3 Sparkling water

          • Mix all ingredients together
          • Add cranberries, diced apples and rosemary for "festiveness"

          Recipe adapted from Kaily Mae (@heykailymae on Instagram)

          We hope these beverages brought a little wonder and enjoyment to your winter days!

          60+ Winter Cocktails That'll Warm the Cockles of Your Heart

          When the nights get long and the cold air starts biting we tend to find ourselves with two often competing goals: Get all the holiday shopping done and stay warm at all times. If you need help with the former, we have some last-minute ideas. For the second, nothing beats a warm fire, a big comfortable sweater, and a stiff cocktail. While the first to are up to you, we can help you with the second, and we've rounded up the best winter drinks around. These weekend relaxers will help get you in the holiday spirit, keep Christmas feeling festive, or just get you through a really snowy evening when it's far too cold to go out. Whether you're looking to serve a new Christmas cocktail at your holiday celebration, whip up something special for the kids during Christmas brunch, or just have something to sip on while you wrap gifts, we've got the perfect concoction for you.

          Up your hot chocolate recipe game with a to-die-for salted caramel hot chocolate you can make in your slow cooker (yes, really!), or try our pink-tinted white hot chocolate that'll be Instagrammed by all your family members on Christmas Day. Or, switch up your usual eggnog recipe with our gingerbread eggnog instead&mdashyou won't regret it. All of these winter drinks will complement your Christmas dinner menu and holiday dessert spread excellently&mdashbut sometimes, they're best enjoyed all on their own under the Christmas tree.

          Grilled (or broiled) oranges add both smoky depth and citrusy tang to this classic warming winter drink.

          Hennessy Hot Cocoa

          Arx0nt / Moment / Getty Images

          A great Cognac, a spiced syrup, and a little vanilla are a brilliant way to improve your hot chocolate. You'll find all of those elements in this Hennessy hot cocoa recipe. It comes together quickly, so you'll be sitting down with a cozy cocktail before you know it.

          Turn Classic Mixed Drinks Into Spicy Cocktails

          The classics are the perfect base to make a spicy cocktail.

          Sizzling Sidecar

          If you want to add some flames to your sidecar, incorporate a little chili syrup into your regular recipe.


          • Orange wedge
          • Sugar
          • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
          • ¼ ounce chili-infused simple syrup
          • ½ ounce orange-flavored liqueur
          • 2 ounces Cognac
          • Ice
          • Orange twist for garnish


          1. Run an orange wedge around the rim of a chilled coupe and dip the rim in sugar. Set aside.
          2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the lemon juice, chili syrup, orange liqueur, and Cognac.
          3. Add ice and shake for about ten seconds.
          4. Strain into the sugared coupe glass and garnish with an orange twist.

          Jalapeño Lime Rickey

          This unusual combination of jalapeño and limes makes for a perfectly balanced spicy cocktail.


          • ¾ ounce simple syrup
          • 1 jalapeño, sliced
          • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
          • 1½ ounce London dry gin
          • Ice
          • Club soda
          • Lime wedge


          1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the simple syrup and 3 or 4 jalapeño slices.
          2. Add the lime juice, gin, and ice. Shake to chill.
          3. Strain into a collins glass filled with ice and top with club soda.
          4. Garnish with a lime wedge and additional jalapeño slices.

          Red Hot Old Fashioned

          If you want to pack in a little spice into your regular old fashion, add some walnut bitters and chili pepper syrup.


          • 2 orange slices
          • ¾ ounce chili pepper simple syrup
          • Dash walnut cocktail bitters
          • 2 ounces bourbon
          • Ice
          • Orange peel for garnish


          1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the orange slices, chili pepper syrup, aand bitters. Add bourbon and ice and shake until chilled.
          2. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
          3. Garnish with an orange peel.

          Lime-Chili-Cucumber G&T

          This gin and tonic recipe balances a red pepper garnish with a few cucumber slices for a fresh, multi-flavored drink.


          • Lime wedge
          • Chili powder mixed with coarse salt
          • 2 ounces tonic water
          • ½ cucumber, sliced
          • 1 ounce gin
          • Ice
          • Lime wheel for garnish


          1. Run the lime wedge around the rim of a collins glass and dip it in the chili powder and salt mixture.
          2. In a mixing glass, muddle the cucumber slices with the lime wedge. Add the gin and ice and stir.
          3. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Top with the tonic water.
          4. Garnish with the lime wheel.

