HOT BOOZE. That's really all you need to combat ice storms, cold drizzle, the snowpocalypse, or anything else the winter season throws your way. With a mug of hot booze wrapped in your hands, the world is less bleak.
With two mugs of hot booze in your belly, you gain the courage to turn your face into the biting chill of the bitter wind and yell, "Is that all you got for me, Old Man Winter!? C'mon, motherfucker! Bring the pain!"
A third mug of hot booze may find you outside in your underwear, throwing punches at the snowflakes. Clearly, hot booze equals good winter fun.
As is my tradition around this time of year (it is now anyway), I've sought some top-notch local bartending talent to provide you, dear drunken reader, with warming cocktail recipes. From hot toddies to cachaça concoctions, these drinks are the way to get hot booze into your cold body this season.
Secret Society bartender Graham Files is extraordinary. Why? Because he's created a hot drink that's allegedly imbued with magical restorative powers. Secret Society owner Matt Johnson claims that the drink, dubbed the "Hot Grammy," is a cure-all to rival even the most pious mother's chicken soup. Not to mention, it can "thaw the most frigid of personal relations." Of course he's not biased.
2 ounces bourbon
2/3 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/3 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
2/3 ounce honey syrup (see below)
healthy pinch of ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper mix (see below)
orange and lemon wheels for garnish
Make the honey syrup by combining equal parts honey and hot water. Set aside. Make a mixture of equal parts ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Set aside. Place all ingredients except the garnish into an 8-ounce mug. Stir to dissolve the honey syrup and incorporate cinnamon/cayenne mix. Top with hot, but not boiling water. Add garnish.
Beaker & Flask is known for high-octane cocktails, both refined and capable of turning your head inside out so that you're wearing your brain as a kind of coonskin cap. The drinks are balanced, the bar staff is friendly, and owner Kevin Ludwig knows his way around a bottle of booze. He says of his No Name Toddy #3, "Not really setting the world on fire in terms of creativity, but it's a nice drink."
No Name Toddy #3
1 1/2 ounces aged rum
2/3 ounce Benedictine
3/4 ounce apricot liqueur
1 teaspoon agave nectar
3 dashes angostura bitters
4 ounces hot water
Combine rum, Benedictine, apricot liqueur, and bitters. Add hot water and agave nectar. Stir to combine.
I respect anyone seeking to ensconce Repeal Day in our canon of end-of-the-year holidays. For that alone I take my hat off to Jeffrey Morgenthaler who heads the bar at Clyde Common. He deserves additional props for his use of the Brazilian cane spirit cachaça in his winter warmer called Late Sunday. While many toddies rely on the addition of fruit, nutmeg, and clove to give aroma, those rise naturally from this warm elixir of booze, tea, and... soy milk?
(makes two servings)
8 ounces vanilla soy milk
4 ounces cachaça
1 bag rooibos tea
2 teaspoons sugar
cinnamon stick for garnish
Heat vanilla soy milk in a small saucepan until hot. Steep 1 bag rooibos tea in soy milk for 5 minutes. Discard teabag. Add sugar. Stir to dissolve. Add cachaça.
God bless Kelley Swenson of Ten 01. Bless him for sending me a recipe combining two of my favorite things (chartreuse and hot chocolate) and for making that recipe simple enough that I can make it even when I'm a bit tossed. Swenson notes that given the sweetness of chartreuse you should choose a hot chocolate that has less sweetness. Also, instead of whipping your cream into peaks, let it remain loose enough to be poured, allowing it to layer over the drink.
Chartreuse Hot Chocolate
1 1/2 ounces green chartreuse
6 ounces hot chocolate
whipped cream and grated dark chocolate for garnish
Choose a good quality dark or bittersweet hot chocolate and to that add the green chartreuse. Top with lightly whipped cream and some finely chopped or grated dark chocolate.