Hot cocktails are one of the benefits of the arrival of winter’s gray skies and brisk winds. As the mercury drops, and restaurants tuck away patio furnishings, bartenders serve cocktails that warm your cheeks and elevate your spirits. From mulled wine to hot toddies, here are some of the best cups for helping endure frigid evenings.
Chartreuse toddy at Gunshow
Cocktail director Mercedes O’Brien offers an herbaceous twist on a traditional toddy. “The inspiration came from a collaboration on a warm cocktail suitable for the French Alps,” she said. Alpine liqueurs genepy and Chartreuse blend with calvados apple brandy and a tea made from oranges and lavender. A lollipop flavored with French Espelette pepper and honey is designed to melt in the cocktail as it is enjoyed. Much like the ingenuity that comes from the kitchen, bartender Josh Washburn created the Chartreuse from a recipe as proprietary as that of the original monks who first made it.
Gunshow. 924 Garrett St. SE, Atlanta. 404-380-1886, gunshowatl.com.
Mulled wine at Yebo Ski Haus
A blend of red wine is heated and sweetened with a potpourri of baking spices, honey and the zing of orange peel. Even with no powder in sight, sitting in the cozy surroundings of comfy pillows, plush blankets and antique skis, it will feel as if the celebration is après-ski. Double up on warmth by heading to the patio fire pits or ordering beer cheese fondue. Come spring, Yebo Ski Haus will transform into Yebo Beach Haus.
Yebo Ski Haus. 111 W. Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta. 404-869-1992, yebobeachhaus.com.
Hatsune Miku at Brush Sushi Izakaya
Japan’s most famous pop star doesn’t really exist. Luckily, the warm cocktail named for her at Brush does. On TV, Hatsune Miku is the mascot of voice-synthesizing software, but, in a stoneware mug, it is an infusion of whiskey and spices with an umami punch. Bradford Tollson warms bourbon, sweet vermouth, honey, lemon, cinnamon and bitters with sencha green tea. Boozy without being too aggressive, it’s like cuddling in a jacket.
Brush. 316 Church St., Decatur. 678-949-9412, brushatl.com.
H+H Hot Chocolate at Hampton + Hudson
Rich with bittersweet chocolate, and spiked with bourbon cream, this hot chocolate is a decadent treat, perfect for chilly days. It develops depth with a punch of French brandy, but is reminiscent of childhood treats. The garnish of roasted marshmallows is an added bonus. Add an order of toasty pretzel bites with chef Craig Richards’ sweet pear mustard for a sweet and salty combo that erases winter doldrums.
Hampton + Hudson. 299 N. Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-948-2123, hamptonandhudson.com.
Cabin Coffee at Table & Main
Perfectly aligned with its new Sunday brunch and winter’s low temperatures, Table & Main’s Cabin Coffee is best sipped slowly. The fragrant winter warmer cozies maple whiskey, coffee and Bailey’s Irish Cream together in a mug, with a dollop of bourbon whipped cream to top it off. “With as much rain as we’ve had this winter already, I need something a little stronger than just coffee,” owner Ryan Pernice said. “It’s a great way to end a meal … just like curling up fireside in a cabin.” We bet it goes well with an order of warm, spiced monkey bread.
Table & Main. 1028 Canton St., Roswell. 678-869-5178, tableandmain.com.
Rooftop toddy at Whiskey Blue
Buckhead’s Whiskey Blue puts the kettle on to elevate your spirits. Made with a base of spiced rum and hot apple cider, it’s simple, yet steamy. After taking the all-glass elevator to the top, stir the comforting tipple with your cinnamon stick while taking in the open-air ambiance of the newly renovated patio, with plush blue sectionals and the city’s skyline. Outdoor heating and blankets help you to snuggle in.
Whiskey Blue. 3377 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta. 678-500-3190, gerberbars.com.