Here we are approaching the end of December having had uncharacteristically high temps thus far this season. We may have enjoyed an outdoor tiki cocktail or summer beer a bit longer than we should have, but we know what’s coming. Soon come the days when we shall hibernate in our homes with our favorite bottles of whiskey, or venture out (not too far, of course) to our favorite neighborhood bars to sip on the drinks that make us feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Whether at home or out on the town, these are the drinks that will cure your seasonal blues:
Full of classic holiday flavors, who doesn’t want to sip on warm apple cider by the fire? An easy one to concoct at home (and a great batch cocktail for parties), but for our Bostonian readers, we’re encouraging you to venture out on a snowy night to 6B Lounge. Nestled on Boston’s Beacon Hill, the holiday lights and snow covered cobblestone might just melt your heart before you even touch the homemade cider with spiced rum and a cinnamon sugar rim.
Sure, red wine is a reliable winter option that always does the trick, but why not try something different this year? Japanese rice wine opens a whole new world of sippable options to warm up the soul. Suited for a wide variety of flavor palettes, and with options to drink it hot or chilled, sake is an easy drink to pick up at most local liquor stores. Interested in ordering it out? An added bonus here is that sake is to delicious sushi what peas are to carrots. And for Bostonians and New Yorkers, O Ya is the mecca of both.
Don’t worry Chicago- we know you have sub-zero temps heading your way too. Roka Akor has you covered as one of Thrillist’s best oyster bars in Chicago, voted as a US top 10 sushi spot by Bon Apetit. And we know first-hand that their sake selection is quite impressive.
This one probably goes without saying, but we can’t leave out the most classic winter beverage of all. There are certain treats that we carry over from childhood into our adult years, and holiday hot chocolates are definitely one of them. And this one’s pretty easy to spike. Obvious options include Bailey’s or XO Patron, but try getting creative with a spicy option like mezcal and chocolate bitters, or Grand Ten’s Fire Puncher Black.
Boston-area and DC natives can’t miss The Met’s Hot Chocolate Experience, featuring a flight of four miniature glasses boasting four distinct flavors, of course all available in upgraded “adult versions.”
This one’s a little more intermediate for you at-home bartenders, but luckily we’ve got the how-to video right here. The perfect balance of smokey and sweet, this is certain to be a go-to for all the Old Fashioned-lovers out there. And if you don’t have the tools to make it at home, Ward 8 is the perfect Boston bistro to sip on this delicious cocktail while watching the snowfall.
We know that these may not live up to the memories of lying on the beach with a margarita in hand, but there is something magical about this season too. Hopefully these drinks will help ease some of the negative effects of winter, and at the very least, keep you just a bit warmer. Cheers!