The Hot List: Your Guide to Hot Cocktails
Hot cocktails have become synonymous with British wintertime. Commonplace in the capital and beyond, you’ll be sure to find a selection of winter cocktails at London’s coolest bars, the best bars in Oxford and London’s best winter events.
Or, make cocktails at home with our tried and tested hot cocktail recipes.
The Best London Bars for Hot Cocktails
From Mayfair’s extravagant heated terraces to Shoreditch’s themed rooftops, these are the best bars in London to find the steamy sauce.
Hot Winter Cocktails at Rumours, Mayfair
A vibrant bar situated within Mayfair, Rumours is the definition of ‘extra’. Known amongst the Insta-obsessed for its bathrooms, you’ll struggle not to ‘oooh’ at the pink flamingo wallpaper, ‘aaah’ at the oversized vanity areas and pose on the pink velvet chaise longue sofa.
Head through the dining room – that’s decked out with plush pastel pink chairs and jungle vines – and take a seat on the Gossip Garden that wraps the room.
Meeting friends for a gossip on this toasty terrace, while consuming one of their Instagrammable cocktails is the perfect way to spend an evening. So, grab a cosy corner, a shisha pipe and a hot cocktail, because Rumour has it, this bar’s hot list is one of the best in London.
Rumours’ Hot List:
We caught up with the Rumours team to find out about the inspiration behind their hot cocktail list.
“Our hot cocktail collection was born out of our love for the classic hot toddy”, the team explained. “Here at Rumours, we don’t accept imitations – we wanted to get creative with our set of winter warmers.
“The result? An exciting, unique collection, inspired not only by flavours expected in Britain at wintertime but also drawing on in-house specialists’ experiences across the globe. We’ve given our hot cocktails our signature Rumours twist by incorporating mouth-watering pairings of fruity flavours.”
A Fallen Flower
Made from Amaretto, lemon juice, vanilla, raspberry and blueberry, the summery flavours in A Fallen Flower are contrary to those you might expect from a wintery bev. This is one hot cocktail that will be sure to transport you to sunnier climes.
Sergejs Summer Solace
No, this isn’t a cosmopolitan. It’s Rumours pushing the boundaries again and again. Rumours’ hot summer solace combines Pampero Especial Rum with refreshing raspberry, strawberry, mint, lemon and vanilla flavours.
Made from Ketel One Vodka, lemon juice, honey and apple juice, Heated Honeypot will remind you of the beauties of winter. Wrap your frozen fingers around this hot cocktail and relax into the evening.
Whiskey fans, roll up because you’re going to love this classic hot toddy. Made from Jack Daniels, agave and lemon juice, this simple drink has one job – warming you up – and it takes its role quite seriously.
Read more: Whiskey Gift Guide
Rumours also have the most picturesque mulled wine you’ve ever seen… because winter’s not complete without this comforting classic.
Hot Cocktails at Sky Pod Bar at Sky Garden, Fenchurch Street
The 35th floor of London’s ‘walkie talkie’ building is home to Sky Garden, a lush green space with dramatic views that sweep across the city. Head over to the Sky Garden’s Sky Pod Bar for some of the best seats in the house and two hot cocktails that will be sure to get you steamin’.
Sky Pods’ Hot Cocktail List:
Sky Pod Bar’s Sweet Temptation is Christmas in a cup. This rich, boozy hot chocolate contains familiar Christmassy flavours, including cinnamon liqueur (Roots Kanela), Martel VS cognac and almond syrup.
Topped with a homemade toffee nut whipped cream, mini marshmallows, chocolate powder and a stick of shortbread that’s perfect for dunking, this hot cocktail satisfies even the sweetest of teeth.
For something a little lighter, opt for Sky Pod’s Teatime. A twist on the classic hot toddy, this teatime treat contains Plymouth Gin, St Germain Elderflower liqueur, rhubarb syrup, lemon and freshly brewed English breakfast tea. Delicious!
A Mulled Cocktail at Oriole Bar, Farringdon
Oriole Bar is concealed beneath London’s iconic Smithfield Market. Guests enter via a modest-at-most entrance to find themselves in a world that totally juxtaposes the one they just left.
This exotic jazz bar exudes 1940s glamour as the flamboyant décor, dim lighting and a colonial waft from the encased artefacts fills the room.
Run by the owners of world-renowned bar Night Jar, Oriole’s mixologists create elaborate and inventive hot cocktails that wouldn’t look amiss adorning the bar’s mantlepieces.
Oriole Bar’s Hennessy Reve D’hiver
One of the bar’s newest concoctions, Hennessy Reve D’hiver made it onto Oriole’s menu at the beginning of the month. Made from Hennessy, chocolate wine, winter spices tea, Roots Kanela, lemon and fructose, this hot cocktail has a warming palette and chocolate-cinnamon undertones.