          Santa Fe Tom Collins

          The classic Tom Collins gets a spicy upgrade with this recipe that adds chili powder and cilantro.


          • 1 teaspoon chili powder
          • 2 cilantro sprigs
          • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
          • 1 ounce simple syrup
          • 2 ounces gin
          • Club soda
          • Ice
          • Lime wheel


          1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the chili powder, cilantro sprigs, lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin. Add ice and shake.
          2. Strain the mixture into a collins glass filled with ice.
          3. Top with club soda, and garnish with a lime wheel.

          Kicking Moscow Mule

          This spiced Moscow mule is a great alternative to the regular recipe, as it muddles a habanero for some serious heat.


          • 2 lime wedges
          • 1 habanero, seeded and sliced
          • 2 ounces vodka
          • Ice
          • Ginger beer
          • Mint sprig for garnish


          1. In the bottom of a mule mug, muddle the lime wedges and habanero slices.
          2. Add vodka, lime juice, and ice. Stir well.
          3. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a mint sprig.

          Caliente Bloody Maria

          Anyone who's a fan of the bloody Mary should try this tequila-based variation, which has a kick of horseradish and hot sauce. It's a must for weekend brunches.


          • 2½ ounces tequila
          • 1 teaspoon horseradish
          • 4 dashes Tabasco or other hot sauce
          • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
          • Juice of ½ a lime
          • 2 dashes celery salt
          • 4 dashes pepper, plus additional for garnish
          • Tomato juice
          • Celery stalk for garnish
          • Lemon and/or lime wedge with olive for garnish


          1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the tequila, horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, celery salt, pepper, and tomato juice.
          2. Shake well to mix and chill.
          3. Strain over fresh ice into a highball glass and garnish with celery stalk and citrus wedge.
          4. Add another dash of black pepper if desired.

          Spicy Bloody Mary

          The brunch-time favorite takes on a full-bodied flavor with this spicy version chock-full of chili powder and spicy tomato-vegetable juice.


          • 1 lime wedge
          • Chili powder
          • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
          • ½ ounce pickle juice
          • 2 ounce spicy tomato-vegetable juice
          • 2½ ounces vodka
          • Ice
          • 1 celery stick


          1. Take a highball glass and rub the rim with a lime wedge. Dip it into a plate full of chili powder to coat the rim.
          2. In a cocktail shaker, combine all the ingredients. Add ice and shake to chill.
          3. Strain into the highball glass full of ice and garnish with a celery stick.

          Mojito en Fuego

          This drink is not for the faint of heart, and you can also add sweet fruit juices such as mango or strawberry to help tame the heat.


          • 10 mint leaves
          • Half a lime cut into slices
          • 2 teaspoons sugar
          • 2 ounces light rum
          • Seltzer water
          • 2-3 slices of jalapeño, depending on desired spice level
          • Orange wheel and jalapeño slice for garnish


          1. In a collins glass, muddle the mint, lime, jalapeños, and sugar.
          2. Add ice, then pour the rum over the ice.
          3. Top with seltzer water and garnish with the orange wheel and jalapeño slice.

          Piquant Paloma

          The fruit juices in this spicy paloma recipe give your mouth a respite from the heat of the jalapenos.


          • Lime wedge
          • Coarse salt mixed with chili powder
          • ½ ounce agave nectar
          • Jalapeño, sliced
          • ¼ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
          • ½ ounce grapefruit juice
          • 1½ ounce tequila
          • Ice
          • Grapefruit sparkling water


          1. Run a lime wedge around the rim of a rocks glass. Dip the rim into the chili powder and salt mixture.
          2. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the jalapeño and agave nectar.
          3. Add the lime juice, grapefruit juice, and tequlia. Add ice and shake to chill.
          4. Strain into the prepared rocks glass, filled with ice.
          5. Top with grapefruit sparkling water. Garnish with the lime wedge and a jalapeño slice.

          9. Glühwein

          Prep time: 10 minutes

          Total time: 30 minutes, including time to simmer

          You may not be able to wander the Christmas markets this year, but you certainly can whip up your own glühwein at home. The German mulled wine simmers on the stove with spices and orange juice and zest, filling the house with a festive scent. For an authentic experience, drink it out of a kitschy boot-shaped mug or, at the very least, while wearing your coziest house scarf.

