Warm Winter Drink Recipes to Soothe Your Soul

A brief history of the hot toddy and mulled wine, and simple recipes courtesy of Owl’s Brew.

As temperatures in the area drop, and as we approach the holidays, you certainly could use a change up in your regular cocktail rotation.

One of the most common heated alcoholic beverages is a hot toddy. Its origins — like many cocktails — are disputed. The “toddy” is said to have originated in India some 231 years ago, when it was under British rule, and was then made from fermented palm tree sap, and defined as a drink comprised of liquor, spices, sugar, and hot water. Others credit Dr. Robert Bentley Todd with its discovery (or popularity) during the early 19th-Century for his well-known prescription of brandy, white cinnamon, sugar syrup, and hot water, aka the Hot Toddy.

A second extremely popular heated drink is the very easy-to-sip-on-a-cold-night mulled wine. This one has less drama surrounding it. In the 2nd-Century, warm, spiced wines were a big thing with the Romans in winter months when they were busy conquering empires and engaging in friendly trades with their allies. Mulled wine has stood the test of time, and is still consumed in many European countries, especially around the holidays. It’s also a relatively simple concoction to brew up. All you need is red wine (you can even jazz up a cheap brand), mulling spices (clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice), and occasionally raisins, dried apples, or orange peel. Additionally, there’s no real set recipe here. Just do what you like, even if that means spiking it with a little brandy, or adding orange juice, honey, or other spices like star anise. If you’re looking for something non-alcoholic or kid-friendly, sub out the wine for apple cider.

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If you’re not feeling particularly cheffy, Owl’s Brew — who we introduced readers to in a previous article — is here to help with a hot toddy recipe and another for Winter Wine, eliminating some the guesswork by using their crafted cocktail mixers that you can find in New York.

 Owl’s Toddy

Owl’s Toddy

2 parts Owl’s Brew The Classic

1 part whiskey (we love bourbon or scotch)

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1/2 tsp honey

Combine ingredients in a saucepan and heat (but do not boil). Transfer to heat safe mug and garnish with apple slices and a cinnamon stick.

Winter Wine

2 parts Owl’s Brew Mulling Spices

2 parts red wine (we like Merlot)

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Combine ingredients in a saucepan and heat (but do not boil). Transfer to heat safe mug and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

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