Food + Drink

9 Cocktails to Get You Through Winter

Look, we’re as anxious as you are for the summer imbibing season to commence. But there’s still a solid two months of winter left, so why fight it? From spiked hot chocolates in San Francisco to reinvented hot toddies in Boston and egg white-based cocktails in Brooklyn, these nine seasonal drinks will get you to the finish line.

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Noche Buena, Leyenda, Brooklyn

Bartender Ivy Mix made waves with her first solo venture Leyenda when it opened last year in Cobble Hill. The menu at her pan-Latin bar pays homage to one of Mix's favorite destinations: Guatemala. You can't go wrong with the creamy Noche Buena, which combines a frothy egg white texture with seasonal ingredients like cinnamon, along with Jamaican rum, scotch and coffee liqueur.

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Fireside Noggin, Estrella, L.A.

Winter in L.A. doesn’t bring to mind images of cozy indoor cocktail hours, but that doesn’t mean drinks can’t reflect the season. Set on Sunset Boulevard, Estrella serves a killer Fireside Noggin – a blend of egg yolks, sugar, cocoa powder, milk, cream, madeira, and mescal – in a space that evokes a stylish 1970s Hollywood bungalow (macrame lampshades, Spanish leather barstools).

RELATED: Best New L.A. Sleeps & Eats

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Gingerbread Old Fashioned, Embers Ski Lodge, Nashville

Embracing a Pacific Northwest cabin aesthetic, Embers Ski Lodge in Nashville's 12 South neighborhood pairs kitschy elements like menus that resemble ski vacation brochures with an impressive collection of high-end spirits (there are more than 140 whiskeys alone). Order bartender Gary Hayward's take on an Old Fashioned made with gingerbread bitters.

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Hot Scotch Chocolate, Americano Restaurant and Bar, San Francisco

In the colder months, this Italian-focused spot inside Hotel Vitale serves a spicy hot scotch chocolate to accompany sweeping views of San Francisco Bay. The potent concoction is meant to wax nostalgic on childhood winters, but its ingredients – Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate, Bruichladdich Scotch, chili powder, and house-made whipped cream – are for the big kids.

RELATED: 10 Ridiculously Good Cups of Hot Cocoa

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Mind Glow, River Bar, Boston

Locals have been flocking to restaurateur Ken Kelly’s latest eatery for the elevated street food and expansive patio overlooking the Mystic River. Cozy up to the outdoor fire pit and try year-round favorites like the Absinthe Frappe or Cardamaro Smash. Or, if it happens to be on the menu, go for the Mind Glow, a spin on a hot toddy made with rye whiskey, lemon, honey, and cinnamon and bitter orange liqueur.

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Forbidden Mission, Quill, Washington D.C.

This saloon-style bar inside the classic 1923 Jefferson Hotel has long been a stopover for Beltway politicos thanks to bartender Rachel Kling's house-made mixers and herbal-infused spirits. On the menu now: the Forbidden Mission, a soul-warming fig-infused Cognac, with lemon, Triple Sec and spiced turbinado sugar. We think our third president would approve.

RELATED: D.C.'s Hottest Tables

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Photo by Mei-Chun Jau


Pinetop Perker, Midnight Rambler, Dallas

Last year’s opening of this subterranean lair and its story-themed drink list was gravity-shifting for the Dallas nightlife scene. Saddle up to the bar and take in the scene while sipping an egg sour-inspired Pinetop Perker; it was named after legendary blues pianist Pinetop Perkins and has notes of cedar, vetiver, juniper, and bergamot.

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Spiced Pear Mojito, Thirsty Lion Gastropub, Denver

The Spiced Pear Mojito at this massive 8,400-square-foot pub sounds tame enough, but don't be fooled – the drink has a ball-busting kick thanks to healthy doses of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and Absolut Pear Vodka. We recommend you catch a cab back home.

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You Serious Clark?, Duck Inn, Chicago

Chef Kevin Hickey’s remake of this prohibition-era Polish tavern has single-handedly put Bridgeport on the local culinary radar. Head Bartender Brandon Phillips is behind the seasonal creation, You Serious Clark?, which combines rum, creme de menthe, egg, Schwartzhog Krauter, and a spray of Clear Creek's Douglas Fir Eau de Vie. Did we mention that it's served in a sculptural Marty Moose glass mug? #winning



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