After a long day of cramming as much productivity into your waking hours as possible, it’s nice to kick back with an easy cocktail before bed. That drink, the beloved nightcap, may or may not help you get to sleep easier. A proper one will, however, jumpstart relaxation and help you brush off the trials and tribulations of the day. Here are the seven easiest nightcaps to ease you into bedtime.
7 Easy Nightcaps for Every Night of the Week
Have you ever wished that by sleeping on a book, you’d absorb all the information and wake up magically smarter? Drinking a Harvard before bed won’t do anything like that, but it will leave you pleasantly calm. The simple drink is made with brandy (preferably Cognac), sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters and demerara syrup.
Nightcaps are generally made with dark spirits that set a hygge-y mood. Not so with Cider House Rules. A warm mix of apple cider, agave syrup, lemon and tequila gets you ready for bed like cozy slippers and a down comforter on a cold night.
The Hot Toddy is arguably the godfather of all nightcaps (but not that Godfather). The straightforward mix of hot water, whiskey, lemon juice and honey can get you in a peaceful mood and make you feel like all is right in the world. Swap out the hot water for tea to double down on soothing qualities.
John Lennon famously called the Brandy Alexander his “milkshake,” but we think it’s way better as a nightcap. Made with Cognac, crème de cacao and heavy cream, it will leave you with a full belly and pleasant buzz before bed.
dark crème de cacao
Although the Hot Toddy is the most widely accepted, honeyed nightcap, it’s not always the most natural choice on a hot summer night. Enter the Bee’s Knees. Made with gin, honey syrup and lemon juice, the Bee’s Knees is an easy drinking nightcap built for nights that don’t cool down come sunset.
Fresh Lemon Juice
The French Connection is a twist on the Godfather that swaps out the whiskey for Cognac. Nutty, sweet amaretto pairs perfectly with good Cognac, and you hardly have to get out of bed to prepare it. Simply add two ounces of both Cognac and amaretto to a glass with ice, give it a quick stir, and enjoy your drink before falling asleep.
Throw it back to the Rusty Nail heyday of the 1960s and ‘70s, and you’re sure to have a good night. Plus, it’s as simple as it gets when it comes to nightcaps. One part blended scotch, one part Drambuie (a scotch-based honey liqueur), a lemon twist over ice, and there you have it: nighttime joy in a glass.