The holidays may be over, but in New York there is plenty of winter left nipping at our heels. What better excuse than that to sit down with a steaming hot cocktail at one of these five fine establishments? Whether you want to get a boozy hot chocolate after a brisk stroll around Central Park, or a spiked cider to take the chill off a downtown dalliance, there are plenty of options to warm you from the inside out.
Hot Buttery Nipple at Golden Cadillac
Though it recently opened, when you step inside the Golden Cadillac, it appears to have been up and running since the 1970s, which is exactly what they are going for here. Make this your warm-up stop after touring around the East Village and Lower East Side — after all, they make one of the best Buttery Nipples. What, you may wonder, is a Buttery Nipple exactly? Simple, it’s a hot cocktail made, in this case, with butter- and cacao-infused Jameson, a rich demerara sugar syrup, and hot water. Then, as if that weren’t enough, it’s topped with whipped cream. Add a bowl of Hunter’s Stew or mini Monte Cristo sandwiches and you will be toasty all the way through.
Spruce Hot Toddy at Aska
For a Nordic take on a classic Hot Toddy, head to the trendy restaurant Aska in Williamsburg. Here, bar maven Selma Slabiak has created the Spruce Hot Toddy, a clever mix of mezcal, lemon juice and a special housemade pine-infused simple syrup. It feels warm, smells like a forest tinged with citrus, and tastes a little bit like a campfire, in the best possible way. Head there and order this at the bar with a light snack, or sit down to chef Fredrik Berselius’ seven-course dinner and sip one with the Scandinavian-style amuse-bouche, and then, follow dessert with another. After all, you do have to go back outside, so you might as well be prepared.
Patrinos at Molyvos
If you find yourself shivering in Midtown before catching a show on Broadway, warm up at Molyvos, where they serve the traditional hot drink, Patrinos. This 15th-century tipple hails from the Greek city of Patras, and consists of freshly brewed La Colombe coffee, steamed milk and Tentura, a liqueur also from Patras that is made with sugar and the fermented essence of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and citrus fruits. On the side, Molyvos serves the beverage with a sweetly spiced paximadia, a little Greek cookie made with honey, butter and baking spices.
Spiked Hot Chocolate at Hudson Lodge
If you want to heat your hands and boost your mood, indulge with the ultra rich spiked hot chocolate at Hudson Lodge in the Hudson New York. Made by the award-winning London mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana, this beverage has all the components of an opulent hot cocoa, but with the added bonus of pear brandy, which gives it a nice layer of fruit flavor. “The spiked hot chocolate at Hudson Lodge is ideal for warming from the inside and out, and it’s packed with wintry flavors and luxurious chocolate,” Chetiyawardana says. Aside from velvety cacao, the drink has cardamom and cinnamon, giving it an added component of comforting flavors to help tuck you in on a blustering winter night. This Midtown hotel bar also offers a hot apple cider made with sloe gin, and the Ginger Toddy, a take on a traditional Hot Toddy that has an extra kick from the bar’s homemade ginger wine.
Pop’s Cider at Distilled New York
Going above and beyond your classic cider, this public house downtown has put a mug of the stuff on the menu that not only takes the chill off a cold day, but also fills your belly a bit. Enter, Pop’s Cider, a drink made with crisp apple cider, fresh pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spices and Brugal 1888 rum. The whole thing gets served in an “I Love NY” mug and topped with homemade vanilla bean whipped cream and grated nutmeg. It’s the perfect way to welcome family and friends to the city, as well as keeping them toasty. Of course, if this drink is too filling, you can also spoil yourself with the Mulled Mystic, a cup of warm mead, also called honey wine, that has been infused with nutmeg, allspice and chamomile, then garnished with lemon and cloves to give it a seasonal kick.
Photos Courtesy of Molyvos, Aska and Hudson Lodge