Some like it hot: Warm cocktails for patio drinking when the weather is cool

Southern Belle's Fuego del Campo is both a smoky cocktail and a dessert, with mezcal, toasted marshmallow fluff and graham cracker crumbles. Courtesy of Kevin Bragg
Southern Belle's Fuego del Campo is both a smoky cocktail and a dessert, with mezcal, toasted marshmallow fluff and graham cracker crumbles. Courtesy of Kevin Bragg

The cool fall evenings soon will turn colder, and Atlanta restaurants are preparing patios for outdoor dining, with heaters, blankets and all sorts of clever enclosures. But, the easiest way to stave off the cold is with a beverage that warms from the inside. Here are just a few of the metro Atlanta places serving cozy cocktails to help with the chill.

ExploreDining in Atlanta in the age of COVID-19
Fado's Jameson Irish whiskey toddy is topped tableside with a thick layer of whipped cream. Courtesy of John Piccirillo
Fado's Jameson Irish whiskey toddy is topped tableside with a thick layer of whipped cream. Courtesy of John Piccirillo

Credit: John Piccirillo

Credit: John Piccirillo

Jameson Irish whiskey toddy at Fado Irish Pub

Cocktail history often is disputed, but a mid-19th-century Irish doctor, Robert Bentley Todd, generally is credited with being the inspiration of the toddy. Hot drinks with a dash of whiskey were his common prescription. You can enjoy an Irish whiskey toddy on one of Fado’s many patios, perhaps by one of the fireplaces for a double warming. It’s a perfect remedy for a cold day.

Fado Irish Pub, 273 Buckhead Ave., Atlanta. 404-841-0006, fadoirishpub.com.

The Deer and the Dove

You won’t see a warm cocktail on the menu here, but just ask, and bartender Matt Watkins will use Scotch, bourbon, gin — whatever spirit sounds pleasing for an evening on Decatur Square with a warming mug in hand. Bar manager Jason Kemp suggests a cup of mulled cider, with alcoholic and nonalcoholic versions that make it a fun fit for the whole family.

The Deer and the Dove. 155 Sycamore St., Decatur. 404-748-4617, deerdove.com.

Empire State South

The patio at Empire State South feels like a posh courtyard in the heart of the city. It’s spacious, with twinkling lights dangling, and, when the cold hits, beverage director Kellie Thorn has three warming drinks. The ESS hot toddy brings together Scotch, chamomile liqueur, local honey, lemon and hot water. A sultry mulled wine is a mixture of red wine with spices, including pink peppercorns, cardamom, star anise, cinnamon and clove, as well as sherry, brandy, aquavit, honey and citrus zest. And, a spiced local cider rounds out the options.

Empire State South. 999 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-541-1105, empirestatesouth.com.

Fuego de Campo at Southern Belle

Fanciful imagination meets skilled technique at chef Joey Ward’s Southern Belle restaurant and Georgia Boy tasting room, so it’s no surprise that the bar program is the same. Assistant General Manager Kevin Bragg thought up a campfire pleaser that is both a smoky mezcal cocktail and an after-dinner dessert. “Fuego de Campo is the whimsical offspring of s’mores and Oaxacan mole negro,” he said. “It’s adult hot chocolate, with smoke, heat and spice — exactly the kind of beverage that will keep you going on a brisk evening.”

Southern Belle. 1043 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta. 404-698-3961, southernbelleatl.com.

Redbird

Redbird, on the Westside, not only has ample outdoor dining space, but also an outdoor bar. Nearby is chef Zeb Stevenson’s new Birdy Biscuits window, where he sends out weekend brunch sandwiches, as well as his warm cocktails. “We have two warm drinks that are quite simple and delicious,” he said. The Ginger Gold blends apple cider, bourbon, apple bitters and the kick of ginger liqueur. The Redbird Ginger swirls together cognac, lemon, honey and orange oil, with the deep red color and tartness of hibiscus tea.

Redbird. 1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-900-5172, redbirdatl.com.

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A heaping dollop of whiskey whipped cream tops off a Cabin Coffee on Table & Main's large patio. Courtesy of Salma Repole
A heaping dollop of whiskey whipped cream tops off a Cabin Coffee on Table & Main's large patio. Courtesy of Salma Repole

Credit: Salma Repole

Credit: Salma Repole

Cabin Coffee at Table & Main

The garden patio at Table & Main boasts beautiful landscaping, as well as a cozy fireplace that makes it an ideal place to enjoy a hot beverage. “And, if our new additional heaters don’t keep you warm through your meal, the Cabin Coffee sure will," owner Ryan Pernice said. Underneath a heaping dollop of whiskey whipped cream is a mug full of coffee, maple bourbon and Irish cream. It’s a favorite of restaurant regulars.

Table & Main. 1028 Canton St., Roswell. 678-869-5178, eats.rohospitality.com.

Behind this Naughty Toddy can be seen the Whiskey Project's wall of more than 1,000 spirit choices. Courtesy of Arianne Fielder
Behind this Naughty Toddy can be seen the Whiskey Project's wall of more than 1,000 spirit choices. Courtesy of Arianne Fielder

Credit: Arianne Fielder

Credit: Arianne Fielder

Naughty Toddy at the Whiskey Project

The whiskey wall at the Whiskey Project in Roswell houses more than 1,000 distinct spirits, but don’t worry about selecting one for a toddy. Bartender Arianne Fielder’s Naughty Toddy is made with Tullamore Dew cider cask Irish whiskey, local honey, lemon, fall spices and pressed apple. “Anytime I need a comforting warm ‘hug in a mug,’ I grab a spicy, high-proof whiskey, local honey and I play with the spice and citrus parts,” Fielder said. Sip it outside, but make sure to check out that impressive wall.

The Whiskey Project. 45 Oak St., Roswell. 678-373-1981, twpatl.com.

Shrub it Off at the Iberian Pig Buckhead

At Buckhead’s outpost of the Iberian Pig, Executive Chef John Castellucci has an extensive menu of pintxos — small plates of creative Spanish cuisine. In a salad of local greens, he incorporates spiced marcona almonds, manchego cheese and Rioja poached pears. The sweetness of the pears complements the spice. The bar program follows suit, crafting pairings with the menu. For cold weather, they offer the Shrub it Off hot toddy made with a pear shrub, an old-time mixer of fruit-infused simple syrup with a vinegary punch.

The Iberian Pig Buckhead. 3150 Roswell Road NW, Atlanta. 404-994-4990, theiberianpigatl.com.

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