January calls for warmth, and these four hot cocktail recipes — which show off gin’s toasty side — should do the trick.

’Tis the season for a warm beverage; while a cuppa is fine, gin is better. Lately, we’ve been experimenting with a range of warm serves – from hot G&Ts to mulled V.J.O.P. – and it turns out, there’s quite a precedent for warm, boozy bevvies.

“Believe it or not, hot serves were more common than iced drinks in Britain until the 20th century,” says Jared Brown, Sipsmith’s Master Distiller and resident drinks historian. Central heating only became widely popularised in the 1970s; before that, he says, people needed hot drinks to keep warm.

While hot cocktail recipes may be more indulgence than necessity these days, there’s still ample reason to mix up steamy serves this winter. Beyond the simple comfort and joy that a warm cocktail affords, “heating good gin spotlights the light pine and citrus notes of the juniper and the orange and lemon peels as well as the coriander seeds,” says JB. “It elevates the floral character of the orris root, and the warm spice notes of cinnamon and cassia.”

Get to know gin in a whole new light with these four hot cocktail recipes. Whether you enjoy them after a cold country walk, next to a roaring fire, or in the company of good friends, they’re just what January ordered.

Hot G&T

This warming concoction employs gin, tonic syrup, sugar, and boiling water for a winter-friendly version of the classic serve.

50ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin

20ml Jack Rudy Classic Tonic Syrup

1tsp sugar

Boiling water

Orange twist to garnish

Combine the gin and tonic syrup in a mug or long-stemmed glass. Top with boiling water and stir in a teaspoon of sugar. Garnish with an orange twist.

Hot London Cup

Hot cocktail recipes don’t get simpler than this. When mixed with boiling water and a clove-studded orange wheel, our London Cup chases the chill away.

50ml Sipsmith London Cup

Boiling water

Clove-studded orange wheel

Pour the London Cup into a mug. Top with boiling water and garnish with a clove studded orange wheel.

Mulled Apple Juice and V.J.O.P.

This mulled apple juice concoction gives mulled wine some serious wintertime competition.

For the mulled apple juice:

200ml apple juice

Orange peel

Lemon peel

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp ginger

For the serve:

50ml Sipsmith V.J.O.P.


Lemon wheel

To make the mulled apple juice, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 15-20 mins. Strain.

To a mug, add Sipsmith V.J.O.P. and honey to taste. Stir to combine. Top up with the mulled apple juice and garnish with a lemon wheel.

Hot Mulled Sloe Gin

This winter, see just how good a pair sloe gin and spiced apple juice make.

50ml Sipsmith Sloe Gin

200ml apple juice

Cinnamon stick

5 cloves

1 star anise

Simmer the apple juice with the cinnamon stick, cloves and star anise for about 5-7 minutes. Strain. Pour the Sloe Gin into a mug or tall-stemmed glass and top up with the hot mulled apple juice.

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