Warm up with Winter Cocktails

Warm up with Winter Cocktails

Between the news, the case numbers and the weather, the January blues are setting in.  But it is after all still the season for warm mugs, cosy spices, and robust drinks like bourbon, rum and whisky.  While warming and wonderful in their own right, from mulled wine to hot toddies, these winter cocktails are the perfect cure when the temperatures drop.

Our very own Dara Wine is featuring two off the menu drinks perfect the next time you come in and sit outdoors next to the fire. First, to keep your spirit high, we’re mixing our own version of a mulled wine cocktail: red wine, a splash of tawny port to add a bit of sweetness, and a lovely mix of spices, and cranberry juice, topped off with orange slices and a cinnamon stick. This sweet, comforting drink is like a hug in a world of fist bumps.

The second winter cocktail is our very own wild west hot toddy. It was originally created because whisky was known to numb pain, while citrus and sugar (or honey) could soothe a sore throat! Warm and nourishing whether you’re sick or healthy, a perfect cocktail for those cold winter nights. While it hails from Scotland, we’ve replaced the scotch whisky with Rye Whisky or Bourbon of your choice, and added orange liqueur, and a dash of hot water.

On those days that you don’t feel like leaving the house and just want to get cosy in a blanket and a winter cocktail, these are some easy cocktails to make at home this winter season.

Disaronno Espresso Martini        

3 ounces of Amaretto Disaronno Originale

1 ounce Tia Maria Coffee Liqueur

1 ounce Tito's Vodka

Chocolate covered espresso beans for garnish. 

Mix all the ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake for 30 seconds and serve!


Sloe Gin Hot Chocolate   

300ml full-fat or semi-skimmed milk

100ml heavy cream

75g melted chocolate (or half chocolate and half the same amount of powdered drinking chocolate)

Spice mix: a few cloves, a little twist of black pepper, a few drops of vanilla, a sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon

70ml Sloe Gin


Add your milk, cream and chocolate (plus drinking chocolate, if using), plus your spice mix to a thick-bottomed pan and heat very gently for about 10 minutes to infuse the liquid with the spices. After 10 minutes, increase the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly to ensure a smooth texture.

In two cups or heatproof glasses, add 35ml of the sloe gin to each, then strain the spiced hot chocolate into the cup over the top of your sloe gin and serve!



Lift your spirits with a crackling fire and a festive winter drink; we can deliver the provisions or serve it right here at Dara Dining by Sara Aqel.