With the colder weather setting in, now is the time to swap the chilled choices for something a little cosier. Here are four of the top winter cocktail trends and recipes to keep you warm this season.

  1. Simple Cocktails

Forget overly garnished cocktails topped with umbrellas, flowers and fruit. The cocktails of 2019 take a much more pared back approach. The long list of ingredients is ditched and instead, drink specifications are shorter and simpler – and that goes for presentation too. Classic cocktails (sometimes with a modern twist) are also making a comeback. The focus is on flavour, allowing the ingredients to really speak for themselves.



Made from the finest corn, rye and barley malt, this American Bourbon whiskey ages in new oak barrels for years, in century-old warehouses until the peak of its maturity.

Tasting Notes
Aroma: Vanilla, mint & molasses
Palate: Notes of brown sugar and spice that give way to oak toffee, dark fruit & anise
Finish: Long & smooth with serious depth

Recipe: Winter Spiced old fashioned:

50ml Buffalo Trace
15ml winter spice syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes orange bitters
Method: stir over ice for slow dilution and garnish with orange peels.

  1. Breakfast and Brunch Cocktails 

With healthy cocktails and mocktails becoming more popular, it makes sense that breakfast and brunch cocktails would be on the increase too. But this doesn’t mean more drinking; people are drinking for taste. Brunch cocktails should be sustaining, which is why it’s all about quality, not quantity. Today’s brunch cocktails are made with locally produced artisanal spirits, small-batch mixers and fresh garnishes (if any).



Distilled in the Caribbean from naturally sweet molasses, Kraken Black Spiced is then blended with secret spices, notes of vanilla, cinnamon, citrus, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, peppercorn, and also danger, lots and lots of danger.

Tasting Notes
Aroma: Cinnamon & Vanilla
Palate: Sweet molasses, spices and notes of vanilla, cinnamon, citrus and nutmeg
Finish: Slightly warming with a big punch of Vanilla

Recipe: Krakaccino

30ml Kraken Rum
15ml Irish Crème Liqueur
Hot Coffee
Whipped Cream
Stir all the ingredients together. Add a bit of extra whipped cream on top. Enjoy! 

  1. The Rum Revolution

Internationally, strong tiki drinks are back in fashion and rum is also on the rise locally. As consumers recognise that rum can be as good as whisky, they will start demanding quality rum cocktails, made with fresh fruits, homemade syrups and good bitters –something else that is equally fashionable at the moment. Enjoy it across the sweet and savoury spectrum of drinks, as it is versatile with both fruit and coffee flavours.



Distilled from some of the finest sugar cane in the world, Don Papa Rum is aged for 10 years in American oak barrels in the foothills of Mount Kanlaon. The rum is then charcoal filtered to remove any tannins and impurities before being blended to perfection.

Tasting Notes
Aroma: Light & fruity
Palate: Vanilla, honey & candied fruits
Finish: Long, rich textured finish

Recipe: Raspberry of the Eye

50ml Don Papa 10-Year Old
50 ml Raspberry Syrup
25ml Lime Juice
15ml Cellulose
A Crack of Salt
Garnish with a dusting of Cacao and a Raspberry and Enjoy!

4) Artisanal ingredients

Cocktails featuring artisanal ingredients are increasing in popularity and mezcal is a fine example of this. 2018 saw a huge jump in mezcal sales around the world and 2019 is set to continue this trend. Mexico’s smoky agave spirit is ‘winter cocktail friendly’ as it will warm you up instantly. You can have it neat… or try it with coffee and a decadent chocolate treat, to really bring out the dark chocolate flavours.



Montelobos is an artisanal Mezcal – handmade in small batches in the 500-year-oldtradition. Mezcal is distilled from harvested agave piñas that have been roasted for days in a special fire pit, giving it a distinctive smoky flavour.

Tasting Notes
Aroma: Anise, banana, pineapple, agave espadín, asparagus, smoke.
Palate: Roasted agave, vanilla, peppers, firewood and wilderness.
Finish: Refined with balanced smoke. Shifts between chilli and dark chocolate.

Recipe: Café Ahumado

50ml Montelobos Mezcal
25ml Ancho Reyes or 1883 red Pepper syrup
200ml Brewed Coffee
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Cinnamon stick (to garnish)
Combine ingredients and stir. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!