Four Winter Versions of Classic Cocktails Friends & Customers Will Love

Summer is out, winter is in. Make sure your cocktail menu reflects this with four unique winter cocktails to amaze your patrons and keep them coming back.


If your cocktail menu could use a refresher, try a seasonal theme. Keep people talking about your bar and drinks with these winter cocktails customers will love.

A fiery twist on an old-fashioned

The old-fashioned is having a trendy moment, so take advantage of the hype and put a modern twist on an old favorite. Without taking away your customer’s option of brandy or whiskey, recommend a base with a smoky flavor. Swap out the classic angostura bitters for cardamom bitters to tweak the taste and prepare for the pièce de résistance: a flaming orange peel.

Old-fashioneds typically feature an orange peel or cherry, but setting the peel aflame will add an inviting aroma and entice your customers. Just make sure you know how to serve the drink safely. Top it off with star anise for even more appeal!

A new adult hot chocolate

Your patrons will want to leave the kids at home for this hot chocolate run. For an added thrill, make this RumChata hot chocolate right in front of your customers! Bring mugs full of hot whole milk to the table, drop half a chocolate bar into each mug, and witness your customers’ amazement as the chocolate magically melts into the milk.

Stir until mixed well and finish with a shot of RumChata. Top the drink off with whipped cream and sprinkle of cinnamon on top! For extra taste, line the rims of your mugs with melted caramel before serving.

A seasonal shift for the classic mule

Moscow mule in cold mug
Taken by W. Dharma via [Public Domain].

The Moscow mule is a modern-day crowd-pleaser. Turn it up a notch for the winter and make an apple cider mule. The beauty of this drink is that it doesn’t require many changes to the original recipe.

Make a normal Moscow mule with vodka and ginger beer and simply add some sparkling apple cider. Top it off with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick in lieu of a stirrer. Try dipping part of your apple slice in caramel for some extra festive fun!

A versatile martini

Two things that people love are options and coffee. Capitalize on the coffee craze by introducing an espresso martini, served hot or cold. Simply mix vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso, a pinch of sugar, and an optional chocolate liqueur. If you’re serving it cold, mix the drink as you would any other martini.

If you’re serving it hot, mix it without ice and then heat it up. This gives customers more control over their cocktail and keeps things fun. Garnish the rim of the glass with sugar, and strategically place three coffee beans strategically top of the drink.


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