Get out of the cold and warm up with a batch of cozy drinks that are perfect to share with friends and family. Try these recipes using local Hudson Valley wines, brandies, and fresh-pressed ciders.

Spiced Wine

Great for chilly evenings  in front of a roaring fire. Choose a wine that is high in alcohol and high in tannins with lots of fruit like Merlot or Grenache.

4 cups apple cider or apple juice

1 bottle red wine

1/4 cup honey

6 bags of mulling spice

Orange zest, orange slices and cinnamon sticks

Heat apple cider or apple juice in a large pan until steamy but not boiling. Steep mulling bags for 3 minutes, then stir in honey until dissolved. Add wine. Pour warm drink in wine glasses and garnish with zest, orange slice and cinnamon stick.

Mulled Wine

Soothing and satisfying with a blend of spices warmed to perfection. The key is refrigerating the mixture overnight to allow the flavors to blend, so don’t miss this essential step. Choose a fruit-forward red wine or red blend.

1 bottle red wine (750ml)

1 cup brandy

1 cup sugar

3 bags of mulling spice

1 medium orange, sliced

1 medium lemon, sliced

1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns

Star anise, cinnamon sticks

In a large saucepan, combine wine, brandy, sugar, orange, lemon and mulling spices. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, remove mulling bags, reheat wine and garnish with cinnamon sticks, star anise and orange twist.

Traditional Wassail

Think ski slopes and outdoor markets and make this German holiday tradition your own. Choose a light-style Pinot Noir or Merlot.

2 bottles red wine

24 ounces of water

1 cup of honey

6 bags of mulling spice

3 sliced lemons

3 sliced oranges

 2 sliced limes

In a large pot, add wine, water, honey, lemon, orange and lime slices. Heat to simmering but do not boil. Add mulling bags and let sleep for 3 to 4 minutes. Serve warm. Garnish with lemon or orange slices and cinnamon stick.

Apple Cranberry Punch

A festive drink that can be served warm on chilly nights or chilled over ice. Choose a full-bodied, fruit-forward wine.

4 cups red wine

4 cups water

24 oz. apple cider

24 oz. cranberry juice (can use frozen)

4 bags of mulling spice sprinkled into mixture

Combine all ingredients, stirring to combine spices. Chill for at least an hour. Warm to serve or pour over ice.


Spiced Hot Apple Toddy

A traditional toddy with an apple-centric twist.

2 oz. apple brandy or applejack

4 oz. apple cider

1 tbsp. sugar or honey (to taste)

1 bag of mulling spice

1 lemon wedge, cinnamon stick

Heat apple cider to steamy hot, but not boiling. Add mulling spice bag and steep for 1 to 2 minutes. Coat bottom of clear coffee glass with honey. Add apple brandy, then fill with hot apple cider. Stir well. Garnish with lemon and cinnamon stick.

Hot Buttered Whiskey Toddy

A great after-dinner or bedtime drink for whiskey lovers. Choose your favorite local whiskey or brown spirit.

1-1/2 oz. whiskey

6 oz. apple cider

2 tbsp. brown sugar or honey

1 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 bag of mulling spice

In a small pot, heat apple cider to almost boiling. Meanwhile, pour whiskey in a toddy glass. Place brown sugar or honey in a small, heat-proof  container. Spoon in butter and pour in 2 oz. of the hot  cider and one bag of mulling spice.  Stir until butter melts and is a syrupy consistency (about 30 seconds). Pour in the rest of the apple cider and steep for another 3o seconds. Stir briefly and remove spice bag, then pour mixture on top of the whiskey. Stir and enjoy!

This post was sponsored by Olde Tradition Spice. Visit