If a face full of snow doesn't scream "winter is here whether you like it or not," we don't know what does. Brace yourself for the big freeze with a warm drink in your hand.
#21 at Acanto
Housemade apple cider — which starts with sous vide apples that are cooked down with fresh cranberries — is the base for this hot cocktail spiked with rum. Spice comes from star anise, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, red pepper, pink peppercorns and mustard seeds.
Bedford Falls at Ada Street
This take on a toddy combines rye with apple brandy, honey, ginger and lemon juice. It’s garnished with whole cinnamon sticks, and is best enjoyed in front of the fireplace or tucked away on one of the corner couches in the vault.
Some Like it Hot at Analogue
Letherbee Fernet, demerara syrup and hot Cafe Du Monde Chicory Coffee that's imported from New Orleans is bartender Robby Haynes’s take on Irish Coffee. “It’s great on a winter morning — very fun and playful with a low ABV,” he says.
Daddy Moved to Aspen (and He’s Never Coming Back) at Barrelhouse Flat
This aromatic, mulled white wine cocktail is inspired by one of the owners, who moved to Aspen on a whim. It starts with a base of dry white wine, Cocchi Americano and pear brandy that's seasoned with orange, coriander, peppercorns, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom and star anise.
Winter in Salzburg at Bohemian House
A cult-favorite cocktail is now an off-menu special. The drink — served tableside — features cognac, St. Germaine, rosemary-infused apple cider, torched rosemary, cloves and lemon.
Hot Cocoa Azteca at Bottlefork
New to the “Warm + Cozy” section of the menu is a take on Mexican hot chocolate, made with creme de cacao, chile de arbol, marshmallow and milk. "It's served hot, but also hot like spicy,” says bartender Adam Kamin. “The chile de arbol adds a heat that I find complements chocolate very well.”
Mexican Hot Chocolate at Cantina 1910
“I really believe this Chicago take on the traditional Mexican hot chocolate is cocktail for everyone to enjoy,” bartender Michael Fawthrop says about the drink made with masa, Valrhona hot chocolate, Milagrio reposado tequila, Milletti amaro and Ancho Reyes chili liqueur. “Whether it’s at the end of a meal or with brunch on a chilly Sunday afternoon, you can’t go wrong with this drink."
Boozy Steamer at C.C. Ferns
You might come to this coffee shop for the lattes, but you can stick around until 6 PM for their boozy steamers. These hot concoctions combine ingredients such as rum, caramel and espresso for the Cuban Latte or Benedictine, chai and ginger. "The Benedictine chai is spicy, sweet and comforting — the marks of a great winter drink," says manger Ryan Dailey.
Holiday Hot Chocolate at Cindy’s (pictured below)
Executive pastry chef Jove Hubbard has created a selection of holiday hot chocolates paired with spirits from guide Nandini Khaund. One of the three is the Framboise Noisette, featuring house Nutella, Guayaquil chocolate, raspberry marshmallows and St. George raspberry liqueur.
French Market The Dawson
Head Bartender Harrison Ginsberg has assembled three hot cocktails for the season, including one with chicory-infused George Dickel 8, Bacardi 8, Madeira, green chartreuse and cider. "Many times chicory is used as a coffee substitute, but we decided to think about chicory in its natural form,” he says. “The cider reduction is then enforced with some madeira and green chartreuse to keep the cocktail interesting while still having a hot cider feel."
Yoga Pants at Headquarters
Mixologist Tim Williams reimagines the popular pumpkin beer in hot cocktail form with a mixture of pumpkin beer syrup, milk, brandy and whipped cream. "This is one of my favorite cocktails I've ever put out,” he says. “It's super simple, incredibly approachable and, let's be honest, it's the perfect spin to your average pumpkin beer to warm you up this winter."
The Wisconsin Toddy at Henry’s
“An Old Fashioned in Wisconsin is much different than an Old Fashioned anywhere else in the world. Instead of whiskey, the Wisconsin Old-Fashioned utilizes brandy, along with a muddled cherry and orange,” manager Drew Hamm explains.
Hot Figgy Mulled Wine at Mon Ami Gabi (pictured top)
General manager Sun Kim calls this drink a cozy, warm hug. It soothes from the inside out using red wine seasoned with figs, orange and anise and finished with a splash of cherry brandy.
Price: $ 11.95
King's Hyssop at Mott St
This cocktail even comes in its own sweater-wearing flask. The adorable drink is a bitter take on the hot toddy, made with Bank Note 5 scotch, sherry-honey-jalapeño liqueur and Amaro Ciociara spiced with wormwood, cocoa nibs and sasparilla.
Presidio Coffee #1 at Presidio
In addition to a classic Irish Coffee (Irish whiskey, demerara sugar, Sparrow Coffee and whipped cream), the bar also served a house version made with wheat whiskey, herbal spirit, pumpkin spice, Sparrow Coffee, fresh cream and nutmeg.
Royale Hot Chai at Pub Royale
Every day should start with a glass of this boozy chai. Unfortunately, it’s only available during weekend brunch. The daytime sipper is made with house chai and coconut cream that is spiked with blended rum and garnished with cinnamon and black pepper.
Hot Knife at Public Hotel
Named after bartender Mea Leech’s favorite Fiona Apple song, the cozy drink is inspired by cuddling up in front of a fire. She uses St. Elizabeth allspice dram, St. George spiced pear liqueur, Hennessy VS, lemon juice and hot cider to translate that experience into a cup.
Tea Punch at Queen Mary
Gather your friends around a pot of house tea punch in this dark, cozy cocktail bar. The standing menu item is nothing more than a pot of Earl Grey tea spiked with El Dorado 8yr, lemon and honey.
Leatherneck at South Water Kitchen
“I created this warm, slow sipper with winter in mind,” says bar manager Dan Rook. “I smoke apple rinds in the chef’s meat smoker — with pork butts smoking at the same time — to make the apple chicory bitters. The smoky notes add depth to the cocktail (Maker’s Mark bourbon, Four Roses Yellow Label bourbon, spiced honey-brown sugar syrup and Fever Tree ginger beer), and the pork butts add a mesquite flavor as well.”
“Thai-rd of the Cold” Blazer at Travelle
Inspired by the infamous, Blue Blazer cocktail, beverage director Priscilla Young offers an Eastern interpretation with Smith & Cross Jamaican rum, Atlantico rum, Thai tea, Emperor’s Jaggery, Clement coconut and condensed milk.