There are other ways warm up when the temperature drops besides huddling next to a fire. To combat winter's icy grip on the city—and put yourself in a merrier frame of mind—here are some hot boozy beverages you can concoct at home or order at cozy spots around the city.

To stave off the cold during long, Scandinavian winters, Swedes concoct glögg, a variation of mulled wine made with port, brandy, spices, nuts and fruit. If you have a few mason jars hanging around, the glögg can be packaged and given as a hostess gift. This recipe comes courtesy of this author's very dear Swedish friends:

    Swedish Glögg:
  • 1 bottle port wine (can be substituted for any red wine)
  • 1 bottle brandy (bourbon or vodka are also appropriate)
  • 2 or 3 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
  • 20 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 cup each raisins and almonds
  • 1/2 pound sugar
  • Combine port, cinnamon, cardamom, raisins, almonds and all but 1/2 cup of brandy in a large pot and simmer for one hour. Remove from heat. Add reserved brandy and sugar to mixture then (carefully!) ignite using a long match stick. Let flames blaze for one minute. Cover to extinguish flames.

    When ready to drink, strain into mugs, reserving the almonds and raisin for garnish.


Sometimes simpler is better and you can't go wrong with a comforting and decadent Hot Buttered Rum. There are tons of variations on this classic cocktail, but Kelvin Uffre at ALDEA adds a special caramel-flavored butter for even more flavor.

    Hot Buttered Rum:
  • Spiced Rum (ALDEA makes theirs in-house)
  • Pedro Ximenez sherry
  • Dulce de Leche butter
  • Serve hot

Midtown's Madison & Vine, located inside the Library Hotel, is offering a variety of holiday cocktails to take the chill off at both the restaurant and their rooftop lounge Bookmarks. The lovely 14th floor terrace, which is partially enclosed to fend off cold winds, affords views of nearby architecture and is the perfect place to stick your nose in a book and sip a warm cocktail till you can't feel the cold anymore.

"Chocolate Cherry" at Madison & Vine and Bookmarks

    Chocolate Cherry: This vamped up hot chocolate cocktail combines comforting hot chocolate with a kick of rum and sweet cherry. Definitely one for the nostalgic sweet tooths.

  • 1 cup hot chocolate

  • 1 ounce South Seas Rum

  • 3/4 ounces Thatcher's chocolate liqueur

  • 1 ounce Cherry Marnier

  • Add the alcohol to the hot chocolate, stir, and garnish with hot chocolate powder and an orange slice

    Spicy Espresso: Not only is this intense cocktail served hot, you always get a double whammy from the caffeine and spiciness of the chipotle liqueur. If you're still cold after this one, you might be dead.
  • 3 ounces hot espresso (watered down, as an Americano)
  • 3/4 ounce Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce Thatcher's chipotle liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • Stir all the ingredients together and garnish with a piece of candied ginger

If you like a little showmanship with your beverages, the fiery Queimada cocktail from the West Village's Barraca should be right up your alley. Enjoy a cup of this punch with a few plates of Spanish tapas at the restaurant or concoct a flaming batch—carefully!—at your apartment.

    Queimada: This flaming Galician punch was originally concocted to ward off witches (!), combines a wine-distilled spirit called Orujo with tea, honey and other aromatics, which are then lit on fire for dramatic flare.
  • 3 cups orujo
  • 5 cups chamomile tea
  • 6 ounces honey
  • 12 coffee beans
  • 5 lemon peels
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy pot. Stir over medium-low heat until everything is well combined. Turn off the heat then light the mixture on fire for about three minutes or until the flame turns blue. Serve in cordial glasses with a lemon peel garnish

While not often used to make cocktails, scotch's smokey flavor adds depth to a drink and is more smooth than it's bourbon and whiskey counter parts. To that end, John McCarthy of Highlands created the "Presbyterian Revenge" to highlight the peat flavor in The Black Grouse scotch.

    Presbyterian Revenge: It's not just cocktails hot in temperature that warm you up. Scotch's luscious smokiness warms you from the inside out.
  • 1.5 ounces The Black Grouse
  • .75 onces Cynar
  • .25 ounces lemon juice
  • .25 ounces simple syrup
  • 1 dash Grapefruit bitters
  • Shake and strain into rocks glass with ice. Top with a splash of soda, garnish with a grapefruit twist.