Three Keys to a Great Winter Cocktail

As the temperature drops, the Liber team shifts its cocktail gears a bit.
Gone are the light and bubbly porch-sipping drinks, as lovely as they are.
In their place are winter-ready cocktails that can take the chill out of the coldest day.
Three keys to wintertime cocktails? Think aromatic spices, boozy stirred classics and deeply flavored punches! 

Spices

The quintessential baking spices like cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg warm up a cocktail just as well as a cookie. Adding a cinnamon stick or whole cloves to a Hot Toddy, elevates it from a warmed whiskey sour to a whole new family of cocktail. Whole nutmeg is essential for a winter home bar. A garnish of grated nutmeg looks elegant and smells divine, instantly adding depth to a finished cocktail. Our favorite this winter has been the All Fall Down cocktail. Last but not least, is ginger - it burns so good! When we created our Fiery Ginger Syrup, we knew we had to hunt down the right ginger source. For us that meant a bright yellow ginger root with a pungent, fiery flavor. A spicy kick is often just what you’re looking for on a cold evening. Try it in the Penicillin, an American classic that incorporates Scotch whiskey.

Stir it up

Boozy stirred cocktails are simply better suited to cold weather. They go down easier and tend to warm you up along the way. Keep the spirit-forward classics like an Old Fashioned and Sazerac in your rotation. Winter is long, so don't forget to branch out with riffs like a Toronto, or experiment on your own.

Winter Punches

Winter is a great season to hole up and throw a party. Most cocktails can easily be turned into punches by scaling up the recipe and adding roughly the same amount of water as liquor. A great way to discover new flavors is to make an oleo saccharum, an old-school method of making a syrup. An oleo saccharum is made by peeling citrus, muddling it with sugar, and letting it sit until the oils are pulled from the citrus peels to make a syrup. Strain the syrup from the peels and use it as you would any syrup in a punch. This is a wonderful way to incorporate winter citrus and experiment with different sugars. We love to use a combination of demerara and granulated sugar for a deeper flavor. Use an orange oleo saccharum with mezcal, rum, Almond Orgeat Syrup, and lime juice to create a seasonal, smokier play on a Mai Tai