The temperatures out there say winter has arrived, and so do cocktail lists across the city. So slip on your mittens, don your best pair of earmuffs, and head on over to these spots serving up winter’s hottest cocktail ingredient: Cider. By Jonathan Pogash.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of East Williamsburg lies nautically-themed The Drink. Specializing in punches, this one-year-young lounge is serving up a heated treat called a “Wassail,” a traditional winter drink served from the communal bowl. Here it’s served warm using spiced apple cider, tart apricot and cherry stomp, ginger, and either rum or bourbon.
New Amsterdam Toddy
This Denmark and Holland-inspired restaurant has a list of warm drinks on the menu. One of these drinks is none other than the New Amsterdam Toddy, a sweet and spicy blend of Laird’s Bonded Applejack, Curacao, spiced cider, Saison ale syrup, orange and cloves. Pass the Smoutballen, please.
Sneak into the poetry garden (pictured) at Bookmarks Lounge and have yourself a Spiced Cider cocktail (full disclosure: author consults here). The books aligned neatly on the walls and winter sun streaming through the windows will inspire you to order this rye-based concoction, complete with apple cider, allspice liqueur, and honey syrup. If things get too toasty inside, step out onto the heated patio and enjoy the views of the NY Public Library.
Hot Buttered Apple Cider
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Opened in 2001, this bakery and restaurant located on the Lower East Side serves up pancakes, pastries, and warm liquid treats. One such treat is Chef Neil Kleinberg’s Hot Buttered Apple Cider, a perfect synthesis of the classic hot buttered rum and spiced cider. Chef Kleinberg adds dark rum to his freshly pressed cider, cinnamon sticks, and warm maple butter concoction, topped with freshly grated nutmeg. It’s the perfect chaser to their pancakes or brioche french toast.
Big Apple Cider
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For a non-alcoholic cider option, hurry on over to the Bryant Park Holiday Shops, where they’re serving Big Apple Cider. But you have to hurry – the shops close on January 8. And what makes it mulled, you may ask? The option of a cinnamon stick to dunk, of course. You can rest assured that the apples in your hot apple cider come from upstate NY, and that if drunk too quickly, your tongue will feel the consequences of this piping hot drink.
Jonathan Pogash, aka The Cocktail Guru, is a beverage consultant, writer and educator.