The chill of late autumn has arrived in New York City, leaving us searching for something strong to stay warm and toasty. From sweet classics like spiked hot chocolates to fancy takes on cider, here are a few hot cocktails to keep you toasty – and toasted – all season long. By Sarah Shaker.
Meyer Lemon, Tangerine & Rosemary Punch, Extra Fancy
Warm up in Williamsburg with a Meyer Lemon, Tangerine and Rosemary Punch created by Extra Fancy’s Head Bartender Robert Krueger. This white wine based cocktail is created by simmering Meyer lemon peels, sprig of rosemary, juice of meyer lemons and tangerines, Dorothy Parker Gin, honey and Orange Curacao with white wine. All ingredients are steeped for 20 minutes to bring out the full flavor, then served hot with a slice of tangerine, a piece of meyer lemon peel and sprig of rosemary.
Spiked Pumpkin Hot Chocolate, Triomphe
This intimate French-American restaurant nestled inside the Iroquois Hotel is bringing together your loves of pumpkin and chocolate in one strong cocktail. Recently welcomed Executive Chef Florian Wehrli created a Spiked Pumpkin Hot Chocolate for guests to warm up with after coming in from nearby theater performances with milk, pumpkin purée, vanilla or almond extract, unsweetened cocoa powder, maple syrup, aged brandy, a blend of ground cinnamon, all-spice and nutmeg, all topped with marshmallow.
Privateer Mulled Cider, Gotham Bar and Grill
Organic cider gets a grown-up makeover at Gotham Bar and Grill by resident mixologist Jeremy Hawn. Privateer Mulled Cider is made with aged rum, Irish whiskey, ginger syrup (equal parts fresh pressed ginger juice and simple syrup) and cinnamon sticks, which are all combined and left to simmer until the cinnamon has softened.
W Verbier Boozy Hot Cocoa, W New York
Wish you could plan a winter getaway to Switzerland? If you can’t escape NYC for a ski trip, head to W New York, W Union Square or W Downtown through December 31st for their W Verbier Boozy Hot Cocoa. This spiked drink was created in celebration of the opening of W Verbier – W’s first ski retreat – in Verbier, Switzerland. Grand Saint Bernard Jaune (a swiss Chartreuse), honey, chocolate and Chantilly make up this resort cocktail to sip on during your winter wonderland staycation.
Ginger Toddy, Hudson Lodge
Hudson’s ski resort themed bar, Hudson Lodge, which opened earlier this month, has three delicious hot cocktails to enjoy this season. The Ginger Toddy is made with whiskey and Homemade Ginger Wine for those looking for a twist on a traditional hot toddy. Big Apple Cider combines cider, Sloe Gin, allspice, cloves and cinnamon. For dessert lovers, the Spiked Hot Chocolate is created with pear brandy, Aztec chocolate and cinnamon.
Café Vetro, Vetro Restaurant & Lounge
Vetro in Howard Beach Queens features an ever-evolving menu with a focus on seasonal ingredients. With sweeping views of the bay from the dining room or panoramic waterfront views from the rooftop lounge, enjoy Italian cuisine from world renowned Chef Michael DeGeorgio as you cozy up with a Café Vetro cocktail. This hot drink is made with pumpkin liquor, cinnamon whisky, Lavazza premium coffee and is topped with homemade whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon.
Chai-Spiced White Hot Sangria, Juni
Latin for “June,” Juni represents the height of the “growing season” with their cuisine and cocktail offerings served at the peak of freshness. Experience Chef Shaun Hergatt’s cuisine with tasting menu options and make sure to pair with the Chai-Spiced White Hot Sangria this winter. If you’re a fan of chilled summer sangrias, give this cold weather version a try for spiced notes to warm your senses.
Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa, Merchants River House
Head downtown to Battery Park City for Merchant River House’s take on a sweet and salty adult treat. The Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate combines Pinnacle Salted Caramel Vodka with steamed milk, cocoa powder and whipped cream. This snow bunny approved drink is garnished with a sea salted pretzel rod dipped in milk chocolate and milk caramel chew for a drink and dessert in one.
Mulled Wine, Martha
In Fort Greene, Martha is offering a mulled wine for a classic way to heat things up. This cocktail features a blend of red wine with cinnamon sticks, clove, star anise, nutmeg, honey, orange and ginger. Chef Andres Valbuena offers a New American menu with hearty bites like Lamb Meatballs and Brussels Sprouts (Fish Sauce, Honey, Peanuts and Pickled Jalapeño) to enjoy as you imbibe.
Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.