It’s easy to get carried away with mixed drinks, but there’s really no need to turn them into a production — even the most basic can be memorable and satisfying. Hot drinks are a welcome pleasure after any amount of time spent outside in the cold. They’re also delicious, impressive-looking and easy to make. The following drinks only require basic kinds of alcohol, along with a few other ingredients that you probably have lying around. There’s no need to search for obscure liqueurs and garnishes that you’ll only use once. These drinks will do a better job of warming you than those crappy heat lamps at El stops.
Snog (stout + eggnog)
Perfect for: Reading week experimentation
The riskiest — but most pleasantly surprising — of all these drinks. More like beer with a hint of eggnog than eggnog with a hint of beer. If you’re a sadist, test this one out on your friends.
1 bottle of creamy stout (Guinness is a good bet, don’t
go too trashy)
1 shot of bourbon
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 orange or lemon
Nutmeg and/or cinnamon
Heat the stout, citrus and spices for 15 minutes. While it’s heating, beat the egg with the brown sugar. When the beer is hot, pour a little into the bowl with the egg and stir. This will keep the egg from scrambling. Combine the beer-egg mixture with the rest of the beer in a tall mug. Add the shot of bourbon and drink immediately. As you can imagine, a lukewarm beer-bourbon-egg combination is a little gross.
Mint Irish Coffee
Perfect for: Tailgating
A slightly sweet twist on a morning-drinker’s classic. Bring all the ingredients and mix it when you arrive.
¾ cup hot coffee (or tea or hot chocolate)
1 shot of whiskey (Irish Whiskey is traditional, but it
doesn’t make a big difference)
Mint chocolate chip ice cream (take it out of the
freezer a half hour beforehand)
Fill a cup with coffee ¾ of the way, then add a shot of whiskey. Put a spoonful of ice cream on top. It will melt slowly and give the drink a wonderful, smooth texture.
Perfect for: Autumn gatherings
A great recipe for when you’re having people over, this one is easy to double or triple. It’s spicy, fruity and not too intense — a crowd pleaser.
1 bottle of red wine (the cheaper the better) or a few
cans of hard cider
Cinnamon and cloves
Cut the citrus fruits into quarters, put all ingredients into a big pot and simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Serve hot. If you don’t want to keep the stove on, you can make this recipe in a slow cooker instead. Put the wine, citrus and spices in, turn the heat on low and wait 15 minutes to drink.
Perfect for: Post snowball fight or Lakefill romp
A drink with butter might sound strange if you’re not Paula Deen, so you’ll just have to trust us on this one. It’s smooth, sweet and caramel-y, so don’t accidentally drink too many.
1 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1 shot of rum (spiced is preferable but not necessary)
Sugar (white or brown) to taste
Bring the water to a rolling boil. While it’s boiling, put the butter in the bottom of a mug with the rum. Pour the boiling water into the mug. Wait until it’s not too hot, and then add sugar until it’s sweet enough for your taste (we used about two teaspoons, but we like it sweet).