Cozy Cocktails: Warm Up This Season

Temperatures are dropping and it’s the perfect time to indulge in boozy cocktails to warm you up. 
Whiskey Hand Warmer
This cocktail gives satisfying heat with sweet and tart balance. A mug of this by the fire or sitting outside in the crisp air is perfect. 
Single serving:
2oz Whiskey*
Lemon rind 
1/2 small/medium lemon juiced 
3oz boiling or very hot water
1 tbsp honey 
In tall heatproof glass place lemon rind, lemon juice, honey and bourbon. Once water is heated pour over this while stirring to combine. You may remove the rind to avoid bitter taste developing from the heat. 
 *I’m a Southern Lady so I prefer Bourbon Whiskey but pick your poison according to your taste and if you want to trip out on the difference between whisky and whiskey and all the different types of whiskies feel free to go down a Google rabbit hole like I did. 
Champagne Oops
Drinking champagne for me always evokes memories of fun, celebratory and giggly times with friends and family so I love to feature it in cocktails to bring that bubbly brightness. 
Single serving:
2oz Vodka 
4oz Champagne or sparkling wine
1 tablespoon Simple syrup
Lemon rind 
1/2 small/medium lemon juiced
In separate pitcher mix vodka, simple syrup and lemon juice together. Pour into champagne flute or coupe and top with champagne. Garnish with lemon rind.  
NOTE: You may have enough for 2 cocktails depending on the size of your glass. You should aim for 3/4 of the glass to have the cocktail mix and then just top with champagne/sparkling wine. 
Tipsy Hot Chocolate 
Your inner child wants hot cocoa when the temperature drops but adulting is hard and you need booze- now you can have both! This recipe is like those choose your own ending books that you may have read as a kid. Start by choosing your path for hot cocoa and then you have 3 different ways to finish the cocktail. Enjoy! 
There are 2 options for how to make the hot cocoa part of this cocktail and you should pick the one that feels right for you.
Option 1: 
Buy hot cocoa mix from the store and prepare it as directed. 
Option 2: 
6oz of milk or water 
1tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1tbsp sugar
dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to taste if desired
Mix cocoa powder, sugar and cinnamon or nutmeg in heatproof mug. For water you can bring to a boil. For milk, over low heat and stirring constantly you will bring it to the point that you see steam coming off but do not let it boil. Remove from heat and pour over dry ingredients in mug while stirring to dissolve. 
Once your cocoa is made you have a few different directions you can go in and one may surprise you. 
Option 1: 
Add 2oz Bourbon to the prepared cocoa. I would suggest you actually put the bourbon in the bottom of the mug then add the cocoa to it but you can also just top up your mug of cocoa with bourbon and stir to combine. I do not find the need to heat the bourbon since it is room temperature it should not cool down your cocoa too much but will be best enjoyed with the cocoa freshly prepared. 
Option 2: 
Add 2 oz Spiced Rum to the prepared cocoa. Same process as the Bourbon above. 
Option 3: Surprise! Wine and Chocolate make the best of friends. 
Heat 4oz your choice of cabernet sauvignon, merlot or grenache in a small saucepan until it is steaming but not boiling- do not let the wine boil. Once the wine is warmed you can add the prepared cocoa to the same pan to combine and ensure it is heated through and then pour into your favorite mug to sip. This is delicious but rich. 
Top any of the above with marshmallows or whipped cream. 

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