As the old holiday song “Let It Snow” goes, “when the weather outside is frightful, the fire is so delightful”. But what do you do when there’s no fire? Correspondent Maria Hunt suggests ordering one of the hot libations that are appearing on drink menus around the country right about now. Toddies, hot buttered rum, spiced cider and Irish coffees have long been cool season standbys. But these days, bartenders around the country are mixing up creative new hot drinks that will warm their patrons on the coldest of nights. Here are five favorites:
The drink: House “Cappuccino” 1919
The flavor: San Francisco is the birthplace of the Irish coffee, so it’s no surprise that bartenders here are inspired to make the famous drink their own. The version at Tosca Cafe is really an adult hot chocolate that starts with a chocolate ganache made by the local natural chocolatier Dandelion. Then they stir in Bas Armagnac brandy by Marie Duffau, Buffalo Trace bourbon and organic milk for an intense gustatory experience.
The place: The Molecular Bar, Celebrity Cruises Solstice Class ships
The flavor: When you’re sailing on a ship like the Celebrity Reflection, it can be challenging to snag a seat at The Molecular Bar, which features creations by New York mixologist — known as The Liquid Chef — Junior Merino. A Mexican coffee made with espresso and tequila crowned with mascarpone foam, the Arriba Arriba (“up, up” in Spanish), will warm you up after a stroll around the deck or keep the party going long into the morning.
The drink: Sailor’s Cure
The flavor: Barman John Hammel was inspired by the area’s nautical culture when he devised this mashup between hot buttered rum and mulled cider. He mixes housemade apple clove butter with Sailor Jerry spiced rum (naturally) that’s been infused with vanilla bean to make a drink that can remedy just about anything.
The drink: The Natural
The flavor: This spicy non-spirited mix of fresh ginger root, agave syrup and sparkling water is just the right concoction if you need some warming energy or want to soothe a scratchy throat. (Personal tip: I also like the way it pairs with the albacore tataki served with lime ponzu, daikon, avocado, cucumber and scallion.)
The drink: Angel’s Elixir
The flavor: Bartender Lisa Marie creates a new version of mulled apple cider by mixing the Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) with cognac and apple cider that’s been simmered with apples, cinnamon, cloves and a surprise ingredient: habanero chilies. This gives the phrase “spiced cider” a whole new meaning.
Photos Courtesy of Loews Annapolis Hotel and Junior Merino