7 Warming winter cocktails to keep you cosy

Wearing a woolly hat and stocking up on soup will help to fight the winter chill when it's cold outside, but here at Expertrain HQ, our thoughts are definitely turning to boozy festive beverages - tis the season to be jolly! There's nothing wrong with a little of what you fancy, and Christmas is the perfect time to treat yourself.

Keeping an eye on your drinking over Christmas is a great idea, but that doesn't mean you have to miss out on festive cocktails. Alcohol can help you to feel more relaxed in the midst of the festive madness and can also help you to keep cosy, even if a white Christmas is on the cards. So we've got 7 warming winter cocktails that will help you start the festive season in style.

#1. Kahlua Hot Chocolate

Wow - what could be better than boozy hot chocolate with mini marshmallows and salted caramel? This recipe uses unsweetened cocoa for a healthier take, combined with nutmeg and cinnamon and just a dash of coffee liqueur. We love the addition of mini marshmallows, but you can leave them out for a less sugary take on this festive winter warmer.

#2. Festive Mulled Wine

Red wine is a rich source of antioxidants, which can help to keep you looking young and fight off cancer-causing free radicals in the body. We happen to think that's the perfect excuse to enjoy a glass (or two) of mulled wine this Christmas. The smell of mulled wine is just so festive, with cloves, star anise and cinnamon. The best part is that you can use fairly cheap red wine, as the majority of the flavour comes from the chopped citrus and spices, so look out for 2 for 1 offers or bottles of house red at your local supermarket and make a big batch of mulled wine. There's still time to whip some up before Christmas Day, and this would also make the perfect gift, bottled and gift wrapped.

#3. Creamy Coffee Cocktail

Whether you have been naughty or nice this Christmas, chances are you have probably spent your fair share of time battling the crowds on your local high street to pick up Christmas gifts, and spending time with the family over Christmas can leave you feeling exhausted. This is the perfect pick-me-up, with coffee, amaretto, creme de cocoa and butterscotch schnapps. Served with whipped cream, this is one of our favourite cocktails. Yes, it is coffee, but no, we don't recommend you drink it at breakfast time! The caffeine boost will help you stay awake throughout the festivities and avoid that Christmas slump!

#4. Hot Buttered Hazelnut Whisky

This recipe from Adventures in Cooking is perfect for whisky fans, but even if you don't like the taste of whisky, this rich, buttery drink is the perfect winter warmer! After a day of shopping in the Boxing Day sales or keeping the kids entertained over the Christmas holidays, this can be enjoyed in front of the fire, before drifting off to a blissful night's sleep. Whisky, Frangelico liqueur, hot milk and cinnamon combine to create a deliciously creamy beverage. If you're avoiding dairy, you could try using almond milk instead for a nutty flavour.

#5. Spiced Irish Coffee

For the perfect start to your day over the holidays (as long as you don't enjoy one every day!), this spiced Irish coffee is our drink of choice. The pumpkin spiced cream and whisky-infused coffee will give you a caffeine-boost that will help you to feel more lively, even if you're suffering after a late night. Creamy, sweet and the ideal winter warmer, this would also be a lovely treat after a morning run, or a snowman-building session with the kids.

#6. Bourbon and Citrus Sangria

With red wine, bourbon, apple juice and plenty of fruit, plus subtle spice from the inclusion of cinnamon, this festive take on sangria has all the flavours of a summery Spanish sangria, with a cold weather twist. It's great to make a large batch in advance if you have friends or family coming over for the holidays, as this is best made the night before and stored in the fridge before drinking. You're guaranteed to impress with this drink, which also looks really pretty served in a glass jug.

#7. Winter Spiced Old Fashioned

Ever tried an Old Fashioned cocktail? It's a simple yet delicious combination, and this winter spiced version adds star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, orange and cherries to sweet bourbon or whisky. It doesn't take long to blend the ingredients over a low heat and the result is a warming, spice-laden winter drink that you can enjoy whilst you're handing out those carefully-selected Christmas gifts around the tree. This has to be one of our favourite drinks to enjoy during the colder months of the year!

There are loads of tempting winter cocktails that you can whip up at home, but remember that moderation is the key when it comes to drinking over Christmas (or at any time of year). A few drinks won't harm your health, although it may leave you feeling less like a session at the gym and more like a session on the sofa watching Christmas films, so enjoy these festive cocktails in moderation over the holidays!

READ THIS NEXT: Drinking this festive season - how much is too much?

Author By Paula Beaton
Date On 22nd Dec 2014 at 09:42

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