The Warm-Up

The Long Hello
Damon Boelte, bar director, Prime Meats

“This drink celebrates a fall and winter fruit, the apple, and incorporates spices that bring warmth to colder months—bitters with hints of cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg.”

The Recipe
3/4 oz. Clear Creek apple brandy
3/4 oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur
1 dash Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel- Aged Bitters
2 oz. Sparkling wine
Freshly ground nutmeg and green apple, to garnish

Mix all ingredients except wine in an ice-filled shaker. Strain into a Champagne glass and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with freshly ground nutmeg and a thin slice of green apple.

The Valentina
Natalka Burian, co-owner, Elsa

“A wedding just isn’t a wedding without something sparkling. This cocktail looks like Christmas! The flavors are rich, decadent, and unusual, with ripe, dark fruit set off by the spice from bitters and the subtle sweetness of St. Germain.”

The Recipe
3.4 oz. Cognac
1/2 oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur
1 dash Angostura bitters
Lambrusco wine (like Solo Reggiano)
Cherry, to garnish

Shake the Cognac, St. Germain, and bitters over ice, then strain the mixture into a stemmed glass garnished with a fresh cherry. Top with Lambrusco, a sparkling Italian red wine.

Airmail Punch
Jim Meehan, general manager, PDT

“Punchbowl service is perfect for attendees who are always looking for a refill. And if you freeze honeycomb into a block of ice in the punch bowl, that image itself encapsulates winter.”

The Recipe
1 oz. Banks white rum
1 oz. Water
1/2 oz. Lime juice
1/2 oz. Honey syrup (equal parts honey and water)
2 1/2 oz. Champagne
Grated nutmeg
Chamomile tea

Fill a silicone loaf pan half full with tea, freeze, add honeycomb, top off with tea, and freeze again. For punch, combine lime juice, syrup, rum, and water; let chill. Place ice block in punch bowl, add punch mixture and Champagne, and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Adirondack Warmer
Kevin Denton, bartender, Hotel Delmano

“If taxidermy and long underwear fit the bill for your wedding—think an intimate winter ceremony in the Berkshires— this toddy cocktail is a winner.”

The Recipe
1 oz. Rittenhouse 100- proof rye whiskey
1 oz. Lairds applejack
3/4 oz. Fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz. Heering cherry liqueur
1 dash Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel- Aged Bitters
2 1/2 oz. Hot water
Clove-studded orange slice, to garnish

Combine the first five ingredients in a heat-resistant container. Slowly incorporate hot water while stirring the mixture. Serve in a toddy glass with an orange slice on the rim.

The Taylor Precedent
Meaghan Dorman and Kyle Hittmeier, bartenders, Raines Law Room

“Winter is about finding warmth and comfort. The bonded applejack is 100 proof, so it literally gives a warm feeling to the drinker, and the flavors of apple and cinnamon are reminiscent of an apple pie.”

The Recipe

1/2 oz. Punt e Mes vermouth
1/2 oz. Cinnamon syrup
1 oz. Lairds applejack
Green Chartreuse
Brandied cherries

Rinse glass with green Chartreuse (use a mister for more than one glass). Mix first three ingredients in shaker, add ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into a stemmed glass and top off with Champagne. Garnish with a brandied cherry.

Photographs by Hannah Whitaker.

The Warm-Up