So, you can rest assured that as the chilly months keep you inside a little more often, you’ll have a range of options for winter cocktails that’s not just local but global to choose from. We’ll be sharing drink ideas that are perfect whether you’re hosting a dinner party, spending the holidays with family, or simply treating yourself to an after-dinner nightcap.
Ahead, we’ll take you through the top alcoholic beverages in the US, as well as some state-specific favorites. Next, you’ll learn about the most requested cocktails across North America, before we round out our tour with some popular drinks from around the world. Whether you’re celebrating or relaxing this winter, it’s all about making the most of the moment. So alongside the world's favorite cocktails, you'll find NIO Cocktails premixed selections as your convenient alternative - allowing you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your loved ones.
Let’s get started!
Top Winter Cocktails in the USA
The Old Fashioned is a timeless drink that’s perfect for sipping while you get warm by a cozy fire—no wonder it’s the #1 winter cocktail in the US. (It’s also one of the most famous alcoholic drinks!)
- 1 ½ oz. Bourbon or Rye whiskey
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 sugar cube
- A few dashes of water
NIO Cocktails has a range of classic and signature cocktails all crafted by Master Mixologist Patrick Pistolesi, owner of Drink Kong: the 16th best bar in the world, according to Top Best Bars 2022. Among our top drinks is our premixed Old Fashioned cocktail, which is industry recommended and contains Bourbon and a dash of orange bitters designed to liven up your palette. (Bourbon is often considered the United State’s national alcoholic drink (in 1964, congress even officially named it the US National Spirit.)
It should come as no surprise that hot drinks are a popular choice when outdoor temperatures start to cool. And, in the US, the Hot Toddy is the most popular of all. Unlike some of the other beverages we’ll be discussing, however, it isn’t a big party drink. Rather, it’s a favorite for relaxing nights at home.
- ¾ cup water
- 1 ½ oz. whiskey
- 3 tsp. honey
- 3 tsp. lemon juice
- A lemon round and cinnamon stick as garnishes
With its gingery aroma, this smooth yet fiery treat is perfect for those who love winter cocktails with a kick. Searchers agree, with 301,000 monthly searches dedicated to this drink throughout the winter.
- 50 oz. vodka
- crushed ice
- 150-200 oz. ginger beer
- A few dashes of ginger bitters
- A sprig of mint or wedge of lime as a garnish
Named for one of the most popular destinations in the US, it’s only fitting that the Manhattan is one of the USA’s national drinks. It’s a classic and beloved cocktail among whiskey fans, offering the perfect amount of bitterness.
- 2 oz. Rye whiskey
- 2 oz. sweet vermouth
- 4 dashes Angostura bitters
- A Maraschino cherry as a garnish
For an easy at-home Manhattan, try our premixed Bourbon Manhattan cocktail. All of NIO Cocktails’ award-winning cocktails are produced with Top Spirit Brands like Tanqueray London Dry Gin, Ketel One Family Owned Vodka, Tequila Exotico 100% Blue Agave and premium Ron Santiago de Cuba. In this drink, you’ll find Bulleit Bourbon complemented with the flavors of Cocchi Vermouth.
Nothing says “holiday season” quite like a glass of Eggnog. This rich, chilled, sweetened, dairy-based beverage is traditionally served as a punch at parties, especially at holiday festivities. On chilly nights, you’re also free to heat it up and discover the tastiest of hot winter drinks.
- 2 eggs, separated
- 2 oz. sugar, divided
- 12 oz. whole milk
- 4 oz. heavy cream
- 4 oz. rum, bourbon or brandy
- Grated nutmeg as a garnish
Most-Searched Cocktails by State
The Cosmopolitan is often associated with New York, but it’s actually Nevada where it’s the most searched winter drink. It also lands in the top five alcoholic beverages in Italy and Germany. Beyond its popularity, this trendy cocktail is smooth and flavourful, and we’d consider it one of the classiest winter beverages.
- 45 oz. lemon vodka
- 15 oz. triple sec
- 30 oz. cranberry juice
- 10 oz. lime juice
- Orange zest, or a lime wedge as a garnish
For a tangy-sweet version you can sip on in seconds, try our premixed Cosmopolitan instead.
