Matthew Zach/Olivia Mack Anderson/Thrillist

Drink
Why SOLO Cups Should Be Your Go-to Cocktail Glasses This Winter

By

Like it or not, during the next few months, your apartment is going to become a hub for eating, drinking, and entertaining. It’s the unavoidable truth of the holiday season. But rather than investing in glassware, which can be expensive and will inevitably get broken by your guests, stock your parties with SOLO cups. Great for drink-mixing and cocktail-holding, you’ll never need to worry about shattered glass or cleanup at the end of the night. Here, we present six cocktails that aren’t just ideal for winter imbibing and wintertime entertaining, they also benefit from a bigger, sturdier cup.

CHILLED MULLED WINE

Mulled wine is easy to batch up and ideal for large groups or parties, since you can just mix it in a slow cooker, warm it up, and serve. But here’s the party hack you need: Chilled Mulled Wine. Just funnel your mix into wine bottles or large jars, and stick ‘em in the refrigerator until guests arrive. Not only does it save you valuable counter space, but it’s refreshing and seasonal at the same time.

Ingredients:

  • 750 milliliters red wine
  • 1 large swath of orange peel
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 star anise, whole
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup brandy

Directions:

  • Bundle the orange zest, cloves, and star anise in cheesecloth and tie together
  • Add all ingredients to a slow cooker
  • Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours to infuse
  • Pour into a large container and refrigerate for at least two hours
  • Serve in SOLO cups

PENICILLIN

With a bright sourness and a peppery heat from the freshly muddled ginger, this cocktail is the ideal sipper from fall until spring. It’ll warm you and your guests from the inside out, and it’s so good that everyone’s going to ask you to make another. Fortunately, you won’t need to scrub a pile of glassware to make that happen.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces blended Scotch
  • ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce honey syrup
  • 3 to 4 slices of fresh ginger root
  • ¼ ounce Islay Scotch

Directions:

  • Make honey syrup by combining equal parts honey and water in a saucepan; cook over low heat until honey fully dissolves. Let syrup cool in an airtight container in the fridge
  • In a shaker tin, muddle the slices of fresh ginger
  • Add the blended scotch, lemon juice, and honey syrup, and fill a shaker with ice
  • Shake and fine-strain into a SOLO cup filled with fresh ice
  • Float the Islay Scotch on top
Matthew Zach/Olivia Mack Anderson/Thrillist

NEGRONI

Although Negronis are drinkable year-round, the drink is best sipped in colder weather. Its bright citrus notes and bracingly bitter backbone are strong enough to take on the worst winter blues by making you think you’re in some Italian villa, not huddled around a space heater. All this stirred and strong sipper requires is a bar spoon, a bottle of vermouth, Campari, and your favorite gin. Make it straight in the cup and sip until warmer weather comes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • Orange twist, for garnish

Directions:

  • Add all ingredients to a SOLO cup, sans garnish
  • Add one big cube of ice to the cup and stir the ingredients until the drink is properly diluted
  • Add a swath of orange peel for garnish

OLD-FASHIONED

Even if it’s one of the oldest cocktails in the books, that doesn’t mean you need great grandma’s glassware to serve it. It’s a drink that anyone can make, too: Build it in the cup, add ice, and it’s ready for imbibing. Best accompanied by a roaring fire, your favorite flannel, and your closest friends.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2 hefty dashes Angostura bitters
  • Orange zest, for garnish

Directions:

  • Add the sugar cube to a SOLO cup
  • Dash the bitters directly on the cube until it’s thoroughly soaked
  • Using a muddler, muddle the sugar cube until it’s fully dissolved
  • Next, add the measure of rye whiskey to the cup
  • Stir with a spoon to incorporate
  • Add ice and garnish with a large swath of orange peel
Matthew Zach/Olivia Mack Anderson/Thrillist

DARK ‘N' STORMY

If you want to feel like you’ve escaped to Bermuda this winter, it’s all about the Dark ‘N’ Stormy. Made with dark rum, ginger beer, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, the drink is as easy to concoct as it is to drink. It’s vibrant, crushable, and if you skip the glassware for something disposable, it’s also porch-friendly -- provided your porch has a space-heater.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • ½ ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Ginger beer, to top
  • Lime wedge, for garnish

Directions:

  • In a SOLO cup, add rum, bitters, and lime juice
  • Add ice to the cup and top with ginger beer
  • Stir with a spoon to incorporate
  • Garnish with a lime wedge

AMARO AND SODA

Not only is an amaro and soda super quaffable and refreshing, it’s incredibly easy to make. What amaro you use will determine how winter appropriate the drink is, and whether or not it’s served before a meal, with a meal, or afterward as a digestif. Heavier amaros like Braulio or Rabarbaro are best for winter, as are more intense, herbaceous drams like Fernet or its minty cousin Branca Menta.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ ounces amaro
  • Club soda, to top

Directions:

Add amaro to a SOLO cup
Add ice to the cup and top with soda water
Using a spoon, stir to incorporate the ingredients

Published on