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Warm Winter Liquor

May 20, 2016  ·  4 min read

By Ashleigh Hobson.

You can sip a vodka, lime and soda any old time, but there is something especially delightful about a mixture that has been designed for the colder months. Seasonal cocktail menus are a new trend on the Gold Coast and with winter just around the corner we have decided to head out and do some research, i.e. sample multiple cocktails in amazing social environments to find some of the best drinks to keep you warm this winter.

Mulled Wine

Of course we are going to start with a personal favourite of mine, mulled wine. Who doesn’t like wine, red, white or sparkling it always hits the spot, and now we’ve managed to find a recipe for an old time classic to take your usual summer favourite wine, into a winter warmer this season.


10 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 roughly grated nutmeg
2 cups water
Roughly grated rind of 1 orange
1 apple, roughly chopped (skin on)
750ml fruity red wine (such as a merlot)


  • Heat cloves, cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, water, orange rind and apple in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a low and simmer for 10 minutes
  • Add red wine and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat, strain and divide among serving glasses. Serve immediately

Hot Toddy

Here’s another winter classic that will help you swap the cocktail shaker for the kettle, the traditional hot toddy. Even though this is an old time favourite there is no time like the present to whip up one of these chest-warmers for the upcoming winter months. Whether you prefer to make yours with brandy, whisky or rum, a toasty Hot Toddy is guaranteed to get rid of you winter blues.


1/3 cup of Tennessee Whiskey
¼ cup of fresh lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons of honey
2 x 7cm cinnamon sticks (bruised)
12 whole cloves
1 cup of boiling water
2 x 5cm-strips lemon peel, to serve


  • Place the whiskey, lemon juice, honey, cinnamon and cloves in a heatproof jug
  • Add the boiling water and stir until the honey dissolves;
  • Pour among serving glasses, and add the lemon rind to garnish

Winter Spiced Old Fashioned

Let’s finish up with a little more complex cocktail but one that is guaranteed to get a few thumbs up this winter. We have taken an old classic and made it a little more delicious and wintery. The old fashioned has been known for a man’s drink for as long as I can remember, but with this extra little added fruit and spice I believe we have made this one to be a cocktail enjoyed by everyone.


1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 cardamom pods
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 ½ cups Bourbon (or whiskey)
1 orange, cut into 8 wedges
8 maraschino cherries
4 cinnamon sticks to garnish


  • Place sugar, water, cardamom pods, star anise and cinnamon stick into a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until the sugar dissolves
  • Bring the mixture to the boil then cover and remove from heat, allow the mixture to steep for 30 minutes. Strain the spices from the syrup and put to the side
  • Allow the syrup to cool completely before placing it in the fridge for an hour to chill
  • Divide an orange wedge and two cherries into each four glasses and muddle together
  • Place the chilled syrup, bourbon and ice into a large shaker and shake until well combined
  • Divide the mixture into each glass and top with an extra orange wedge, squeezing the wedge before dropping into the glass
  • Garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick, and serve.

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