Matthew Kelly/Supercall

The 5 Best Nightcaps to Drink Before Bed


Sometimes the only way to unwind from an exhausting day of work is by sipping yourself to sleep with a cocktail in hand. A drink before bed calms the nerves, relaxes the body and takes your mind off the stresses of the day. The practice has earned so many fans, it gained its own name over the years—the nightcap.

Often rich and boozy—and sometimes warmed to perfection—a proper nightcap cocktail exudes coziness and allows for extended sipping. Think of the nightcap as a grown-up lullaby: It’s meant to be consumed slowly and deliberately rather than chugged haphazardly.

The next time you need a little help getting some shut eye, mix up one of these five soothing cocktails before light’s out. Sweet dreams, cocktail lovers.

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The definition of a rich, hearty cocktail, the Rum Flip combines the healing powers of three potent ingredients: a whole egg, rich ground nutmeg and a sturdy base of rum. Not only will its heavy texture and flavor restore you after a long day, but it also has the power to rock your taste buds gently to sleep.

The Essentials

dark rum
demerara syrup
whole egg
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Anyone who has a sweet tooth will appreciate the Brandy Alexander—the grandfather of dessert cocktails. Using heavy cream rather than a whole egg, it comes together with a blend of chocolaty crème de cacao and fruit-forward cognac. And don’t worry. This cocktail also benefits from a topping of spiced goodness from freshly grated nutmeg.

The Essentials

dark crème de cacao
heavy cream
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The classic Sazerac forgoes super-rich ingredients to channel one of the simplest nightcaps of all: a measure of your favorite dark spirit. But crafting a cocktail instead of sipping on a dram of scotch or Cognac allows for more complexity and, well, flavor. The Sazerac delivers a punch of both by blending rye whiskey, absinthe and bitters for a sipper you’re sure to dream about.

The Essentials

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Sure, a traditional Manhattan is a delicious way to cap off the night, but the Black Manhattan is even better. Tossing out the vermouth in favor of amaro allows for a different balance of flavors—and just the right amount of midnight mystery—that signals the time to relax and wind down.

The Essentials

Matthew Kelly/Supercall
Most nightcaps may call in the powers of brown spirits to get you ready for bed, but this steaming, spiced drink takes a different approach with a stiff measure of gin. Though gin’s bright botanicals might typically awaken the senses, it has the opposite effect when paired with ultra-cozy chai tea, honey and warm apple juice, helping to lull you right into a restful night’s sleep.

The Essentials

Apple Juice
Chai Tea

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