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10 Spicy, Seasonal Cocktails

Fight the winter chill—and get something steamy going!—by whipping up a few of these winter drinks.
Jarren Vink

If you like: WHISKEY
Try a: MULLED TODDY

WHY? “This simple twist on a classic hot toddy always hits the spot on a cold night,” says Jessie Duré, bar manager for the recently reopened Chumley’s in New York City.

INGREDIENTS
1 oz Knob Creek Rye whiskey
1 oz Amaro Montenegro
3⁄4 oz lemon juice
1⁄2 oz ginger honey syrup

DIRECTIONS
Combine all ingredients in a toddy glass or large coffee mug and top with piping hot water.

If you like: TEQUILA
Try a: JALISCO TODDY

WHY? “Tequila lends this toddy a unique citrus flavor you don’t get with whiskey,” says Derrick Turner, head bartender at Harding’s NYC.”

INGREDIENTS
2 oz 1800 Anejo tequila
2 oz chamomile tea (prepared strong)
3⁄4 oz apple cider
1⁄2 oz honey syrup
1⁄2 oz lemon juice
2 slices ginger root
Pinch of cinnamon

DIRECTIONS
Combine all ingredients and heat until warm.

If you like: CABERNET
Try some: MULLED WINE

WHY? “People love it,” says Jesse Marino of David Burke fabrick in NYC. “I always have at least two bottles on site during any snowstorm.”

INGREDIENTS
1 750-ml bottle red wine
1/3 cup sugar in the raw
1/3 cup Stevia
1 cup fresh cranberries
2 cinnamon sticks
1⁄2 inch fresh ginger, diced
1⁄4 cup Grand Marnier
Lemon and orange peel
Cloves and star anise

DIRECTIONS
Stud a few slices of citrus peel with cloves and star anise. Add ingredients to a sauce pan. Heat until sugar dissolves then reduce heat and simmer 5-10 more minutes. Strain and serve.

If you like: MEZCAL
Try some: CAFÉ NOIR

WHY? “Mezcal’s distinctive smokiness warms you from the inside, while the espresso jolts your system with caffeine,” says Marcos Tello, a Los Angeles-based drink expert.

INGREDIENTS
1 oz El Silencio Mezcal
1 oz coffee liqueur
2 oz double shot of espresso

DIRECTIONS
Combine all ingredients in a coffee mug. Stir with a cinnamon stick.

If you like: GIN
Try a: HOT G&T

WHY? “They’re hugely popular in Scandinavia,” says John Ross-Jones, of Australian hot spot QT Melbourne. “Wasabi syrup adds extra bite.”

INGREDIENTS
1 oz Four Pillars gin
1⁄2 oz Martell VS cognac
1⁄2 oz fresh lime juice
1⁄2 oz wasabi syrup
3 oz tonic water

DIRECTIONS
Combine all ingredients and heat until warm.

If you like: BRANDY
Try an: APPLEPRESS

WHY? “Between the sweet apples, tart vinegar, rich walnuts, and spiced brandy, this cocktail screams winter fireplace without being a hot drink,” says Jeremy Allen, a bartender at MiniBar in Los Angeles.

INGREDIENTS
1 oz fresh apple juice
1⁄2 oz apple cider vinegar
1 oz Laird’s apple brandy
1 oz Four Roses Bourbon
2 dashes walnut bitters

DIRECTIONS
Add all ingredients to a shaker, fill with ice, and shake well. Strain into a martini glass and optionally dust with cinnamon before serving.

If you like: BOURBON
Try a: CHAI SPICED HOT TODDY

Why? “Nothing is more warming than the blend of spices you find in a good chai,” says Michael Monrreal, mixologist for the Clique Hospitality Group in Las Vegas. “Add some bourbon and it will definitely warm you up.”

INGREDIENTS
2 oz Chai Spiced Bulleit Bourbon
1 oz honey syrup
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
4 oz hot water

DIRECTIONS
Add all ingredients to a glass and stir well. Garnish with cinnamon stick and orange peel.

If you like: VODKA
Try a: FROSTED MARTINI

Why? “A drink doesn’t have to be hot to warm you up. The rosemary in this martini will remind you of pine trees to get you in the winter spirit,” says bartender Amanda Barton of STK Los Angeles. “Shake it really hard to create floating ice crystals on top.”

INGREDIENTS
3 oz Belvedere vodka
1 sprig rosemary
1/4 oz dry vermouth
3 olives

DIRECTIONS
Muddle some rosemary needles in a cocktail shaker. Add vodka and ice and shake vigorously until shaker turns icy. Swirl vermouth around the interior of a martini glass, strain in the vodka, and garnish with olives speared on another sprig of rosemary.

If you like: CACHACA
Try: THE YELLOW LINE

Why? “With hints of vanilla, butterscotch, and lemongrass, it’s the perfect cocktail if you like things spicy,” says Natalie Jacob, a bartender at The Archer in Jersey City, NJ.

INGREDIENTS
2 oz Avua Oak cachaca
3/8 oz ginger syrup
3/8 oz honey turmeric syrup
3/4 oz lemon juice
cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS
Add all ingredients except cayenne to a shaker. Fill shaker with ice, shake well, and strain into glass. Garnish with a small pinch of cayenne pepper before serving.

If you like: RUM
Try a: SPICY RUM MANHATTAN

Why? It’s easy to make, satisfies my Manhattan cravings and has a nice, smoky flavor that heats you from the inside out,” says Elizabeth Mickiewicz, brand ambassador for Angostura Bitters. 

INGREDIENTS
2 oz rum
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
1/4 oz Ancho Reyes ancho chile liqueur
2-3 dashes bitters
orange peel

DIRECTIONS
Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and stir until properly chilled and diluted. Strain into glass, twisting a bit of orange peel over the top before serving.

November's Must-Try Cocktail: How to Make a Cucumber Basil Martini >>>

 

 

 

 

 

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