Watch Oriole’s mixologists in action to see how this hot cocktail is made:
Hot Winter Cocktails at Skylight, Tobacco Docks
Situated in London’s edgy east end, the Skylight team have transformed a disused carpark into Europe’s only rooftop ice rink. Perfect your axel on the ice, join one of their Christmas carol afternoons or snuggle up in an igloo with a hot cocktail.
Skylight’s Hot List:
How do you like your hot toddy? At Skylight, you can choose between either a Tullamore D.E.W. XO Rum Cask Finish or Bombay Sapphire base.
A mulled wine or cider with a side order of skating? Sounds like the perfect Sunday.
Or, if you’re feeling indulgent, spike your hot chocolate with either Disaronno or Grand Marnier.
Hot Cocktails at The Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
A garish green kingdom awaits your arrival. Shoreditch’s Queen of Hoxton introduce their latest themed rooftop, The Emerald City.
The Emerald City’s witches have been busy crafting some of London’s most delicious and potent hot cocktails. So, if you dare enter, order up, grab a stick of marshmallows and plonk yourself by the open fire.
The Queen of Hoxton’s Hot List:
Vegan Hot Toddy
Spicy, Christmassy and flavoursome. Made from mulled pineapple tea, honey, lemon juice and Aloha 65, this sherbet will get you in the spirit.
Read more: Vegan Drinks Guide
Hot Buttered Fudge Rum
This hot buttered fudge rum, with its sweet buttery cinnamon undertones, is our Emerald City poison of choice.
A mulled apple juice base – made from cinnamon, peppercorns, orange zest and demerara sugar – is sweetened with butterscotch and crème brûlée syrups and spiced with Sirens Call rum.
Wicked Hot Chocolate
Crafted in their cauldrons, these witches know how to stir up a mean white hot chocolate. Made from coconut milk, white cacao liqueur, matcha, white chocolate and rum, this is a truly unique tipple.
And the Hot Cocktail List Goes On
With a dark hot chocolate, mulled spiced pumpkin cider and a mulled berry wine also available here, you could survive the winter hibernating at The Emerald City.
Double Dutch Pop Up Winter Bar at The Cinnamon Club, Westminster
Double Dutch, a tonic and mixer brand, has taken up residence in the iconic Old Westminster Library, and their winter pop up is sure to spice up any festive gathering.
Promising a white winter within a cosy setting, you can expect white florals, alpine forest installations, frost-covered pine foliage and lush faux fur furnishings.
Double Dutch’s Hot Cocktail:
Hot Spiced Gin Punch
This pop up have created a bespoke winter cocktail menu and it includes a hot cocktail made from Double Dutch’s new, limited-edition seasonal mixer: Rhubarb and Pineneedle.
The hot, spiced gin packs a punch. With Plymouth Gin, apple, honey, lemon, masala spice and their Double Dutch Rhubarb and Pineneedle mixer, this winter warmer in their festive setting is utterly idyllic.
The Cocktail Service’s Favourite Hot Cocktail Recipes
Mulled Appleberry Wine
Hosting a Christmas party? Whether you should serve a warm wine punch isn’t a decision you should mull over, and this appleberry beverage is a no-brainer.
Mulled appleberry wine recipe serves six:
1 bottle Merlot
500 ml cloudy apple juice
55 g caster sugar
50 g frozen mixed berry fruits
1 1/2 tablespoon orange Cointreau
1 red apple
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
Heat the wine, apple juice and sugar gently in a large saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick and star anise and stir every so often. Once the sugar has dissolved, heat for a further 15 minutes.
Just before serving, add the Cointreau, frozen fruits and apple slices.
Too big a batch? Store the leftover wine in the fridge for up to four days or in the freezer for up to three months and reheat before serving.
NB: Make sure you don’t boil the mixture so as not to drive off the alcohol and spoil the flavour.
Spiced Hot Chocolate
Spice, spice baby.
Cosying up with this boozy, post-dinner steaming hot cocoa is one of winter’s simplest pleasures.
Spiced hot chocolate recipe serves one:
250 ml semi-skimmed cow’s milk
50 ml double cream
40 g milk chopped chocolate
45 ml spiced rum
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Marshmallows to garnish
Heat the milk, double cream, chocolate, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan on a medium-high heat. Gently bring mixture to the boil, whisking until smooth. Remove from the hob and add spiced rum.
Pour into your favourite mug and sprinkle with marshmallows.
Alcohol, sugar, fat and caffeine: what’s not to love about an Irish coffee? This simple hot drink is popular in Ireland and available in all corners of the earth all year round, but there’s no doubt it’s best enjoyed in wintertime.
