Winter Warmers: Your New Favorite Cocktail Recipe

    Enjoy a warmup for those cold days and nights. Local mixologists share their favorite winter cocktails with recipes included. Cheers!

    winter cocktails
    Photos by Jasmine Beaubien. Photo Illustration by Tanya Shaw.

    For those who celebrate snow on Pikes Peak, fresh pow in the mountains and spectacular winter cocktails, this one’s for you. Colorado Springs’ burgeoning cocktail scene enjoys artisans as innovative and committed as any in the trade. I spent some time asking a few of my favorite local barkeeps for wintertime adult beverage recommendations. We laughed. We chatted. We drank. They even shared recipes so you can try these delightful libations at home. Of course, it’s always worth going directly to the source.

    Short Skirt Long Jacket

    Camille Stella, The Principal’s Office

    Winter cocktail from the principals office
    Camille Stella at The Principal’s Office. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien.

     “This is basically a riff on a classic cocktail called a Negroni,” Stella says. “Not a lot of people know they would like the Negroni, so I wanted to make a menu cocktail that sounds interesting and exciting and accessible. They now have a classic cocktail they know they like.”

    What You Need

    1 ounce Carpano Antica Formula vermouth
    1 ounce Lee Spirits Dry Gin
    .75 ounce Campari
    .25 ounce cherry liqueur
    1 dash cinnamon bitters
    Luxardo cherries for garnish
    Orange peel for garnish
    Nutmeg for garnish

    Make It

    Combine all ingredients into a large glass, and stir with ice until cold. Strain into rocks glass over ice. Garnish with an orange twist, a cherry and some grated nutmeg.

    291 Ginger Cinnamon Old-Fashioned

     Montana Horsfall, Distillery 291

    winter cocktail from distillery 291
    Montana Horsfall from Distillery 291. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien.

    “I love this cocktail because it’s whiskey that is hard-made the Colorado way in a winter cocktail that is made the old-fashioned way,” Horsfall says.

    What You Need

    2 ounces 291 Colorado Rye Whiskey
    1 ounce homemade ginger cinnamon simple syrup
    2 dashes Fee Old-Fashioned Bitters
    .5 ounce Principal’s Office Ginger Beer
    .5 ounce cold-pressed cranberry juice

    Make It

    Stir and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon stick, fresh cranberry and a piece of candied ginger.

    The Moonshine Mary

    Kim Williams, Axe and the Oak

    winter cocktail from Axe and the Oak.
    Kim Williams from Axe and the Oak. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien.

    “I’m a cook, and I tend to play with veggies more than alcohol,” Williams says. “Bloodies don’t all have to taste the same, so I love the different flavor profile this drink brings to the table.”

    What You Need

    3 ounces bloody mary mix (add more spices to taste)
    .5 ounce squash infused bourbon
    1 ounce Axe and the Oak Moonshine
    .5 ounce lemon or lime juice
    3 dashes celery bitters on top
    Your favorite bloody mary garnishes

    Make It

    Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake or stir for 30 seconds. Pour into glass, ice and all, and add various garnishes. Consider your hangover cured.

    Mr. Nikka

    Emillio Ortiz, 503W

    Emillio Ortiz from 503W. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien.

    “Mr. Nikka is a true international gentleman who has a balanced approach to your cocktail needs,” Ortiz says. “The end result culminates in a sophisticated [Japanese whisky-based] libation that is more than honorable on your taste buds.”

    What You Need

    2 ounces Nikka Coffey Grain Japanese Whisky
    1 ounce Dopo Teatro Cocchi Vermouth Amaro
    .25 ounce Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
    Splash of Dolin Rouge Vermouth de Chambéry
    2 dashes of Fee Brothers Orange Bitters
    Luxardo cherry for garnish

    Make It

    Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until cold, typically 30 seconds to one minute. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and enjoy.

    The Mother

    Cody Rilo, Burrowing Owl

    Courtny Hilte from the Burrowing Owl. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien.

     “The Mother is named after the mother strain of good bacteria that is in Bragg
    Apple Cider Vinegar,” Rilo says. “It’s served on a huge ice sphere with a flower suspended in it—’cause it’s sexy.”

    What You Need

    1.5 ounces bourbon
    .75 ounce agave syrup
    .75 ounce apple cider vinegar

    Make It

    Add ice to a small glass. Combine ingredients in separate glass, then pour over ice. Enjoy.


     PM Persson, Two Swedes Glögg

    Persson and his Two Swedes Glögg bottles
    PM Persson and his Two Swedes Glögg. Photo Jasmine Beaubien.

    “It’s a wine-type drink with lots of spices, like cinnamon, that you drink warm, particularly when it’s cold out,” Persson says. “It’s a social drink. People get together and drink glögg.”

    Read all about the history of glögg and how to enjoy it here.