THE TOP 5: Warm Cocktails to Beat the Autumn Chill
We don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s gotten kind of chilly outside. Autumn seems to finally have descended upon us, and some days the cold snap feels a little more like a cold slap! What will take the sting out of the reminder that winter is just around the corner? Hot cocktails of course! And so you don’t have to spend another minute raging at the wind, we’ve gathered a list of the top five warm quaffs from some of our favorite NYC bars.
1. PDT (Please Don’t Tell), the hidden bar behind the East Village’s Crif Dogs makes a hot cocktail called the Hot Buttered Pisco. We’re not exactly sure how they make this drink, but it never fails to make us swoon. They already had us at “hot and buttered” but then… pisco!? Oh yes, there must be some sort of ritualistic Peruvian dance that goes with making a cocktail this warm and fuzzy and also this dangerous. Think of it as Irish Coffee that’s had an unruly exotic affair with hot buttered rum, somehow involving a vanilla ice cream accomplice.
2. The swanky digs of the Pegu Club, an upstairs NoHo speakeasy figures out how to make their patrons cizy with a drink called the Sleeping Monk. Starting with a chamomile-infused Scotch, coaxed into warm submission with lemon, honey, yellow Chartreuse, and Benedictine, the drink hits you with a slow building warmth perfect for escaping a blustery autumn evening.
3. Another twist on the classic Hot Buttered Rum, has us hopping across the icy East River to one of Williamsburg’s best haunts, Rye. Here you will find the stuff of instant legend: a Hot Butternut Rum. This docile-looking drink arrives in a prim little teacup, but packs a powerful (and flavorful) punch of dark aged rum and housemade Falernum, smiling sweetly through the earl grey tea and butternut squash butter (yum!). A wolf in sheeps clothing of a cocktail if we ever tasted one (or four! they’re amazingly addictive!).
4. Probably one of the most unusual hot cocktails you will find in Gotham city is the Carrot Cake Coffee made behind the bar of The Brass Monkey. Though it sounds more like something you would find behind a dessert case, this killer hot concoction can only be had at this locally favorite dive bar in the far West Village. Surprisingly potent (and sweet of course) this boozy dessert in a glass comprises Baileys, Kahlúa, Goldschlager, coffee and cream.
5. One of our favorite spots to eat in the Lower East Side, Freemans, is also a serious destination for drinking. You get the idea when they boast not one, but three hot cocktails to ease you into the idea of Autumn and keep you warm all winter long. Of the three, Grandad’s Coffee has got our vote for the most cravable (the other two, still very awesome hot cocktails is their take on classic Hot Buttered Rum, and the “Freemans Toddy”). The Grandad’s coffee, though, wins us over with its heady mix of heated brandy and walnut liqueur and topped with a nice cool creamy float of fresh cream. Soon you’ll be wishing that winter was longer!
–Ava Fedorov (www.barhappy.com)