Winter is sneaking up on us and New Yorkers are looking to get cozy during the late autumn chill. From old faithfuls like spiked hot chocolates to fancy spiced mulled wines, here are a few warming cocktails that have spiked our interest to keep you warm and tipsy all season long. By Sarah Shaker.
Hot Chocolate Martini, Gramercy Tavern
Liquid dark chocolate is spiked with Stoli Vanil Vodka and Amaretto in this grown-up version of a seasonal favorite at Gramercy Tavern. The drink is only poured half-way, with the remaining portion served in a teapot, ensuring every sip is warm and decadent.
This East Village go-to offers cocktails with fresh fruit – pressed through the on-the-bar juicer. During the cooler season, it’s their warmer drinks bringing in the crowds. To create their soothing Hot Toddy, a green-tea bag is dropped into a glass mug, then drowned with steaming water, a bolt of Scotch, lemon juice and a thick dab of honey to sooth your cold weather blues. Even if scotch isn’t your thing, a bowl of tomato soup goes down just as easy when sitting by the venue’s fireplace.
A La Mode, Dutch Kills
Don’t miss out on this Long Island City speakeasy for the warm and fall-perfect A La Mode (hot cider, Elijah Craig bourbon and Licor 43, with a whipped cream topping). The fragrant vanilla of Licor 43 adds to the apple pie-like flavor of this boozy warm cider.
Hot Buttered Rum, Milk & Honey
This exclusive lounge offers quite a few cocktails crafted especially for chilly nights. The Hot Buttered Rum, with honey, unsalted butter and spices will warm you from mouth to tummy in mere minutes. Enjoy this sweet way to get cozy if you know someone who knows someone to get a reservation at Milk & Honey.
Spiked Hot Chocolate, L.A. Burdick
With their flagship store in New Hampshire and outposts in Cambridge and NYC, Burdick’s is infamous for warming up the Northeast. Burdick’s offers not one, but six hot chocolates with cacao beans from Granada (with hints of lychee, fruit, nutmeg and banana) to Bolivia (with a sweet floral finish). Each of these fancy cups can be spiked with your choice of kirsch, Poire William, Macallan Scotch whiskey or Ron Zacapa rum to make your childhood favorite adult-friendly.
Dell’Amaro Caldo, Dell’Anima
The wine list at this Italian eatery in the West Village is pretty stellar, but when you need a stronger buzz to get cozy, try warming up with the Dell’Amaro Caldo, a cinnamon-infused cocktail with Bulleit bourbon, amaro, St. Germain, lemon juice and a splash of hot water.
Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.