Winter warmer cocktails do more than just heating your hands. In fact, they don’t even have to be hot drinks but they do have to give you a warming feeling as you sip them on a chilly day. Spices, creamy textures and seasonal flavours converge in combinations that will wrap your taste buds like the cosiest of blankets.
We have travelled through the island of Ireland to find the ultimate winter warmer drinks. From tipples filled with sugar, spice and everything nice to the most gloriously boozy hot chocolates, from the cheerful and fruity to the smokey and complex, the only difficulty here is to choose a favourite!
Below a round-up of Ireland’s tastiest and most inviting winter warmer cocktails…
This spicy flavoured drink is a twist on the conventional hot toddy cocktail inspired on uplifting memories of the Irish winter. The Wild Winter Hot Toddy combines Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin and Stonewell Irish Cider with apple juice, Douglas Fir syrup, Angostura bitters and orange bitters. All ingredients except the gin are heated and then the spirit is added, just in time to serve it at the perfect temperature.
Where: 1 The Green, Malahide, Co. Dublin
More info: siamthai.ie/restaurant/malahide
This trendy city centre bar always surprises us with its creative and seasonal drinks. On this occasion, they’ve created a simply irresistible Spiced Hot Chocolate, a combination of spiced rum with chocolate and hot milk, garnished with cinnamon and orange zest. The spiced rum is made in house, mixing white rum, spiced rum, cinnamon and orange peels put together in a sealed bottle and let it infuse for one week.
Where: 2 Balfe St, Dublin 2
More info: balfes.ie
This cosy and friendly award-winning bar in the heart of Galway City has a tempting cocktail menu. As the winter months approach, they’ve come up with the Cappachini, a perfect blend of Baileys, Tia Maria, Kahlua, hazelnut syrup, milk and cocoa powder. Delicious!
Where: 25 Eglinton St, Galway
More info: brasseriegalway.com/blakes-bar
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at this chic Dublin bar. Angelina’s Winter Punch is just pure seasonal yumminess, a playful vodka cocktail with a smooth, creamy texture, and very Christmassy flavours of apple and cinnamon. Sweet but strong with a refreshing aftertaste.
Where: 55 Percy Pl, Dublin 4
More info: angelinas.ie
Simply named Hot Cup, this is one that fans of the Negroni will fall in love with. It’s a bittersweet treat with a fruity finish, made with Beefeater Gin, Aperol, sugar, lemon, maraschino cherry juice, hot water and a berry tea bag. It comes nicely presented in a teacup.
Where: 17 Aungier St, Dublin
More info: bowlane.ie/social
One of Dublin’s newest bars will be mixing a very special Christmas Cracker. The drink offers a grown up take on a creamy hot chocolate, infused with coffee liqueur Tia Maria, creamy Baileys and delightfully nutty Frangelico. A feast for the senses and a chocolatey delight!
Where: 32 Dame Street, Dubin
More info: mulliganandhaines.ie
Good tidings come to those who wait… This long drink combines berries, citrus and sweet spices into a cocktail as crisp and pleasant as a sunny day in the middle of winter. It has a delicious blend of Absolut Vanilia and Cointreau with a squeeze of lemon, cranberry juice and allspice dram, topped with soda water and a garnish of lemon peel and cloves.
Where: 1-, 3 Merchants Rd Lower, Galway
More info: tribeton.ie
Absinthe Without Leave is a mysterious drink that offers a contrasting mixture of herbal, fruity and spicy flavours. Made with La Fee Blanche Absinthe as base, along with Beefeater Gin and lemon juice, it is complemented by the VCC House Winter Cordial, an artisan concoction that unites prunes, apples, star anise and cinnamon.
Where: 15 Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
More info: vintagecocktailclub.com
The Devil’s Flip is a take on a classic flip cocktail, ideal to get you into the Christmas spirit this winter. It consists of Knob Creek Rye, amaro, apricot brandy, sugar syrup, milk and one whole egg topped off with a little grated nutmeg, making it very rich and creamy with a hint of fruity spice. The perfect winter warmer for the cold days to come.
Where: 93 New St, Killarney, Co. Kerry
More info: celticwhiskeybar.com
This cocktail might seem small but it pack a punch and it definitively a warmer. The Blazer is made with a combination of West Cork Cask Strength Irish whiskey which carries a hefty 62% ABV, combined with a delightful homemade ginger syrup, orange bitters and orange peel.
Where: 31 Dawson St, Dublin 2
More info: peruke.ie
This friendly venue has quickly became a favourite of both tourists and locals in Killarney and while the place’s history traces back to 1870, its current shape is a charming bar that celebrates the venue’s past as a beloved sweet shop. You’ll feel right at home sipping on a Smoked Old Fashioned made with Jameson Black Barrel, Angostura Bitters and the house’s simple syrup.
Where: 4 Main St, Killarney, Co. Kerry
More info: facebook.com/J-MReidys-1417127511687143
This is an unmissable one for coffee lovers. Grounds for Divorce is an aged coffee cocktail made with Absolut Vanilia, Frangelico hazelnut liqueur and a splash of vanilla essence, shaken together with a shot of freshly ground espresso coffee.
Where: Junction of Mary St & Jervis St, Dublin 1
This wonderfully herbaceous tipple is inspired in the fondness of ancient monks for a good drop of whiskey. Monk’s Tipple is a mix of Jameson Irish whiskey, rosemary infused vermouth Punt E Mes, green and yellow Chartreuse and herbal tincture. Monks are considered by some the earliest botanists and even bartenders, and this cocktail pays homage to their craft in a very heart warming way.
Where: 44 Franklin St, Belfast
More information: ritasbelfast.com
This popular Cork venue won’t let you go cold this winter. Their Cosy Apple Cider cocktail is comprised of Johnny Fall Down Cider from Killahora East Cork and it’s infused with organic apples that they caramelize with maple syrup and star anise in house. It is complemented with the autumnal flavours of orange peel and honey.
Where: 111, Barrack Street, Cork
This stylish city centre bar rocks every season and while they feature several winter warmers, the classics are a good way to start and this Boozy Hot Cocoa is a great one to try. It’s an indulgent and boozylicious hot chocolate that combines spiced rum, chocolate and a rich vanilla cream into a big warm hug of chocolatey goodness.
Where: Centenary House, Anne’s Lane, Anne Street South, Dublin
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.