As much as we love a refreshing summer cocktail, we’re ready to embrace the cooler weather and shorter days with a warm and soothing new beverage, the crocktail. Move over, brunch (but not too far, we’ll always love you): we’ve got a new favorite portmanteau, and this one is for cocktails made in a Crock-Pot.
These recipes are super easy—most involve adding spice blends to wine, spirits, or fruit juices, and then simmering them in the slow cooker for hours. But they taste like something you’ve been slaving over all day long.
Photo: Cooks With Cocktails
This frothy drink looks crazy decadent, and with the word “buttered” in its name, we were a little wary it would taste more like dessert than a cocktail. The spiced butter mixture does have sugar and butter (duh), but it’s muted with the addition of rum and hot water for a beverage that keeps you feeling cozy inside and out.
This recipe starts out like a traditional spiked cider with warmed apple juice and cinnamon sticks. And then it takes a turn from the classic by swapping rum for vanilla vodka. And for all the sweet tooths out there, this recipe calls for drizzling caramel sauce at the bottom of the martini glass—a sweet surprise on your last sip.
Ginger, lemon, and honey are our go-tos for getting over the common cold. In this hot beverage, they join rum and brandy for a good time. Next time you feel the first signs of an illness coming on, make sure you have your slow cooker ready. And maybe invite a few friends over, since this recipe makes a whopping 14 servings.
This cocktail is basically fall in a glass, with a perfect blend of cranberry juice, apple cider, cinnamon, cloves, and rum. That’s enough to keep you feeling just as warm as your favorite peacoat. Plus, it’s the perfect beverage to enjoy after an afternoon of jumping in leaf piles (or raking them).
Photo: The View From Great Island
If you thought wine couldn’t get better, we’ve got good news. Mulling, or steeping with spices, fruit, and usually more alcohol, takes things to another level. This recipe calls for a pungent blend of cinnamon, allspice berries, star anise, whole cloves, cardamom pods, vanilla bean, fresh nutmeg, clementines, and rum. The longer you leave the mulled wine on the “keep warm” setting of your Crock-Pot, the stronger the flavor.
We normally think of moscato as a summer wine, but when it meets cranberry, apple, cinnamon, and cloves, things get autumnal. This crocktail is perfect for all occasions, but it’s especially amazing at Thanksgiving. When things are getting crazy in the kitchen, your slow cooker will be off to the side, saving you both stress and counter space.
This is one of the speedier crocktail recipes, but it’s none the lesser for it—thanks in part to the bold flavors from star anise, allspice berries, ginger, and light red wine. Pomegranate juice is also a power player here, bringing a heaping dose of antioxidants to the table.