Five Cocktails to Warm You Through Winter

It’s that infuriating time of year, when warm spring weather arrives in brief flashes of sunshine and blue skies and, just when we think it’s here to stay, winter brazenly returns with cold temperatures and grey clouds.

While there is nothing we can do to change the weather, Garfield’s is happy to help get you through the last throes of winter the best way we know how: With booze!

These takes on five classic cocktails are all designed to not just warm your spirits, but to help usher in the tastes and flavors of the balmy months to come.

Rum Old Fashioned

Photo by Nuff . on Unsplash Photo by Nuff . on Unsplash

As the name implies, this is a simple twist on America’s flagship cocktail. By substituting the whiskey for rum, the drink delivers a flavor profile more akin to toasted sugar than the oaky notes normally associated with the classic old fashioned. We prefer this made with rum with a spicier profile, such as Plantation Guyana 2008 Garfield’s Single Cask Selection, but using a quality infused rum, such as Plantation Stiggin’s Fancy Pineapple, can dial up the taste of warm Summer months. No matter which you decide to go with, leave the white rum on the shelf for this one. 


  • 2 oz rum
  • ¼ oz simple syrup
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • Orange slice to garnish

Add rum, syrup, and bitters into a mixing glass, stirring until well chilled. Strain into serving glass over large ice cubes and garnish with orange.

Winter Bourbon Smash

Photo by Kim Daniels on Unsplash Photo by Kim Daniels on Unsplash

An open-ended and flexible drink, smash cocktails are julep variants that are traditionally made with in-season fruit. Since the in-season fruit of winter is “nothing,” the winter bourbon smash calls for jam over fresh fruit. Any of your favorite jams will work but we find that using a strawberry preserve and Cointreau adds a lovely layer of complexity to this cocktail. As with most whiskey cocktails, the ice will dilute your liquor so a bourbon with a higher proof, such as Maker’s Mark Cask Strength is recommended. Garnishing with an iconic summer fruit like strawberries is almost enough to trick yourself into thinking you are in mid-June.


  • 2 Tbsp bourbon
  • 2 Tbsp jam of choice
  • 1 Tbsp premium triple sec
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 splash of club soda
  • Strawberry and mint to garnish

Add ice, jam, bourbon, triple sec and juice to shaker and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds or until the shaker is frigid to the touch. Pour over ice into serving glass and top with club soda, adding garnish to rim.

Apple Sazerac

Photo by Johann Trasch on Unsplash Photo by Johann Trasch on Unsplash

If you’d rather lean into winter than try to escape it, this is the cocktail for you. There are few drinks with more iconically winter ingredients, with the flavorful blend of apple and syrup providing a rich vessel for the warming brandy. We find the apple sazerac pairs best with a good book and a heavy throw blanket.


  • 2 oz apple brandy
  • ¼ oz maple syrup
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • Orange peel to garnish

Stir ingredients over ice until the syrup fully dissolves. Strain into glass and serve up, garnishing with orange.

Winter Margarita

Photo by Johann Trasch on Unsplash Photo by Johann Trasch on Unsplash

Another drink with ‘winter” right smack in the name, the winter margarita expands on the traditionally warm-weather cocktail by thickening it up with egg white and adding a layer of smoky mezcal, more reminiscent of staple winter libations. Variations of this call for an añejo tequila like our Maestro Dobel Special Edition Garfield’s Pick, but some prefer the more mellow notes of reposado, so that the taste of the mezcal (we suggest Casamigos Mezcal Joven) can do the heavy lifting.


  • 1 oz reposado tequila
  • 1 oz mezcal
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • 1 egg white
  • Lime to garnish

Add all ingredients to shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe glass with salter rim and garnish with lime.

Mulled Wine

Photo by Gaby Dyson on Unsplash Photo by Gaby Dyson on Unsplash

One of the most satisfying and versatile cold weather drinks, mulled wine is easy to scale making it perfect for anything from a night in by the fireplace to the boozy refreshment at your winter party. Much like quintessential winter foods, such as chilli or stew, mulled wine has an innumerable amount of variations, almost all off them being right in their own way. Ours calls for a dryer red, since we will be adding sweetener, but feel free to adjust to your own pallet.


  • 1 750ml bottle of dry red wine
  • 5 oz triple sec
  • 5 oz water
  • 4 oz honey
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 sliced orange
  • 1 sliced lemon
  • Orange slices and star anise to garnish

In a large saucepan, stir wine, triple sec, water, and honey until thoroughly mixed, then heat on medium until just before it reaches a boil. Add star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, and fruit slices and let the wine simmer for fifteen minutes. Using a fine mesh strainer, remove the fruit, star anise, cloves and cinnamon. Give the wine a taste and add additional honey as needed to sweeten. Serve warm in heat-proof mugs.

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