We find that freezing temperatures are a great excuse to cozy up by the fire (or the space heater) and indulge in some of the most delicious winter spirits Aprés-ski style.  Here are five classic recipes to warm your bones.

This is a take on a grasshopper adding Pisco, a clear Puruvian liquor, to cut into the sweetness of the cordials.  You can also try vodka.

1 1/2 oz  Creme de Cacao
1 oz Pisco
3/4 oz Creme de Menthe
1oz heavy cream

Shake and strain into cocktail glass.  Garnish with fresh mint.  Tip:  Clap the mint between your hands over the drink to release some of its essential oils.  You will smell the difference!

Hot Toddy
Make this drink your own by starting with brandy, whiskey, or rum as your base spirit.  For the sweetening agent try flavored honeys, maple syrups, ginger syrup or sweet liqueurs like Pear brandy and St. Germaine.  Instead of hot water use a flavored tea like a Rooibus.  Finally, you can spice it up with whatever you have on hand; cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, fresh ginger, an orange wedge, or black peppercorns.

2 oz bourbon 
3/4 oz honey
3/4 oz fresh lemon

Build in glass mug or snifter.  Top with hot water and stir.  Garnish with cinnamon stick or two cloves pierced in the rind of a lemon or orange wedge.  Tip:  Light cloves on fire, they should extinguish in a few seconds while lacing your drink with a lovely aroma.

White Russian
2 oz vodka
1 oz Kahlúa
1 oz cream

Layer over ice in rocks glass and get to takin’ ‘er easy.

Irish Coffee
2 oz Irish Whiskey
4-5 oz of your favorite hot coffee
simple syrup to taste
float whipped cream on top
garnish with an espresso bean

Mulled Wine
Like a hot toddy, this is another one that you can really make your own.  Here is a fun recipe I found in the New York Times taken from Pranna in New York.
Time: 5 minutes plus 24 hours to infuse

1 bottle robust red wine, preferably malbec
1/2 cup black raisins, more for garnish
Peel from 1/2 lemon, in strips
5 green cardamom pods, crushed
8 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks, more for garnish
6 tablespoons turbinado or Demerara sugar, or to taste
4 ounces cachaça.

In a large glass or plastic container, combine wine, raisins, lemon peel and spices. Cover with lid or plastic wrap and let sit for 24 hours. Before serving, place mixture in a heavy saucepan over low heat until warm. Add sugar, and stir till dissolved. Add cachaça and turn off heat. Strain and serve in small cups, garnished with raisins and cinnamon, broken into small sticks.

Yield: 6 to 8 drinks.

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