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Seasonal Booze, Served Hot

Twenty-three places to warm up with holiday-inspired mulled wines, spiked hot chocolates, and comforting cocktails.

Left to right: Timna's Warm Tzimmes Punch, Ward III's Hot Toddy, and Middle Branch's Ginger and Spice.  

Achilles Heel
180 West St., at Green St., Greenpoint; 347-987-3666
Andrew Tarlow’s Brooklyn spot will bring back its seasonal house toddy—an aromatic concoction of apple brandy, Meletti amaro, lemon, and honey, served in a beer mug and garnished with a stick of cinnamon.

65 E. 55th St., nr. Madison Ave.; 212-307-7311
Drawing influence from their Scandinavian roots, this modern Nordic establishment will feature a traditional glögg, a mulled-wine variant that’s brewed in batches by dropping housemade spice sachets into a wine-and-vodka medley. Diners get to leave the restaurant with their very own sachet for at-home steeping.

Bodega Negra
355 W. 16th St., nr. Ninth Ave.; 212-229-2336
The Dream Hotel’s restaurant/lounge/café will be warming up guests with their Abuelita’s Cocoa, a tequila-spiked dark hot chocolate spiced up with an ancho chile liqueur and housemade cinnamon-and-habanero syrup.

95 Ave. A, at E. 6th St.; 212-614-6818
The East Village rum bar will serve a tea-based mulled wine using a ruby spice cider tea—a blend of berries, pomegranate, cinnamon, and apple—mixed with red wine, Jamaican rum, and cognac.

Distilled NY
211 W. Broadway, nr. Franklin St.; 212-601-9514
This gastropub specializes in all things comfort, so for the holiday season they’ll be featuring three piping-hot specialties. Their mulled mead apple cider features mead (a honey wine) and dry hard cider alongside a spiced rum, while their hot toddy mingles rye whiskey and apple brandy with lemon and cinnamon. Meanwhile, the Noon Rooster, a seasonal version of their signature Morning Bell, blends whiskey with amaretto liqueur, demerara sugar, coffee, and Angostura cream.
$12 each

27 Broadway, at Dunham Pl., Williamsburg; 646-568-6622
Stop in for bartender Nick Settle’s specialty winter creation, I Think You’re Bananas, a combination of El Dorado eight-year rum and Hamilton Jamaican rum with banana liqueur, steamed milk, and a cinnamon nutmeg seasoning.

The Eddy
342 E. 6th St., nr. First Ave.; 646-895-9884
At this rustic American bar and eatery, you’ll find a house-mulled cider complete with Rowan’s Creek bourbon, maple syrup, and brown butter for added richness.

Eli’s Night Shift
189 E. 79th St., at Third Ave.; 212-879-7160
Eli Zabar’s newly opened craft-beer concept will be joining in on this year’s hot-beverage game with a warm milk punch called the Last Shift. Drawing inspiration from pumpkin pie, the tea-based concoction combines chai, pumpkin purée, pear and lemon juices, vanilla vodka, bourbon, glögg, and a variety of spices.

Grand Army
336 State St., at Hoyt St., Boerum Hill; 718-422-7867
Damon Boelte, the head barman at this trendy Brooklyn watering hole, will enlist his warm spirit of choice, Jamaican black rum, along with coconut, orgeat, Angostura bitters, and a dash of nutmeg for the bar’s fragrant holiday libation, the Rainier.

Hecho En Dumbo
354 Bowery, nr. Great Jones St.; 212-937-4245
This winter, beverage director Ethan Smith will introduce his very own Ponche Navideño—a warm punch that’s traditionally served during Christmastime in Mexico. The drink’s made by boiling tejocote, a seasonal Mexican fruit (similar to the crab apple), with California-distilled brandy, fruits, spices, and unrefined Mexican sugar.

Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria
53 Great Jones St., nr. Bowery; 212-837-2622
Chocolatier and Jacques Torres protégée Genevieve Meli has created an entire menu for the Italian eatery devoted solely to hot chocolate. Choose between rosemary, smoked-cinnamon, and burnt-orange variations, topped with housemade marshmallows and served with a shot of Varnelli, an Italian liqueur, upon request.
$10 ($6 without Varnelli)

221 Smith St., nr. Butler St., Carroll Gardens; 347-987-3260
For cozy comfort with a caffeinated charge, try co-owner and head bartender Ivy Mix’s Guatemalan coffee with Zacapa rum and orange cognac. While the recipe draws from Latin influence, the roast and macadamia-nut syrup are sourced locally from Brooklyn, and the drink’s topped off with a freshly whipped cream for an extra note of holiday decadence.

The Meatball Shop
All locations
Coinciding with their annual “Jingle Balls” menu special, the famed meatball specialists will be rolling out a handful of holiday cocktails, like the Warm & Cozy, a no-nonsense mixture of Laird’s Applejack, cider, and cinnamon. The drink offerings will vary by location, so call for availability.

Middle Branch
154 E. 33rd St., nr. Lexington Ave.; 212-213-1350
This Murray Hill cocktail lounge will offer a few steaming specialties crafted by managing partner Lucinda Sterling. Her Colorado-whiskey-and-ginger-liqueur-based drink, the Warm Embrace, is balanced with a simple pairing of freshly pressed apple cider and lemon juice and garnished with an apple slice. And her Ginger and Spice offers a deeper, red-wine-and-allspice-liqueur option that’s garnished with brandied cherries and topped off with a cinnamon stick.
$15 each

Mother of Pearl
95 Ave. A, at E. 6th St.; 212-614-6818
Ravi DeRossi’s recently opened tiki bar will serve a specialty hot drink for its first holiday season in business. The Gingerbread Tea Toddy mixes a gingerbread-black-tea syrup with apple brandy, rye, and lemon, served with a side of gumdrops.

430 Hudson St., nr. Morton St.; 212-960-3801
Shinya Yamao, head bartender of this Michelin-ranked West Village establishment, will be stirring up two Japanese-influenced concoctions. His Sakegg-nog, served either hot or cold upon request, involves swapping in soy milk and nigori (unfiltered) sake to complement the vanilla-bean flavoring of traditional eggnog. Alternately, wine lovers can indulge in Yamao’s made-to-order mulled wine, seasoned with a handful of spices and lightly sweetened with honey and Japanese cane sugar.
Sakegg-nog, $16; mulled wine, $15

80 Wythe Ave., at N. 11th St., Williamsburg; 718-460-8004
The Wythe Hotel’s chic restaurant space will add a Quiet Storm to the winter drink menu. The soothing cocktail introduces orange curaçao and winter pear liqueur to a base of steamed whole milk and Lost Spirits navy-strength rum.

Sotto 13
140 W. 13th St., nr. Seventh Ave.; 212-647-1001
This cozy Italian spot will offer a rich, dark beer-based hot chocolate, made with Troubadour stout and infused with the spicy undertones of cinnamon, allspice, and chili powder.

The Spotted Pig
314 W. 11th St., at Greenwich St.; 212-620-0393
April Bloomfield will once again whip up her acclaimed mulled wine to combat the blustery New York winter. Her recipe involves all of the traditional mulling spices, with a punch of chile and brandy for added warmth.

The Third Man
116 Ave. C, nr. 8th St.; 212-598-1040
Hunker down at this Viennese-inspired cocktail bar with a mug of their specialty, the Hot Mentha Mess, a bourbon-and-mint-liqueur-spiked hot chocolate heated with cayenne and topped with homemade marshmallows.

109 St. Marks Pl., nr. Avenue A; 646-964-5181
At Timna, beverage director Amir Nathan’s hot-drink offerings all have a Mediterranean influence. His Hot Marxist, named after the restaurant’s bustling locale, features an apple-and-cinnamon vermouth stirred with a wine-based aperitif and muddled blood orange. Nathan will also be serving up a Warm Tzimmes Punch, his creative drink interpretation of the Jewish sweet stew, infused with carrot-cardamom syrup, aged port, and candied carrots.

Ward III
111 Reade St., nr. West Broadway; 212-240-9194
On the happy-hour menu at this swanky Tribeca cocktail den, you’ll find the Cutty Sark Hot Toddy, a Scotch drink subtly sweetened with honey and muddled fresh ginger.