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          10. Mulled Gin

          Prep time: 5 minutes

          Total time: 13 minutes

          Mulled wine is fine and all, but what if you’re more of a gin enthusiast? You’re in luck, because mulled gin is a thing, and it’s like Christmas in a glass. The botanical notes of the gin really mingle well with the sweetness of apple juice and Christmas-y spices.

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          11. Blood Orange French 75

          Prep time: 5 minutes

          Total time: 5 minutes

          With their peak freshness hitting from December to March, blood oranges are an ideal ingredient for winter cocktails. This version of a French 75 swaps out lemon juice for blood orange juice, which gives the cocktail a pretty orange hue. Between the color, the orange flavor and the bubbles, it feels like drinking a grown-up version of Orange Crush.

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          12. Vodka Hot Toddy

          Prep time: 5 minutes

          Total time: 7 minutes

          Hot toddies aren’t just for whiskey/bourbon drinkers. This version combines plain or honey vodka with cider and warming spices, and it comes together without a lot of effort. We recommended serving this toddy in a mug that’s been heated first with hot water or a tiny scarf. That way, the drink will stay hot for a longer period of time.

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            or honey vodka
        • Freshly grated ginger
        • Cinnamon
        • Freshly grated nutmeg
        • Fresh lemon juice
        • Honey
        • Garnish: cinnamon stick, apple slice or lemon wheel
        • 13. Cocoa Buie II

          Prep time: 2 minutes

          Total time: 7 minutes

          Whether you’re après ski or après cold commute, this decadent drambuie hot cocoa is for you. Make your life easy and grab a cocoa mix from the store—just don’t forget the all-important tiny marshmallows.

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          Do you have the Gopuff app yet? Download it from the Apple Store or Google Play to make ordering even easier. Make sure to follow Gopuff on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

          Irish Coffee

          We realize most people have a pretty good idea as to how to add whiskey to coffee—but the first time we were served this style of boozy coffee, with thick cream carefully spooned on top, we never looked back.

          • 4 oz good coffee (we use a long shot of espresso)
          • 2 oz Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey
          • 3 oz thick cream*

          Notes: We picked Black Bush here because it’s a really great value and hidden gem in the Irish whisky category. Truth is, though, that almost any whisky does the trick—as do a lot of other spirits. You just can’t call it “Irish” anymore.

          Instructions: Pour whiskey and coffee into clear, heat-proof coffee mug. Carefully spoon thick cream on top to make an even layer.

          *Thick cream is really just sweetened whipped cream that’s not fully whipped and is still a little runny. To make, add three ounces of 35 percent cream, one teaspoon of fine granulated sugar, a tiny pinch of salt and a couple of drops of vanilla to a bowl and whip until thick but not stiff.

          El Chingon, a "Bad Ass" Mexican restaurant located in San Diego’s bustling Gaslamp Quarter, is designed to capture the spirit of Mexican revolutionary, Pancho Villa, and his pistoleros. Each margarita comes with the choice of tequila, mezcal, sotol or raicilla. El Chingon's signature cocktail is the Madero: Azunia blanco tequila, house-made watermelon cordial, chimoy and tajin rim.

          Spicy Cocktails You Can Make At Home To Warm Up Your Winter

          Spicy cocktails are the next big thing. Why you ask? Because they are different and open up a huge window to experiment with flavours. Any booze can be used as the base as long as you get the flavours right. Here’s five easy to make spicy cocktail recipes. Try them out for yourself, and you will see why they are catching on!

          Cucumber makes the drink refreshing while the gin makes it just right for all its lovers. Brownie points to the spicy twist.

          What you’ll need:

          • 120 ml gin
          • 480 ml lemonade
          • pinch of cayenne pepper
          • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
          • 8 thin slices cucumbers
          • Ice


          1. Fill two high ball glasses with ice cubes
          2. Add the gin, lemonade, cayenne and 4 slices of thinly sliced cucumber and some lemon wedges
          3. Stir well and serve immediately

          First of all, bourbon is perfect for winters. Secondly, the honey ginger twist makes it really really delicious. It’s the perfect balance of sweet, sour and bitter.