The full-flavored and sophisticated Espresso Martini is one of the most-loved coffee liqueur cocktails. And with a monthly average search volume of 201,100 in the winter months, it ranks among the top US cocktails. In Massachusetts, specifically, the Espresso Martini is the #1 winter drink! With a blend of coffee and vodka, this simple cocktail offers a luscious mouthfeel and makes for a real treat during cold weather months.
- 2 oz. vodka
- ½ oz. coffee liqueur
- 1 oz. espresso, freshly brewed (or cold brew concentrate)
- Coffee beans as a garnish
If you’re keen to enjoy your drink quickly and easily, try our premixed Espresso Martini cocktail. Aside from being a great way to enjoy top mixology at home, this drink (and all of our cocktails) are perfect for impressing guests at your next party. The flat-pack design makes it easy to create a sleek home bar in the most unexpected places, from your kitchen to your living room. And before you know it, NIO is a talking point at every gathering.
The Mimosa is a simple yet delicious combination of fizz and orange juice. It’s a brunch staple throughout the US and the most-searched winter cocktail in Wisconsin. Get out those champagne flutes and enjoy a morning winter gathering in style.
- 1 bottle champagne or prosecco, chilled
- 1L freshly squeezed orange juice, chilled
North America’s Most-Searched Winter Cocktails
North America’s most searched-for winter cocktails are the Old Fashioned, Margarita and Hot Toddy—something for every mood and occasion. These three drinks are all among the most-searched cocktails in the US as well. (We already shared the ingredients for an Old Fashioned and a Hot Toddy; keep reading for our favorite Margarita recipe!)
The Most Searched Cocktails During Winter
The Negroni, a drink recognized for its vibrant red color, is searched for an average of over 90,500 times each month in the winter. This drink is refreshing, with a bitterness that evokes the taste of summer even on a winter night, perfect for times you don’t want to accept just how cold the weather is getting.
- 1 oz. Campari
- 1 oz. sweet red vermouth
- 1 oz. gin
- An orange peel as a garnish
Taste this Italian delight even faster with our premixed Negroni cocktail.
We covered the Negroni as one of the most popular winter cocktails in the UK, but it’s also highly requested across Europe. As such, we’ve got a few variations of this international beverage for you to discover.
The favored drink of a certain House of The Dragon star, this Negroni variation uses sparkling wine instead of gin. This makes it perfect for toasting the New Year! Stay on trend and try it out this season.
A sophisticated take on the classic bitter-sweet Negroni, our premium Boulevardier combines the rich warmth of Bulleit Bourbon with Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino, Campari and Angostura Aromatic Bitters.
Finland and Sweden
Indulge guests with a classic Irish Coffee at the end of a dinner party. Among the most popular drinks from around the world, it’s the #1 most-searched winter cocktail in Finland and Sweden. Serve the delicious mix of Irish whiskey (one of the national drinks of Ireland, naturally), cream and coffee as a decadent finale for any meal.
- 2 tbsp. double cream
- 5 oz. freshly brewed black coffee
- 2 oz. Irish whiskey
- ½ - 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Spain & Mexico
The Margarita is a truly classic, international drink with widespread popularity. In addition to being one of the top beverages in North America, it’s the #1 most-searched winter cocktail in Spain and Mexico. If you’re used to only drinking Margaritas in the summer, consider this: They have a refreshingly sour citrus taste that’s delightful in colder seasons, too.
- 4 oz. tequila
- 2 oz. Cointreau
- 1 ½ oz. fresh juice from 2 limes
- 1 tbsp. coarse salt for glass rims
- 1 lime wedge, plus 2 lime wheels for garnish
If you’re short on time or new to drink-making, it doesn’t get much easier than our premixed Margarita. Our refreshing Tommy’s Margarita is also a great option.
There you have it: Our look at the top winter drinks from around the world. To make the most of this holiday season, let NIO help you come out from behind the cocktail shaker and never miss a moment with those who matter. NIO Cocktails has a cocktail for every home occasion and every palate, including crowd-pleasers like Cosmos and Daiquiris and sophisticated drinks like Manhattans or Boulevardiers. Build a custom box of cocktails, then serve and enjoy.