Warm up for your weekend with these 3 hot and soothing cocktail recipes

Mackensy Lunsford
Southern Kitchen

Nothing warms you more than a nip of booze in a hot drink. Here, we've provided two cocktails and a recipe for mulled wine to keep you toasty through the weekend. Bottoms up, cheers and salut!

Charleston breakfast coffee cocktail

This warming cocktail is a Southerner’s take on Irish coffee. It's richer and more grain-forward in flavor, and it's made with Southern-made whiskey, to boot.

Charleston Breakfast Coffee Cocktail

If you’d like to scale this up to serve more than one person, double the volume of heavy cream and whip it in a quart jar. Increase the cocktail ingredients by the number of cocktails you’d like to make.

Makes 1 cocktail


Demerara simple syrup

1/2 cup Demerara sugar

1/2 cup water

Soft whipped cream

1 cup heavy cream


2 ounces whiskey, such as High Wire Revival Sorghum Whiskey 

1/2 ounce Demerara simple syrup (above)

8 ounces brewed dark roast coffee 

Soft whipped cream (above)


To make the simple syrup: In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and the water to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Let cool to room temperature before using.

To make the soft whipped cream: Place the cream in a pint-sized Mason jar and seal tightly with the lid. Shake jar as you would a cocktail shaker until the cream starts to get thick and pourable, but not yet firm. (For larger portions, pass the jar around and make everyone work a little for their delicious treat.)

To make the cocktail: In a coffee mug, combine the whiskey and simple syrup. Top with the hot coffee and stir to combine. Pour the soft whipped cream on top to form a layer about 1/2 inch thick on top. Add more cream, as desired. Serve without stirring; drink through the cold layer of cream and enjoy. 

Hot buttered rum.

Slow cooker hot buttered rum

Using your slow cooker to make hot cocktails allows the flavors to more deeply develop, plus it perfumes the entire kitchen with warming spice.

Serves: 8

Hands on time: 5 minutes

Total time: 4 hours and 5 minutes


4 cups water

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 cinnamon sticks

1 whole nutmeg

5 allspice berries

5 whole cloves

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

1 cup dark or amber rum


In the bowl of a slow cooker, combine all of the ingredients except for the rum. Cover with the lid and cook on low heat until sugar dissolves and the mixture is fragrant, about 4 hours. Turn off the heat, stir in the rum, and ladle into mugs or glasses. Serve.

Slow cooker mulled wine 

Making fragrant mulled wine in a slow cooker can be a nice hands-off approach to entertaining. Just combine all the ingredients over low heat and let the slow cooker work its magic for a few hours. Because the sugar and spices would kill a good wine’s subtle nuances, be sure to use a less expensive wine for this cocktail.

Serves: 4

Hands on time: 5 minutes

Total time: 3 hours and 5 minutes


1 bottle medium-bodied red wine, such as merlot

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup brandy

1 orange, peeled and juiced

3 cinnamon sticks

2 star anise pods

1 whole nutmeg pod

4 whole cloves


In the bowl of a slow cooker, combine all of the ingredients. Cover with the lid and cook on low heat for 3 hours. Ladle into mugs and serve.


Mackensy Lunsford is the food and culture storyteller for USA TODAY Network's South Region and the editor of Southern Kitchen.

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Reach me: mlunsford@southernkitchen.com