          What you’ll need:

          • 5 tbsp bourbon
          • 2 tbsp ginger liqueur
          • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
          • 1 tbsp simple syrup
          • 1/4 tsp bitters
          • Crushed ice
          • Orange slices
          • Fresh mint sprig
          • 1/3 cup ginger beer


          1. Stir the first 5 ingredients together
          2. Fill 1 glass or Mason jar with crushed ice
          3. Pour bourbon mixture over ice
          4. Top with ginger beer
          5. Garnish, if desired and serve immediately

          This chile pepper, lime and cachaça cocktail captures the true spirit of Brazilian Carnavals. It’s exotic and tropical, and the spicy twist makes it all the more delicious. This drink might not be everyone’s glass of cocktail, but it’s absolutely worth a try.

          What you’ll need:

          • 15 ml Agave nectar
          • 3 chile pepper slices
          • 3 lime wedges
          • 60 ml Leblon Cachaça
          • 30 ml lime juice
          • 1 pinch salt
          • 1 chile pepper slices or lime wedge


          1. In a shaker, muddle the agave nectar, chile pepper slices and lime wedges
          2. Add the remaining ingredients and fill with crushed ice
          3. Shake, and pour (unstrained) into a rocks glass
          4. Garnish with additional chile pepper slices or a lime wedge

          This one might the hottest of them all. With a peppercorn syrup base and vodka-grapefruit combination,this cocktail is truly one of a kind. Also, winter is the season of grapefruits and I don’t think there’s a better recipe to celebrate that.

          What you’ll need:

          • 1⁄4 cup crushed black peppercorns
          • 1 cup water
          • 1 cup sugar
          • 45 ml Karlsson’s Gold vodka or other vodka
          • 90 ml fresh grapefruit juice


          1. First, for the black pepper syrup place sugar, water and peppercorns in a small pot
          2. Bring to a boil, stirring once or twice
          3. Strain the peppercorns out and chill
          4. Combine the simple syrup, vodka, and grapefruit juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice
          5. Shake vigorously for about a minute strain into an ice-filled glass
          6. Add pepper syrup on top

          Rum and spices are always a good combination. With a pinch of cinnamon and lime juice, this drink has just the right amount of acidity and toastiness. Exactly what you need for a chilly winter evening.

          5 Hot Cocktails to Warm You Up

          Put down those PSLs because it’s cozy cocktail season! Hot (and boozy) drinks are some of our favorite ways to warm up on these cool fall nights, so we put together a list of a few local faves that you can enjoy at home or order to-go. Find the recipes and where you can enjoy them HERE.

          Frank’s Americana Revival’s Lazy Lane Hot Toddy

          Photo Credit: Frank’s Americana Revival

          The Lazy Lane Hot Toddy from Frank’s Americana Revival was named for the iconic and very prestigious street (Lazy Lane) in the River Oaks neighborhood. This cocktail warms you up, yet is crisp and refreshing to drink with its subtle apple and cinnamon flavors and New Orleans’ distilled Straight Rye Whiskey. You can shake up this drink at home or enjoy it at the restaurant !

          The Toasted Yolk’s Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte

          Photo Credit: The Toasted Yolk

          Houston’s The Toasted Yolk took autumn’s iconic latte and spiked with TWO double shots of espresso and kicked it up a notch with Texas’ own Tito’s vodka! This Spiked PSL will not only give you a good caffeine buzz but also a brunch-time buzz, too! You can shake up this drink at home, enjoy it at the restaurant or order it to-go and spike it yourself!

          Cork Bar at Hotel Contessa’s Pan Dulce (Sweet Bread) Cocktail

          Photo Credit: Cork Bar

          Sweet and comforting, there’s nothing like biting into a warm pan dulce straight from the panaderia! Cork Bar at Hotel Contessa in San Antonio took all the warm and cozy feelings of nostalgic Mexican pastries and transformed it into a boozy drink with only three simple ingredients.

          Spiked Hot Chocolate

          Photo Credit: Julia Heffelfinger

          Traditional Mexican hot chocolate has an ultra-creamy richness, unlike any hot chocolate you’ve tasted before. This delicately spiced and optionally boozy drink from our own test kitchen is exactly what we want to cozy up with all winter long.