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7 Profitable (and Easy) Winter Cocktail Recipes from BinWise

December 3, 2019
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When frosty travelers peel off their coats and scarves and grab a seat at your bar, it’ll be near impossible for them to say no these easy winter cocktail recipes.

What makes them profitable is that they’re irresistible and you already have most, if not all, of the ingredients. And they’re easy to make.

So, let’s dive in! Here are our 7 most profitable winter and Christmas cocktails.


Szarlotka means apple cake in Polish, and this deceptively easy winter cocktail is true to its name. Aside from its cinnamon garnish, it has 2 ingredients. You couldn’t ask for a simpler, more homely drink. And that’s what the holidays are all about.

Szarlotka Recipe and Ingredients

  • 1 ½ ounces vodka, ideally the Polish Żubrówka, though any vodka works
  • Apple juice
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon

How to Make a Szarlotka Cocktail

  • Shake vodka and apple juice with crushed ice in a shaker
  • Strain into a martini glass
  • Dust with pinch of cinnamon

Hot Gin Toddy

The hot toddy is the undisputed ruler of all warm winter cocktails. It’s typically made with Irish whiskey or Bourbon, but this spin on it is a winner. The usual herbaceousness of gin is tempered with honey and cinnamon, while the orange juice provides a livelier edge than the typical whiskey toddy.

Gin Toddy Recipe and Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 ounce gin
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Lemon twist

How to Make a Gin Toddy

  • Pour gin, honey, and orange juice in a mug
  • Top it off with hot water and mix until honey dissolves
  • Garnish with lemon twist and cinnamon stick

Spiced Winter Mojito

A serene, wintry take on a tropical standard. Making it is a lot like a regular mojito, except you’ll be mixing your own simple syrup. A gingerbread syrup, to be precise.

Gingerbread Syrup Recipe and Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cloves
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 orange peel
  • ½ teaspoon allspice

How to Make Gingerbread Syrup:

  • Bring all the ingredients to a boil in a small sauce pan
  • Let it cool and thicken
  • Strain it

Spiced Winter Mojito Recipe and Ingredients:

  • 1.5 ounces white rum
  • 1 ounce gingerbread syrup
  • 10 mint leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Ginger beer

How to Make a Spiced Winter Mojito:

  • Combine rum, gingerbread syrup, 8 mint leaves, and the lime juice and muddle
  • Pour over a highball glass half full with crushed ice
  • Top off with ginger beer
  • Garnish with remaining 2 mint leaves

Mulled Rosé

Mulled wine, also known as spiced wine, is traditionally made with red wine. Rosé is an interesting choice because it’s not as heavy as a red, yet not typically as sweet as a white. The result is a vibrant yet calming union of crisp wine and warm spice. While it’s not technically a winter or Christmas cocktail, it’s the perfect combination for holiday festivities and the relaxation that follows them.

Mulled Rosé Recipe and Ingredients

  • 1 bottle rosé wine
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 inches fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 5 cloves
  • An orange, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons crème de cassis or blackcurrant syrup

How to Make Mulled Rosé

  • Combine all ingredients except crème de cassis or blackcurrant syrup in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer
  • Add crème de cassis or blackcurrant syrup, stir, and remove from heat
  • Strain and serve in a mug or heat-proof glass

Winter Negroni

Like the winter mojito, this is a holiday-spiced take on a classic cocktail. The difference here is that you’ll be infusing the gin with easily found, affordable holiday spices.

Infused Gin Recipe and Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of gin
  • 6 cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • ¾ cup of water
  • Half an orange peel

How to Make Infused Gin

  • Bring all ingredients except the gin to a boil
  • Turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes until it thickens a bit (to about the consistency of simple syrup)
  • Pour into an airtight container, combine gin, and store for a few days to a week (the longer the better)

Winter Negroni Recipe and Ingredients:

  • 1.5 ounces infused gin
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth (or vermouth rosso)
  • Orange twist

How to Make a Winter Negroni

  • Stir infused gin, Campari, and vermouth in a cocktail shaker
  • Pour over ice into a rocks glass
  • Garnish with orange twist

Apple Sidecar

Brandy is the perfect holiday liquor. It’s sweeter than whisky, richer than vodka and gin, and deeper than rum. It has a natural spice to it that makes it a great recommendation from bartenders during the colder months. By using only a small amount of apple juice and letting the rest of the fruit flavor come from a liqueur, this wonderful winter cocktail doesn’t overpower the subtle berry and floral notes from the star of the show: the brandy.

Apple Sidecar Recipe and Ingredients

  • 1 ½  ounces brandy
  • 1 ¼ ounces Cointreau
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
  • One orange slice
  • Pinch of ground allspice powder

How to Make an Apple Sidecar

  • Shake brandy, Cointreau, and apple juice in a cocktail shaker
  • Strain into a martini glass
  • Top with a pinch of allspice powder and orange slice

Cranberry Maple Bourbon Cocktail

This is the only winter cocktail recipe with maple syrup on the list. That alone catapults it right to the top. Here the oakiness of bourbon mingles with the earthy sweetness of maple syrup. The key here is to use real maple syrup. Not necessarily because it’s better, but because it’s not as thick as the flavored corn syrup often bought in stores. That makes it easier to dissolve when shaken.

Ingredients in Cranberry Maple Bourbon Cocktail

  • 1 ½ ounces bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • ½ ounce Grand Marnier
  • 4 ounces pure cranberry juice
  • Orange twist

How to Make a Cranberry Maple Bourbon Cocktail

  • Shake ice, bourbon, maple syrup, Grand Marnier, and cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker
  • Pour over ice and serve in a rocks glass, garnished with an orange twist

Put these easy winter cocktail on your menu and you’re guaranteed to light the holiday-spiced fire underneath your guests. Which is great, because it’s cold out there!