12 Drinks of Christmas 2016: Winter Tonic Cocktail Recipe

Posted on Dec 13, 2016

12 Drinks of Christmas 2016: Winter Tonic Cocktail Recipe

Happy holidays!

It’s the time of the year for holiday decorations, twinkling lights, warm spices, and a rolling series of parties, gatherings, and celebrations. For the second year in a row, we’ll be adding to the festivities with twelve drinks to make all of those parties just a little merrier and brighter.

Today, we winterize our tonic.

For someone used to Boston winters, summer lasts a long time here in DC. Our mint kept growing well into what we would have thought of as fall, and we happily made mojitos and Southsides long after the pools and beaches were (inexplicably) closed for the season. And then one day it happened: we poured a gin & tonic, and it just felt wrong. Like birds heading south for the winter, we just knew that it was time to migrate to cold weather cocktails.

We know we can’t make the warm weather last forever. And we have to admit that there’s something nice about embracing a change of the season. But what’s wrong with wanting a small remembrance of summer to get us through the colder months? So, we’re hanging on to our tonic, but dressing it in winter clothes.

We swapped the bikini of a gin base for the comfy sweater of port, producing a wintry tonic with a heavier body (don’t we all have one of those since Thanksgiving!), richer flavors, and more spice than its summer cousin. It has a slightly quieter quinine aftertaste (which many might appreciate) but the same refreshing effervescence.



  • Pour port and pear brandy into a highball glass.
  • Add ice.
  • Gently top with tonic.