It’s the holidays and spending time with the family might make you want to nurse a toasty beverage with a nip or more of the good stuff. Though a classic Hot Toddy is never wrong when the weather turns frosty, we called on a few of the best mixologists across America to concoct uniquely festive hot cocktails to stay merry AND bright this season.

Nitecap Irish Coffee

by Natashia David, Nitecap, NYC.

“Nothing is more comforting than sitting in front of a fireplace with friends, sipping on a spiked cup of coffee made decadent with a dollop of whipped cream. The addition of almond and vanilla gives you a nice big hug, and then you’ve got some grated orange zest to add an element of freshness and lightness.”


• 2 oz. Irish whiskey (Bushmills recommended)
• 6 oz. coffee
• ½ oz. brown sugar almond syrup
• Dollop of vanilla-scented whipped cream

brown sugar almond syrup

• 2 cups raw sugar
• 1 cup water
• 1 tsp. almond extract

vanilla-scented whipped cream

• 1 cup fresh whipping cream
• 1 tbsp. powdered sugar
• 1 tsp. pure vanilla syrup


To make the cream: Whip the cream until you get soft peaks. Add sugar and extract and whip until incorporated. Store in fridge.

To make the sugar: In a blender, combine sugar and water. Blend until sugar is dissolved. Add extract and blend until it is incorporated.

Build all ingredients in a warm mug (warm the mugs by placing them in a tub of hot, but not scalding water). Top with a generous dollop of vanilla-scented whipped cream. Garnish with freshly grated orange zest.

Oriental Blush

by GN Chan, Double Chicken Please, Somewhere in America.

“Sweet red bean soup is something people always crave in Northeast Asia, just liked mulled wine in Europe during holiday season. This drinks brings you warmth with a familiar holiday taste, yet adds more Asian-influenced subtle sweetness and texture.”


• 7 oz. Rioja red wine
• 2 oz. orange juice
• 3.5 oz. red bean paste
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 3 cloves
• 3 dashes of rose water
• 1 oz. of slightly salted heavy cream
• Touch of cinnamon powder


Put all the ingredients except the heavy cream into a pot and heat it up until simmering. Add the slightly salted heavy cream on top and garnish with a touch of cinnamon powder.

Harvard & Stone’s Hot Buttered Rum

by Aaron Polsky, Harvard & Stone, Los Angeles.

“I love the indulgence of holiday drinks. Bring on the butter! Hot Buttered Rum is a favorite, and I love sweetening with warm herbal liqueurs. The recipe below calls for Licor 43, but it works wonderfully with Benedictine and Drambuie, if that’s what you’ve got on hand.”


• ¾ oz. Licor 43
• 1 ½ oz. dark rum (Cana Brava 7 suggested)
• Small pat of butter
• 4 oz. water
• Allspice
• Cinnamon
• Nutmeg


Heat Licor 43, rum, butter and water together in a small saucepan. Pour into a mug, and grate nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice to taste.