Hot Nights, Intoxicating Beverages

The holiday season is in full swing, fabulous cocktail parties and family gatherings are happening every Friday and Saturday evening and it just might be time to take a deep breath, slow it down, lock the front door and spend an evening in the warm glow of candlelight.

Light the logs (or flip the switch) and start a hot fire blazing in the hearth, put on soft music, twinkle lights and shut out the noise and possibly the entire world.  It is the perfect setting for a night together, heating up the blankets and sipping on something warm and intoxicating.

Here are a few of my favorite hot beverages to heat up a cold winter’s night.

Photo: MacKenzie Smith for
Bourbon Chai
Photo: MacKenzie Smith for

Bourbon Chai ~

Black tea, cardamom pods, crushed allspice berries, crushed black peppercorns, cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla bean, almond milk, honey and bourbon.  A delicious blend for a cold night.

You can find the full recipe and more tasty concoctions here.

Photo: Rob Howard for Food & Wine
Apple-Brandy Hot Toddies
Photo: Rob Howard for Food & Wine

Apple-Brandy Hot Toddies ~ Food & Wine

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups apple brandy, preferably Calvados
  • Eight 3 – inch cinnamon sticks

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil.  Remove from the heat and stir in the honey until dissolved.  Stir in the lemon juice and apple brandy.  Set a cinnamon stick in each of 8 mugs or heatproof glasses, pour in the hot liquid and serve.

Irish Coffee~Photo:  Williams-Sonoma
Irish Coffee
Photo: Williams-Sonoma

Irish Coffee ~ Williams-Sonoma

A very simple concoction for a cold winters night…

  • 8 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup of whiskey
  • 2 cups hot brewed coffee or as needed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, lightly beaten to form soft peaks

Place 2 teaspoons sugar in each of 4 mugs.  Add 2 Tablespoons of whiskey to each mug, then fill with coffee.  Hold a spoon, rounded side up, over each mug and slowly pour the cream over the spoon, floating it on top of the coffee ~ serves 4

Hot Rum CoffeePhoto:  Williams-Sonoma
Hot Rum Coffee
Photo: Williams-Sonoma

Hot Rum Coffee ~ Williams Sonoma

A delicious blend to heat up a chilly evening ~ hot coffee, half-and-half, sugar, ground cardamom, grated nutmeg, amber rum and a touch of grated chocolate for garnish.  Williams-Sonoma has a few hot holiday beverages on their site to choose from.  Poke around a bit and print a few out for your cocktail / spirits binder for future reference.

Grand CoffeeGrand Marnier for
Grand Coffee
Grand Marnier for

Grand Coffee ~

I have seen this beverage floating around the internet for a few days now, but it is so gorgeous and incredibly tasty, I simply had to share with you.  When you visit their site you will be amazed at the variety of options right at your fingertips.

  • 1 oz Grand Marnier, warmed
  • 3 oz hot brewed coffee
  • .75 oz brown sugar syrup ( 1 part brown sugar, 1 part water ) if desired
  • whipped cream for garnish

Pour all ingredients into a mug or heat-proof highball glass and stir.  Spoon about 2 tablespoons of whipped cream on top.

You can find me every day over on Facebook at Celebrating Home with Karie Engels.  I look forward to seeing you there!

Contributor List

Grand Coffee ~, Apple-Brandy Hot Toddies ~ Food & Wine, Irish Coffee and Hot Rum Coffee ~ Williams-Sonoma, Bourbon Chai ~

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