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3 warming winter cocktails to sip this week

Spiked hot cocoa, a bourbon tea cocktail and a comforting milk punch make for great seasonal beverages for cold winter nights.
Toasted smores martini
Hot chocolate gets an adult makeover when spiked with tequila and topped with a sprinkle of spicy cayenne. Rimma_Bondarenko / Getty Images/iStockphoto

The next few weeks are filled with celebrations with family and friends as we exchange presents, celebrate the holidays and ring in the new year. So what festive beverage is going to fill your cup?

Anthony Henriquez of Lumaca restaurant in NYC showed us how to go beyond the traditional hot toddy and egg nog this year. These elevated cocktails look (and taste!) impressive without taking you a ton of time to whip up. Plus, they are the perfect warm and comforting sip after a day out in the blustery cold shoveling snow (even after the holidays have passed).

La Lina

This cocktail is a spin on the classic milk punch, and looks festive topped with star anise and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

La Lina cocktail.Lumaca restaurant

1.5 oz Rye Whiskey (Henriquez uses Dickel Rye; rum or cognac can be substituted)

2 oz cream (or half and half)

2 drops vanilla extract

.5 oz Alchermes (Henriquez uses Heirloom)

Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker. Shake and pour over fresh ice. Garnish with fresh nutmeg and star anise.

Cuore Caldo

Meaning "warm heart," this cocktail will warm you up after an afternoon playing in the snow (or shoveling the driveway).

Cuore Caldo cocktail.Lumaca restaurant

1.5 oz bourbon (Henriquez uses Redemption)

.5 oz Alchermes

.25 oz Cynar

1 earl grey tea bag

Hot water

Build directly into the glass. Add the teabag and finish with hot water. Use the tea bag to further mix the spirits and top with fresh whipped cream.

Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate

Just when you thought hot chocolate couldn't get any more delicious, it's spiked with tequila and a sprinkle of cayenne for a spicy kick.

Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate.Lumaca restaurant

Recipe makes 4 servings

3 cups of milk

3 tbs of cocoa powder

3 tbs granulated sugar

1/4 tsp of cinnamon

Pinch of cayenne pepper

2-3 oz of tequila (Henriquez uses Chamucos)

In a small pot on the stove-top, bring all ingredients except liquor to a gentle simmer. Keep warm in a coffee urn and pour to order. Spirit can be added directly into the urn or per cup. Top with roasted marshmallows.

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