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Stay warm with these winter cocktail recipes from some of our favorite neighborhood bars.

5 Winter Cocktail Recipes to Keep You Warm and Toasty

BY SUZANNE DAVIS
The holidays may be over, but we’re still down for holiday drinks…especially if we can whip them up in our own home as we hibernate. To get us through the winter months, we asked some of our favorite mixologists near
Sentral locations across the country
to divulge their best winter cocktail recipes. From warm and soothing to celebratory and, um, medicinal, these drinks brighten up even the darkest days. 
Bottoms up!
Gold Bar Seattle’s kimchi-spiced Mint Gin Fizz, left, and the Smoke & Mirrors, a winter signature of Cooks & Soldiers in Atlanta. Both photos courtesy of the bars.

MINT GIN FIZZ, GOLD BAR, SEATTLE 

When she was seeking cocktail inspiration during the pandemic, Jess Lancaster found a muse in her childhood roots. “My mom sent me the spices to make kimchi from Korea but never taught me how to make it,” says the front-of-house manager at
Gold Bar
, the eclectic cocktail lounge in
South Lake Union
. “It was her way to, in her words, ‘make sure I always come back home for it.’” Lancaster found the pickled cabbage spices also bring the heat to a cocktail. “I personally love an herbaceous gin cocktail, and the Korean spices really give it a distinctive and memorable taste that is close to my heart.”   
Gold Bar’s Mint Gin Fizz 1.5 oz. gin 1.5 oz.
mint simple syrup
infused with
Korean chile spices, like gochugaru
3/4 oz. lime juice 
Combine all ingredients with ice in a shaker, shake, and strain over fresh ice. Serve with a lime wedge.

SMOKE & MIRRORS, COOKS & SOLDIERS, ATLANTA 

“The Smoke & Mirrors is one of my signatures,” says
Cooks & Soldiers
' dining room manager Sarah Lawrence, who spearheads the cocktail program for the Basque-inspired bar in
West Midtown
. “It's fun and festive when it arrives in a Nick and Nora glass, bright pink, with a twee sprig of rosemary. Most people are surprised!” 
Cooks & Soldiers’ Smoke & Mirrors 3/4 oz. mezcal 3/4 oz.
Zirbenz stone pine liqueur
3/4 oz.
Luxardo Maraschino
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice Rosemary sprig for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a coupe or similar glass. Garnish with rosemary sprig.
VU Chicago’s Cran-Apple Old Fashioned (left; photo courtesy of VU) and the Silky Sullivan from Run for the Roses in Denver (photo by Shawn Campbell).

CRAN-APPLE OLD FASHIONED, VU, CHICAGO 

The cozy factor is key at
VU
, a 22nd-floor rooftop bar in Chicago’s South Loop where guests can curl up by gas fires overlooking glimmering Lake Michigan. “One of our favorite cold weather, winter cocktails is our Cran-Apple Old Fashioned,” says Dave Attarsaheli, the bar’s Assistant General Manager and beverage curator. “You get beautiful cold weather flavors and colors, and the heat from the over-proofed bourbon warms your insides without being overly sharp.”  
VU’s Cran-Apple Old Fashioned 1/2 oz. cran-apple tea Demerara simple syrup (see below) 2 oz. Old Forester 1920 or other over-proofed bourbon 1 dash Peychaud’s bitters 1 dash Angostura bitters Wide slice of lemon peel
Dehydrated salted caramel apple slices
for garnish
Make the simple syrup by heating equal parts Demerara sugar and cran-apple tea together until dissolved, then chilling. Combine 1/2 oz. syrup with bourbon in a mixing glass over ice, then add the bitters. Squeeze the lemon peel over the glass and discard. Stir and pour over ice. Garnish with a dehydrated salted caramel apple slice.

SILKY SULLIVAN, RUN FOR THE ROSES, DENVER

“Our go-to winter cocktail has long been a version of an amaretto sour called the Silky Sullivan,” says Steven Waters, founder of subterranean
Run for The Roses
, tucked under the Dairy Block market in
Denver’s LoDo
. It’s not a super simple cocktail, he acknowledges, but for froth fans, it’s definitely worth the effort.
Run for the Roses’ Silky Sullivan 6 dashes fennel bitters 1 oz. egg white (from approx. 1 large egg) 1/2 oz.
Demerara simple syrup
3/4 oz. lemon juice 3/4 oz. Mellow Corn whiskey 1.5 oz. Amarito Amaretto
Add all ingredients into a shaker, add ice, and shake. Strain back into the shaker, discard ice, and shake again, which fluffs the drink up and makes it light. Pour into a coupe glass and enjoy. 
Mezcal-spiked hot chocolate from Whisler’s in Austin. Photo courtesy of Whisler’s.

OAXACA HOT CHOCOLATE, WHISLER’S, AUSTIN

As long as it’s cold outside, we’ll be drinking boozy hot chocolate, please. “
Whisler's
has always had a great love affair with mezcal, and our Oaxacan Hot Chocolate has become a yearly staple for the holidays,” says Sean Skvarka, the
East Austin
hot spot’s Events Coordinator. “Most important, it is featured on our yearly Toys for Tots menu, which is near and dear to our hearts. A portion of all sales will go to this beloved charity of ours. Now more than ever, community means everything!”
Whisler's Oaxaca Hot Chocolate 1/4 tablet
Abuelita
hot chocolate brick 8 oz. whole milk 1 dash cayenne powder 1 dash cinnamon 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier 1 oz. Montelobos Mezcal Fresh whipped cream and holiday cookies for garnish
Warm the milk, taking care not to scald it, and gently melt the hot chocolate tablet in it. Add a dash each of cayenne and cinnamon. Once chocolate is melted and heated to desired temperature, pour into a festive mug, add Grand Marnier and mezcal, and garnish with whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a festive cookie of your choice (palmiers are great).

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