Warm Up With These Classic Winter Cocktails

This image is no longer available

It’s time to sit back, relax and imbibe yourself into the festive spirit. The cold weather may have you down, but we’ve reached out to Chris McCrabb, head bartender at Toronto’s Thompson hotel, to get some just-in-time ideas for winter-ready cocktails.

A classic French 75 is often made with cognac, champagne, lemon juice and sugar. A sweet and bubbly celebratory drink, it’s the perfect cocktail to hand to guests as they enter your party to get the evening started and to keep spirits light. McCrabb’s interpretation includes cherry-infused cognac and clove syrup, a nod to a common ingredient used in many holiday baked goods. To make the syrup, add cloves, sugar and water to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling. Once cooled, you can also use your syrup in a cup of tea or drizzled on top of pastries.

“Winter 75”
1 oz Cherry infused Cognac
0.50 oz Clove Syrup
0.50 oz Lemon Juice
Top with Champagne

Shake, fine strain into a flute. Top with champagne. Garnish with a cherry.

Is eggnog the most polarizing beverage of the season? It just might be. Love it or hate it, this creamy punch is synonymous with end-of-year fetes. Of course, it’s very easy to just pick up a carton or two at the local store, but why be pedestrian when you can be dazzling? Plus, making it from scratch will probably convert those who claim to dislike the drink (store-bought varieties are often heavily sweetened with refined sugar). McCrabb’s take on eggnog puts an adult spin on the drink with the addition of a herbal liqueur and break-the-bank rum (you can substitute with a more affordable version). The cacao syrup is the real winner in this version — raw chocolate takes your nog from everyday to extraordinary.

Next: “Yule Nog”

“Yule Nog”
1 oz Mount Gay XO
0.50 oz Benedictine
0.50 oz Cacao Syrup
1 oz Heavy Cream
1 Whole Egg

Shake, fine strain into a snifter. Grate fresh nutmeg over top.