The Ten: Warming Winter Cocktails

Photo courtesy of Quench

Photo courtesy of Quench

So many choices, so little time. The Ten is your guide to the best of the best that D.C. has to offer. 

Short days and long nights are a perfect excuse to spend more time at your favorite bars around town. Take the edge off the wintry weather with a warming cocktail – or three. We won’t judge.

Tropic of Cider
There’s a tropical twist to Quench’s cider-centric cocktail (seen above), which is sweetened with guava nectar and has a fiery tequila edge. Spiced with cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and anise, it arrives with a healthy head of cider foam and a persimmon chip garnish.

Estadio’s bar manager Adam Bernbach found inspiration in Spain’s toasty Trifasico – espresso, brandy and frothed milk. His fancified take substitutes in house-made orange zest-infused brandy and adds almond syrup to bring out the espresso’s nuttiness.

Pair of Gloves
This hot toddy at Art & Soul is served in a French press, so it stays warms as you sip at your leisure. Honey water, orange and lemon leaven a strong backbone of cherry and fennel-infused bourbon.

Irish Hot Chocolate
What could be better than hot chocolate? Oh, right, hot chocolate with booze in it. Like this one at Duke’s Grocery, which features Bailey’s Irish Cream, whiskey and your choice choice of hazelnut or caramel.

Hot Buttered Rum
This is not your average hot buttered rum, not that you would expect the quotidian from Bourbon Steak’s Duane Sylvestre. The master mixologist crafts a spiced brown butter broth, stirs in plenty of rum, and finishes it with a dulce de leche garnish.

Hot & Cold Gin Fizz
This deconstructed Ramos Fizz at Bibiana embraces extremes. A cold mixture of gin, lemon and sugar arrives with a hot egg white cream on top.

Christmas Story
Not just the name of one of our favorite holiday films of all time anymore. This hot cocktail at Libertine incorporates Bulleit rye, rhubarb spirits and cardamom bitters, plus garnishes orange peel, cranberries and rosemary sprig.

Honeybee Hot Chocolate
Juniper’s honey sweetened cocoa gets an extra boost with a jigger of Bailey’s Irish Cream. Housemade marshmallows finish off the decadent drink.

Photo courtesy of Bar Dupont

Photo courtesy of Bar Dupont

Double Smoked Penicillin
Warning: not for the faint of heart. Bar Dupont’s bracing bevvie (seen left) includes Dewar’s White Label and Laphroaig Islay scotch, lemon juice, fresh ginger and a big puff of applewood smoke.

Chaiway to Hell
We’re pretty sure that AC/DC would totally approve of this pun. Knob Creek rye adds punch to an alluring combination of allspice liqueur, honey and black chai tea at Jack Rose.



Is your favorite missing? Disagree with one (or more) of my choices? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter @nevinmartell.