Cocktail Guide: Booze on a Budget


A Cinnamon Old Fashioned, a sweet drink to warm your belly on a cold winter night. (Photo by Patrick Hyun Wilson)

Patrick Hyun Wilson

This holiday season, bring home the gift of shared inebriation with these simple tasty cocktails. You can flex your growing palette even with bottom shelf booze and get your friends to ask the age old question, “There’s alcohol in this?” Save on a night out, bring the bar home and try these drinks that even the most kitchen inept of us can easily mix in a matter of minutes, but don’t forget to ask your friends for I.D.


Cinnamon Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is a classic drink with a sweet taste. This twist on the classic cocktail is sure to warm your belly while you kick back with your favorite book this holiday season.

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 orange
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 pinch black peppercorn
  • 1 pinch cloves
  • 1 ½ ounce whisky
  1. Slice orange into thin slices
  2. Mix sugar, water, bay leaf, ½ of the cinnamon stick, peppercorn, cloves and orange slices in a pan and cook on stove top medium heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove orange slices onto a sheet of parchment paper and strain the syrup into a bowl
  4. Place two orange slices in a glass and mix in whisky.
  5. Stir in a teaspoon of syrup and serve with the other half of the cinnamon stick as a garnish.



Chocolate Peppermint Vodka

Invite your friends over and mix a big pitcher of this super sweet candy drink.

  • 1 Part Vodka
  • 1 Part Chocolate Milk
  • 1 Piece of Peppermint candy/ shot
  1. Crush the peppermint candies to a fine powder and pour the powder into a glass
  2. Pour vodka over the crushed peppermint candies and let soak for 30-60 minutes
  3. Mix in chocolate milk and serve cold



Hot Chocolate Whisky

For a quieter night with a fire going in the fireplace and your favorite movie streaming on your t.v. hold a mug of this close and keep out the cold with this drink.

  • 1 packet of microwave hot cocoa
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ½ ounce whisky
  • 1 ½ ounce heavy cream
  1. Heat milk in microwave according to instructions on the hot cocoa packet
  2. Mix hot cocoa powder with milk
  3. Pour in whisky and cream and stir together
  4. (Optional) Serve with whipped cream topping




Gather together your friends, family and all the cousins who have all reached 21 at this point in their lives and share a round of eggnog.

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • ¾ cup cream
  • 6 ounces of whisky
  1. Separate egg yolk from egg whites
  2. Mix the sugar with the egg yolks and whisk until it gets an even yellow color
  3. Pour in the milk, cream and whisky; whisk until smooth
  4. Let chill in the refrigerator for one hour
  5. (Optional) beat the egg whites until frothy and use as topping for your eggnog.



Nutmeg Whisky

This subtle drink is the perfect mix for a night-cap or a night starter. If you’re like me, you like your whisky strong and your holiday spirit subtle and this drink is a prefect balance of the two.

  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Whole Nutmeg
  • 1 ½ ounce whisky
  1. Crush Nutmeg on chopping board
  2. Mix brown sugar, water and crushed nutmeg in pan and cook on stove on medium heat for 7 minutes.
  3. Strain the syrup into a seperate bowl.
  4. Mix whisky, and syrup into a glass and stir.


Celebrate responsibly!