Irish coffee recipe serves one:
120 ml brewed coffee
45 ml Irish whiskey
1/2 teaspoon demerara sugar
2 tablespoons thick cream
Fill your Irish coffee glass with hot water and let it stand for a few minutes.
Once the glass is warm, empty the water and add the sugar, Irish whiskey and coffee. Stir mixture until sugar has dissolved. Finish with a layer of cream as thick as the width of your thumb.
Amaretto Mulled Wine
So, you might know how to make an amaretto sour, but have you ever added the sweet Italian sauce to your mulled wine?
We’ve tried and tested our favourite cherry Amaretto mulled wine recipes – swapping the orange juice for pineapple and adding fresh ginger and grated nutmeg in with the spices. After much deliberation (and as a result, plenty of alcohol), the below recipe came out on top.
Amaretto mulled wine recipe serves six:
1 bottle Italian red wine
200 ml cherry juice
100 ml orange juice
90 ml amaretto
4 tablespoons of honey
Juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Handful pitted cherries
2 sliced oranges
2 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
Add the wine, amaretto, orange, cherry and lime juice, vanilla extract, honey, pitted cherries, one of the sliced oranges, cinnamon sticks and star anise into a large saucepan.
Leave the mixture to simmer on a medium heat for 20 minutes and stir often. Garnish with sliced orange pieces from second orange.
Rose Hot Chocolate
We caught up with Lanique’s in-house Mixologist – Jakub Pesko – to find out what rose-flavoured Christmas cocktails he’s shaking up this year.
“The harsh British winter is easier to endure when sipping this boozy, rosy, hot choc delight!” Jakub explained. “I previously worked in Ireland where adding Baileys to your coffee or hot chocolate was the norm, which inspired me to play with a Lanique rose hot chocolate. If you prefer a bitter drink, add a shot of coffee too!”
Rose hot chocolate recipe serves one:
100 ml semi-skimmed cow’s milk (coconut milk is our favourite non-dairy alternative)
45 ml Lanique
25 g finely chopped mid-sweet chocolate
Candied rose petals
Combine the milk and chocolate in a saucepan and simmer on a mid-heat, stirring occasionally. Slowly mix in the Lanique and pour into a heatproof mug. Top with whipped cream and dust with candied rose petals.
Mulled Rose Hot Cocktail
Everyone loves a mulled wine in the winter, but if you want to serve up a sauce your guests won’t expect then add a splash of Lanique to your punch.
“We often throw Lanique parties in the winter and this warmed, mulled and damn-right delicious twist on a classic mulled wine is one of our favourites,” Jakub explained.
“Combining Lanique with traditional mulled wine ingredients. Lanique adds beautiful sweet warmth and good kick needed to survive those winter evenings and parties!”
Mulled rose hot cocktail recipe serves one:
135 ml fruity and crisp red wine
60 ml orange juice
45 ml Lanique
20 ml maple syrup
Add a few wedges of tangerine, cloves, cinnamon and some powdered nutmeg to your liking
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan, cover and simmer the liquid on a mid-heat for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take it off the heat and leave it covered for roughly one hour.
This hot cocktail tastes best when fine strained and kept refrigerated for a minimum of 12 hours before consumption, so prepare a batch the day before you need it and really let those flavours develop.
Mulled Apple Ginger Cider
Warm yourself up with this gingerbread cider. Combining cider with fresh ginger and cinnamon sticks, this is a Christmas essential.
Mulled apple ginger cider recipe serves one:
6 litres apple cider
150 ml apple juice
25 g caster sugar
6 inches ginger peeled and sliced
1 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp brandy optional
Add the apple juice and sugar to a large pan. Heat gently, stirring the mixture until sugar dissolves. Add the ginger, star anise and cinnamon sticks and leave to simmer for a few minutes. Add the cider and reduce the heat and leave on a low heat for 15 minutes. Just like mulled wine, don’t allow the mixture to boil.
Serve hot in heatproof glasses.
Chocolate Orange Mulled Wine Recipe
Yes, winter comes with frozen windscreens, snow-covered driveways and unearthing your heaviest winter coat only to wear it on the crowded underground. Winter does also, however, provide the perfect excuse to treat yourself to this delicious warm cocktail.
Chocolate orange mulled wine recipe serves six:
1 bottle Belsazar red wine
1 large sliced orange
1 large cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
3 tablespoons caster sugar
Terrys Chocolate Orange segments, to serve
Pour all of the ingredients (except the Terry Chocolate orange segments) into a large pan and cook on a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
Take mixture off the heat and let the flavours infuse for another 30 minutes. Serve with a segment of Terry’s Chocolate Orange.
If you enjoyed these hot cocktail recipes, you’ll love our favourite gin cocktails.