6 Fantastic Holiday Cocktails and Where to Find Them
The most wonderful time of the year is here, and that chill in the air and long list of parties mean it’s time to imbibe. This year, take in the merry sights and sounds of a new city with a holiday cocktail in hand. Make some new memories this year by trying out these versions of classic wintertime libations throughout the U.S.
Holiday Cocktails #1 – Eggnog | Rye | San Francisco, CA
The quintessential American holiday cocktail, eggnog is a classic yuletide indulgence. And as if it weren’t rich enough, San Francisco’s Rye lays it on extra thick by substituting cream with—you guessed it—ice cream. Order up a ‘nog, and you’ll get yourself a luscious concoction made with Three Twins’ organic “Dad’s Cardamom” ice cream blended with rum, milk, eggs, and the requisite dusting of nutmeg and cardamom. It’s the perfect holiday calorie bomb.
Hotel Vertigo sits a mere hop, skip, and a climb from Rye, nestled between apartment buildings on Nob Hill. Housed in a building that was featured in the beloved Hitchcock film, Hotel Vertigo runs with the theme and plays the movie on a loop in the lobby.
Holiday Cocktails #2 – Hot Toddy | Julep | Houston, TX
The hot toddy is another archetypal winter cocktail, one that has long been brewed up as a folk remedy to soothe colds as well as spirits. Put some fire in your belly with a mug of Julep’s Bourbon Toddy, a version that adds notes of apricot and saffron to the traditional mix of bourbon, water, and honey. The Washington Avenue bar also serves up a seasonally appropriate Cider & Milk Punch during its daily happy hours.
After you’ve had your fill at Julep, rest your merry head at the JW Marriott Downtown Houston for the convenience, service, and reliability you expect from the global chain.
Holiday Cocktails #3 – Mulled Wine | Café Sabarsky | New York, NY
Take a wintertime excursion to Manhattan’s Upper East Side to visit this sophisticated Viennese Kaffehaus adjacent to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Itself located within the Neue Galerie, Café Sabarsky offers the ability to mull over world-class German and Austrian art while sipping on a mug of hot mulled wine. Their glühwein is spiced with orange and cloves for a traditional holiday taste.
Stay at the Excelsior just across the park for a more affordable Uptown experience. Situated in an art deco building, the hotel overlooks the Museum of Natural History, and is an easy walk or bus ride through Central Park to your mulled wine destination.
Holiday Cocktails #4 – Hot Buttered Rum | The Fireside | Portland, OR
In a city whose culinary scene has become so notorious that comedians poke fun at its abundant “artisanal, handcrafted” fare, visitors to Portland come out on top with no shortage of quality libations. For a toasty holiday atmosphere, The Fireside gastropub wins a few bonus points. Cozy up to one of two fireplaces within the joint and ditch your PSL for The Great Pumpkin, their take on hot buttered rum. Pumpkin butter and allspice liqueur round out a blend of two rums, giving you all the pumpkin-y goodness you crave with a kick you just can’t find in a Starbucks red cup.
Keep the good vibes going at the Hotel Vintage Portland, a hip and well-appointed boutique hotel centrally located near Pioneer Square.
Holiday Cocktails #5 – Spiked Hot Chocolate | 1313 Main | Napa, CA
This classy Napa restaurant is known to offer a melt-it-yourself Valrhona hot chocolate at brunch, complete with a mini flask filled with a spirit of your choice. Their Winter in Wine Country tasting menu also offers up such seasonal drink pairings as warm mulled cider, a hot toddy, and a glass of Cappellano Barolo Chinato—a special Piedmontese wine infused with quinine bark, clove, wormwood, cinnamon, and sugar.
Stay at the nearby Napa River Inn situated at the historic Napa Mill, which makes for a convenient and cozy in-town base for wine country exploration.
Holiday Cocktails #6 – Champagne Cocktail | Polite Provisions | San Diego, CA
When New Year’s Eve comes around, no one will deny that champagne is a must. But many may not realize that even the bubbly stuff can be spruced up and made extra special for the stroke of midnight (or for any time of day, really). The folks at San Diego’s Polite Provisions enliven their sparkling wine with Punt e Mes—a dark Italian vermouth—and Angostura bitters for a fancier take on a holiday staple in their Lady Stoneheart cocktail.
Continue your merrymaking at the Palomar in the happening Gaslamp Quarter to round out your festive San Diego stay.
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This post on Holiday Cocktails was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on December 11, 2015.