Pouring of a classic cocktail with orange peel garnish.

Winter Cocktails for Right Now

I enjoy wine year round, but the other major liquors certainly get their due time, depending on the time of year. Beer is mostly in the warmer months, and the cooler times of year call for warming whiskey based cocktails that will lift the coldest of spirits. I’ve shared a couple twists on my two favorite whiskey based cocktails, the Rusty Nail and Old Fashioned.

The Rusty Nail is a cocktail that combines roughly equal parts Scotch whisky and Drambuie, a Scotch based honey infused liqueur. As an aside, this cocktail is generally better with non Sherry cask whisky, as the sweetness of the Sherry could be too overwhelming. My personal twist is to add a cinnamon stick to swirl, or a lengthy orange peel that has been lightly charred over a flame. It adds another layer of richness and roasted flavor.

The Old Fashioned is a cocktail of Bourbon or Rye (usually the latter), combined with a bitter, a sugar, an orange peel, and other garnish. The bitter and sugar and muddled together and then the spirit is added. I personally use only Luxardo brand cherries for garnish – which leads to the twist. Instead of using sugar as a sweetener, I use the amazing syrup from the Luxardo cherries. Just a half teaspoon or so goes a long way. The rest is prepared as usual.