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10 Warm Cocktails for Fall Around America

By Molly Durham
November 1, 2013

Nothing’s more comforting than a warm drink when the temperatures start to drop - especially a boozy one. Classic hot cocktails like hot toddies and mulled wine, and warm spins on others like martinis and eggnog, can be found all around the country, even in the warmer states. Check out 10 of our picks for hot cocktails in the slide show.

  • Apples to Apples Toddy at Rum Club - Portland

    A toddy is probably the first warming drink you think about with winter approaching. Usually made with whiskey, water, honey and a variety of spices, Rum Club puts a spin on it with their Apples to Apples toddy, mixing bonded Applejack, spiced cider syrup, fresh lemon and Angostura bitters. Sounds like the perfect drink to pair with a round of the popular drinking game of the same name.

  • Glühwein at Cafe Sabarsky - NYC

    Glühwein, or glögg, is a traditional mulled wine drink in German-speaking countries. It’s what’s served during the holidays, and here it’s often consumed out of a boot-shaped mug at Christmas festivals. Cafe Sabarsky crafts theirs with hot spiced red wine, orange and cloves. The other spices are a mystery but likely traditional wintry flavors like cinnamon, cardamom or ginger.

  • Tom and Jerry at Crystal Restaurant - Watertown, NY 

    Word is that The Crystal Restaurant serves the best comforting winter drink around in upstate New York. This classic warm drink combines brandy and rum (half shots in The Crystal’s version) with an egg base and is sprinkled with cinnamon. The base is a secret family recipe that the owners won’t leak, but we're guessing this thing must taste like a combo between egg nog and a Brandy Alexander.

  • Irish Coffee at The Buena Vista Cafe - San Francisco

    “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” - the famous saying commonly misattributed to Mark Twain - exists for a reason: it’s their coolest season. The Buena Vista has been warming up the residents of San Francisco during those “harsh” months with their Irish Coffee since 1952 and have the process down. They start by dropping two sugar cubes in the glass, then pouring coffee over it, mashing up the cubes, dropping in some whiskey, then topping it off with frothed cream.

  • Hot Buttered Rum at Mai-Kai - Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Drinking a warm cocktail in a tropical atmosphere may not seem to make the most sense, but at Mai Kai you can do just that. As one of their after-dinner drinks, it could still be considered tropical since its base is rum. Mixed with butter, hot water and spices, it’s a simple and classic warming drink, dating back to colonial times. Sip it while watching the Polynesian show here for added warming effect (fire-breathers, anyone?).

  • Spiked Hot Chocolate at Mindy’s Hot Chocolate - Chicago

    Mindy Segal has been taking this childhood favorite to a new level since opening Hot Chocolate. Here you can get rich hot chocolate at your choice of darkness level and with flavors like pumpkin, chai and espresso. Then you can mix with your choice of Dufeau Napoleon, Grand Marnier, Jean Luc Pasquet cognac, Kahlua, Lazzaroni amaretto, Lustau brandy, Mandarine Napoleon or Sambuca.

  • Serendipitous Apple-Tini at Old Rittenhouse Inn - Bayfield, WI

    If you want to sip on a warm drink outside of a city, somewhere super cold where you can actually see the bare trees outside, Old Rittenhouse Inn at the northern tip of Wisconsin has you covered. Their Serendipitous Apple-Tini comes in a martini glass covered in a swirl of apple cider reduction. It’s filled with spiced apple cider and Canadian whiskey, and finished with New Glarus Brewing Co.'s Serendipity (a local, Belgian-style fruit beer).

  • Quatrofiasco at Estadio - Washington, DC

    Estadio may focus on its Spanish cuisine, but they’ve got an extensive array of libations to keep you warm. The warmest? Their quatrofiasco, featuring espresso, milk, almond extract and orange brandy, combining to form a hot cocktail that’ll keep your momentum going after a fully belly from dinner.

  • Bourbon Hot Chocolate at Blue Ribbon Beer Garden - NYC

    Blue Ribbon Beer Garden has just added a few warm cocktails to their fall menu. We love the bourbon hot chocolate (picture above) for bringing together two of our favorite things in life: whiskey and homemade hot chocolate. Can't really go wrong with this combo.

  • Photo by: Joshua Fanning

    Van Alden Toddy at Muddy Leek - Los Angeles

    Autumnal spices and ingredients make their way into both the food and drink menus at the Culver City restaurant. This gin-based toddy is named for the rogue agent in Boardwalk Empire, a surly, crooked teetotaler who could probably use a few of these to warm up.

    -Lesley Balla

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