It won't officially be winter until later this month but you'd never guess that from the gloomy conditions and the cooler weather heading our way later this week. There's nothing better to keep the minions of Jack Frost at bay than a steaming cup of hot booze to clutch on a frigid evening (or afternoon). Below, a few places turning up the heat on seasonal imbibing.
Lauren in the Winter at The Roof As we know, rooftops aren't just for summer, including this swanky Midtown spot, which is offering a special menu of hot drinks this season. Of those, try out this tea-based cocktail ($18) made with Hennessy VSOP, Teatulia Organic Tea and, of course, honey. Scratchy throats and runny noses beware: this drink is coming for you. Also on the menu: a vanilla vodka-spiked hot chocolate and a rum-based hot toddy. 124 W 57th Street, (212) 707-8008
Hot Buttered Rum at Bar Matchless: People are putting it in their coffee so why not extend butter's reach into your booze? This classic cold weather cocktail pairs hot water, rum and spices with a pat of butter, adding richness and thickness to the drink. Lots of places pour a mug, but we appreciate the simplicity of this popular brunch spot's version, which also comes with a bit of whipped cream for extra decadence. As with their other hot cocktails like toddies and cider, a mug of HBR sets you back $9. 557 Manhattan Avenue, (718) 383-5333
1888 Hot Toddy at The Wayland: Whiskey may be more common, but a little rum in your toddy never hurt anybody. At this East Village cocktail den, mixologist Brian Hawthorne is combining Brugal 1888 aged rum—not all that dissimilar to a good bourbon, really—and combining it with honey, ginger and hot water. If the hot rum didn't open your sinuses, the ginger sure as heck will. 700 East 9th Street, (212) 777-7022
Il Remedio at Louie & Chan: This dainty-looking drink ($13) packs in its punches several ways, starting with healthy glugs of Piere Ferrand Cognac and Amaretto, which are seasoned with lemon juice and warming winter spices like cinnamon. Its bright golden hue harkens back to the days when we saw the sun (remember those?), further bolstered by the heat emanating from the glass. It won't cure your seasonal Vitamin D deficiency, but at least you won't get scurvy! 303 Broome Street, (212) 837-2816
Hot Toddie at St. Mazie: It's not on their cocktail menu, but bartenders at this twee Williamsburg spot are experts at making delicious, frothy, mouth-searing hot toddies when asked. Whiskey, lemon, water and spices come served in a small glass daintily wrapped in a paper napkin to avoid burnt fingers. What makes their version unique: steaming the water like milk in a latte. When aerated, the drink has more body than a traditional toddy; and it looks delicious to boot. 345 Grand Street, (718) 384-4807
Koffie Van Brunt at Fort Defiance: People drone on about the restorative power of the Bloody Mary, but that's just because they haven't had the caffeine-booze double whammy found in this Red Hook restaurant's incredible coffee-based cocktails. Much has been made of their semi-traditional Irish Coffee ($12), but it's the cherry-infused rum version ($11) that we'll celebrate here. Aged rum and Cherry Heering, a type of liqueur, are combined with diluted espresso and freshly shaken cream for a sweet, fruity and altogether powerful reviver. 365 Van Brunt Street, (347) 453-6672