8 Warm, Cozy Drinks You Can Make In Your Crock Pot For Holiday Gatherings

'Tis the season to invite everyone over, hang out by the fireplace, and share a cup of good cheer.

December 12, 2017
apple pear cider
Photograph courtesy of A Saucy Kitchen

‘Tis the season to invite everyone over, hang out by the fireplace (or some strategically-placed candles or twinkle lights), and share a cup of good cheer.

Literally. Warm, indulgent drinks are best enjoyed over the holidays with your favorite folks. But if the thought of feverishly whisking a batch of eggnog or peppermint hot chocolate over the stove while your family and friends pile in doesn’t sound like fun, don’t worry—your slow cooker is here to help. (Don't have one? These are the 5 best slow cookers on Amazon.)

Turns out, the miracle vessel does just as good a job at making hot drinks as it does churning out a batch of carnitas or beef stew. (You can also use it to make a ginger cake or cinnamon rolls!) All you have to do is dump your ingredients into the pot pre-party, let them do their thing for a few hours, and jingle bells! You’ve got an insanely impressive drink to hand to your guests the moment they walk in the door.

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Here are 8 delicious recipes to try.

Photograph courtesy of gluten free on a shoe string
Homemade Slow Cooker Eggnog

Homemade eggnog has the potential to turn into a real disaster. (Hello, scrambled eggs!) But not when you do it in the slow cooker: All you have to do is whisk the ingredients and walk away, says Nicole of Gluten Free on a Shoestring. Best of all, you can customize the sweetness to your liking. Same goes for the booziness. Instead of spiking the whole batch, just leave a bottle of rum or bourbon by the crockpot and let folks add their own.

Related: 4 Delicious Ways To Upgrade Your Eggnog This Winter

apple pear cider
Photograph courtesy of A Saucy Kitchen
Crock Pot Apple Pear Cider

Most mulled cider recipes start with a jug of the store-bought stuff, but not this fresh version. A Saucy Kitchen simmers real apple, pear, and orange in water with cozy cinnamon sticks, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, star anise, and a drizzle of maple syrup. The result is a boldly spiced, not-too-sweet cider that’ll have your home smelling amazing by the time the shindig kicks off.

The perfect accompaniment to a festive holiday drink? These drool-worthy cinnamon rolls:

cranberry spice tea
Photograph courtesy of pumpkin n spice
Slow Cooker Cranberry Spice Tea

Even simple tea can be turned into something special with your slow cooker. Gayle from Pumpkin ‘n Spice simmers black tea with cranberry juice, sugar, lemon slices, cinnamon sticks, and cloves to make a sweet and tart brew that’s festive, flavorful, and light enough that it won’t compete with all that rich food. In other words, the perfect drink to have on hand for your annual cookie swap.

Related: We Tried 7 Healthy-ish Eggnogs So You Don't Have To—This Is The One Brand You Should Buy

slow cooker hot chocolate
Photograph courtesy of Sally's Baking Addiction
Decadent Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate

Forget cranking out another batch of sugar cookies. This ultra-rich, creamy hot chocolate (made with two types of chocolate) from Sally’s Baking Addiction is all you need for dessert. Feel like being fancy? Set out a toppings bar with things like mini marshmallows, crushed candy canes, gingersnaps, candied orange peel, and chocolate syrup, and encourage your friends to get creative.

Related: 7 Foods To Stop A Holiday Meltdown In Its Tracks

cranberry wassail
Photograph courtesy of Wholefully
Slow Cooker Cranberry Wassail

Most recipes for wassail—the classic English mulled Christmas drink—are made with an apple cider base. Cassie of Wholefully shakes things up by using a combo of unsweetened cranberry juice and red wine, along with classic mulling spices like allspice berries and cloves. Fancy and unexpected.

Related: 5 Ways To Do A Present-Free Holiday This Year

gingerbread latte
Photograph courtesy of the cookie rookie
Slow Cooker Gingerbread Latte

Had your fill of pumpkin spice lattes for the year? Swap them out for these sweet and spicy gingerbread lattes from Becky of the Cookie Rookie. They taste like a sippable version of a ginger cookie, and are made with ingredients your kitchen is probably well-stocked with this time of year like milk, brown sugar, ground ginger, and vanilla extract. And of course, coffee. This is a latte, after all.

Related: This Crock Pot Ginger Cake Beats The Pants Off Gingerbread Cookies

white peppermint hot chocolate
Photograph courtesy of best of this life
Slow Cooker White Peppermint Hot Chocolate

This rich, minty treat by Emily of Best of This Life has a secret ingredient: Full-fat coconut milk. It gives a rich, velvety texture without the need for heavy cream, making it great for a dairy-free crowd. And the flavor of the coconut makes for a delicious, surprising pairing with the peppermint.

Related: Make These White Chocolate Holiday Truffles In Your Slow Cooker

warm sangria
Photograph courtesy of inspired by charm
Holiday Sangria

What do you get when you combine light-bodied red wine with apple brandy, cranberry juice, orange slices, fresh cranberries, and cinnamon sticks in the slow cooker? A warm, spiced version of everyone’s favorite summer sipper, says Michael of Inspired by Charm. Bottoms up!

Related: These Healthy-ish Apple Cider Cocktails Are Perfect For The Holidays