Cold Weather Cocktail Hour: 5 Favorite Winter Liquors

One of my favorite treats on a Friday evening is enjoying a new cocktail at home. Often it's something as simple as a Gin and Tonic, but with the cold nights of February upon us, we've been turning to sipping warming liquors instead.

While highly subjective, I have a few favorites that I think are particularly nice for colder evenings. I like to mix some of these into an actual cocktail while others are great for sipping neat. To clarify, when I talk about winter liquors, there's literally no such thing. You may love sipping Calvados year-round, but there are a handful that are warming in ways that clear, clean liquors like gin or vodka just aren't. So here are a few of my favorites:

5 Favorite Winter Liquors:
1. Bourbon: I find myself reaching for brown liquors more than gin or vodka in the winter, and bourbon is my choice here. If you're new to bourbon or whiskey cocktails. a good place to start is A Sazerac, An Old-Fashioned or A Presbyterian.
2. Tuaca: With its characteristic citrus and vanilla notes, Tuaca is wonderful stirred into hot cider or hot chocolate.
3. Grand Marnier: An orange-flavored Brandy, Grand Marnier is often sipped neat or shaken into a variety of cocktails (usually featuring whiskey or bourbon). My favorite way to enjoy it is with a little club soda and an orange wedge.
4. Goldschlager:We don't own Goldschlager at home, but I'll occasionally order it when out on a cold evening. The Swiss cinnamon schnapps will warm you up in a heartbeat!
5. Calvados: This French apple-flavored brandy is a great one to have around. I like to experiment mixing it with cognac and sweet vermouth for a darker cocktail or sip it with a little port for a sweet, after-dinner treat.

What's your favorite winter-appropriate liquor?

Related: Cocktail Recipe: The Midwinter Warmer

(Image: Nancy Mitchell)

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