Warm drinks when you’re frozen to the bone.
The Experimental Cocktail Club in Paris’ hip 3rd arrondissement takes its name to heart. Besides hosting monthly hot punch parties in a cozy, speakeasy decor, the bartenders make good use of their favorite utensil: the blowtorch. The effect is spectacular and the cocktails are tasty, especially the best-selling Rosewater Ricky. It’s served on ice, but pyro barflies can witness the fiery spectacle up close—if they dare.
5 or 6 candied cherries
1 tsp. sugar
Splash of rum
1.7 oz. Hendricks gin
0.7 oz. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. rose liqueur
Place cherries in a heat-proof pan and pour sugar over them. Use a blowtorch to caramelize the cherries. (The trick is to add a bit of rum so they burn better.) Pour into a glass; add gin, lime juice and rose liqueur, and shake vigorously.
Giovanni Fiorin, the director and bartender at Milan’s Trussardi alla Scala Café, pours liquid comfort with her Espresso al Cognac. The rich and frothy drink has both caffeine and a bit of booze, making it an Italian cousin to Irish coffee. “Espresso al Cognac is brand new, and pleases demanding palates for its flavor and the particular taste that the roasted and roughly minced cacao beans leave in the mouth,” says Fiorin.
Espresso al Cognac
1 long espresso, hot
1/2 oz. cognac VSOP
1/2 oz. whipped cream
Roasted and minced cocoa beans
Mix the espresso and cocoa powder in a heat-proof glass and shake until thoroughly combined. Add the cognac. Serve in a martini glass and top with cinnamon, a thin layer of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cacao beans.
After the Berlin weather turns cold and dreary, Edward Madi of Qiu on chic Potsdamer Platz suggests a colorful alternative to Germany’s murky glühwein. Berry in Love is both fruity and spicy. And while it may taste light going down, be advised: Like love when it first hits, this drink packs a punch.
Berry in Love
1 1/3 oz. Havana rum
3 tsp. confectioners’ sugar
2/3 oz. apricot brandy
1/3 oz. grenadine
1 oz. cranberry juice
Garnish: 1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, a few cloves, 1 slice star fruit, a few fresh blackberries, a few fresh raspberries
Mix together rum, confectioners’ sugar, apricot brandy, grenadine and cranberry juice. Pour rum mixture into a heat-proof glass or tumbler and add boiling water to fill. Add star anise and fresh berries, and further garnish with a clove-studded slice of star fruit and a cinnamon stick.
Goldbar caters to New York’s cocktail fans, and when the cold weather sets in, they flock there for the Guilded Gold. “The key ingredient is red wine,” explains Goldbar’s chief mixologist, Remi Shobitan, who created the drink as soon as the temperature dipped. “The wine gives it a much smoother flavor than other hot drinks.” But don’t fool yourself into thinking the cocktail is just like drinking a glass of warm wine. Warns Shobitan of Guilded Gold’s aftereffects: “You feel it right away.”
1/2 oz. port wine
1 oz. apple cider
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. maple syrup
2 oz. cinnamon-infused rum
For the rum: Place three cinnamon sticks in one 750-ml. bottle of aged rum. Let sit for three days.
For the drink: Heat everything except the rum in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add rum. Garnish with an apple slice and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
JAR’s Pátzcuaro Hot Chocolate is an exotic twist on the winter classic blending cocoa with a kick of chili flakes and orange zest for spice. A hefty splash of tequila tops it off.
Patzcuaro Hot Chocolate (makes 6)
4 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
Zest of one orange
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Generous pinch of red chili flakes
4 to 5 cloves
1/2 cup cocoa powder
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips, chopped
9 oz. Anejo tequila
6 tbsp. whipped cream
Combine milk, sugar, orange zest and spices in a saucepan. Heat to a simmer (do not boil) and whisk in cocoa powder until completely blended. Pour mixture into a bowl over chopped chocolate chips. Let sit 3 to 4 minutes to melt chips; stir to combine. To serve, pour 1 1/2 oz. tequila into each glass and then add the warmed hot chocolate and stir. Top each glass with a dollop of whipped cream.