As the weather turns colder, we're looking forward to mixing cocktails infused with rich, warming spices and nutty flavors. Spiced rum, woodsy bitters, and intense amari can all give drinks a wonderfully warming bite. From a cinnamon-spiced rum punch to carrot cake in a glass, we've rounded up our favorite spiced cocktail recipes.
Cinnamon is a great choice for warming up a cocktail. The Pearman's Toddy takes gin, sweetens it with a cinnamon syrup, and then brightens it up a little with lemon juice. The Canadian starts with spiced rum—already rich with cloves, allspice, and vanilla—ands adds apple cider, maple syrup, and ground cinnamon. Su jung kwa is a Korean tea made from cinnamon, ginger, spices, sweet dried dates, and pine nuts. Spiked with rye whiskey, it makes for a complex cocktail.
Braulio amaro is an Italian digestif flavored with botanicals like star anise and bitter orange. It gives a pleasant bitterness and a little spice to whatever you use it in. For the American, Braulio and vermouth are combined and topped with club soda to make a drink both bracing and refreshing. Our Amber Negroni pairs Braulio with gin, rosemary, and Lillet Blanc, another amaro. The Black Betty takes the intensity to the next level, mixing spicy rye with Braulio, Cynar, and Herbsaint.
Find all of these drinks and more in our collection of spiced cocktail recipes.
Fresh carrot juice, bourbon, and a sweet, slightly bitter walnut liqueur combine in this drinkable twist on carrot cake.
This nutty cocktail from Mike Bass of Florida’s Cask and Larder combines amaro, vermouth, and sherry with a tangy beet and carrot shrub.
This herbal, anise-capped riff on a negroni comes from Eric Foster of Florida’s Cask and Larder. In typical SAVEUR fashion, this cocktail is great for enjoying with a good meal, friends, and family. Get the recipe for Friends And Neighbors »
This refreshing amaro-and-vermouth-based cocktail—a twist on the classic Americano—from New York City’s Amor y Amargo offers big notes of orange, cinnamon, and pine, with a touch of anise from a couple dashes of absinthe. We love Imbue Petal & Thorn vermouth for its bold, citrusy flavor, but you can substitute any other sweet vermouth. See the recipe for the American »
The bar menu at Portland restaurant Ned Ludd is full of drinks that hint at bar manager Jeremy Wilson’s devotion to amari and other bittersweet liqueurs. Our favorite of his concoctions features Becherovka, a traditional Czech liqueur with a pleasant bitterness and a spicy, herbal flavor. To it he adds rum, homemade honey-ginger syrup infused with cardamom and cinnamon, two kinds of bitters, a splash of tart lime juice, and a bit of soda water. The resulting drink is both warming and refreshing—the perfect accompaniment to a chilly fall evening.
A housemade amber vermouth flavored with juniper and cardamom is the base for this gutsy drink from Manhattan’s Amor y Amargo, which opened in 2011 with vermouth on tap and more than 12 bottled varieties. Cardoon-flavored Cardamaro and dry gin play off the vermouth’s botanical notes, while celery bitters boosts the drink’s herbaceousness. See the recipe for the Brother James »
Mastiha is a traditional Greek liqueur flavored with mastic, the resin from a tree that grows on the island of Chios. It adds an herbal, pine-like flavor to this sparkling cocktail from Berlin’s Lebensstern.
At the vermouth-focused bar Amor y Amargo in New York City, cognac, apple brandy, and an apple-mint vermouth are combined for a decidedly autumnal cocktail. Becherovka, a spicy, bittersweet Czech liqueur, lends a complex herbal flavor; dashes of apple bitters amp up the fruit aromatics. See the recipe for the Apple Barrel »
Spiced rum, with its notes of cloves, allspice, and vanilla, is complemented by the comforting fall flavors of spicy cinnamon, sweet maple syrup, and warming apple cider for a cocktail inspired by autumn in Toronto.
Replacing the Negroni’s traditional sweet vermouth with Lillet and the Campari with Braulio, an herbal Italian amaro, gives this twist on the classic cocktail a rich amber hue and a pleasingly astringent edge.
Inspired by the classics—the Manhattan, the Sazerac—Max Greco created this drink featuring bittersweet, nutty Braulio amaro at Vasco in Sydney, Australia.
Simple syrup infused with anise and cardamom adds depth and sweetness to this genever and persimmon cocktail from Manhattan restaurant The Breslin.
Su jung kwa is a traditional Korean tea made from cinnamon, ginger, spices, sweet dried dates, and pine nuts that’s commonly served as an after-dinner drink or dessert. Rye whiskey gives the drink an untraditional kick.