Curl Up With These Hot Cocktails and Cozy Throws
The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting brisk and it's high time to get comfortable with a steaming drink and a movie-marathon-worthy blanket. Consider these two-step recipes for an elevated evening in.
Photo By: Gabi Porter
Photo By: Photographer: TSK Photography
Photo By: Eric Kleinberg Photography
The Drink: Hot Mulled Sloe (Holborn Dining Room, Rosewood London, London, England)
Rosewood London’s exquisitely Edwardian terrace—just steps from Covent Garden—becomes a winter wonderland at the end of the year. The High Holborn "ultra-luxury" hotel celebrated gin last year by creating its Hot Mulled Sloe, a fruity combination of sloe gin and cloudy apple juice, garnished with clove-studded orange wheels and served in a traditional teapot. The wild berries in Sipsmith, their spirit of choice, impart it with a ripe red fruitiness and velvety mouthfeel. Serve up a High-Holborn-inspired cider of your own by tracking down a bottle on this side of the Atlantic.
Pair It With: 555-Gram Cashmere Throw
Inclement weather is a special occasion when you’ve got a stormy grey throw made of 555-gram-weight Mongolian cashmere (which can be personalized with your monogram, naturally). This blanket will make the unexpected guest on your sofa feel like visiting royalty.
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The Drink: The Duke of Suffolk (Suffolk Arms, New York City)
Third-generation bartender Giuseppe Gonzalez reports that his Lower East Side cocktail pub's floral-yet-earthy signature drink is its bestseller all year long, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a simple, elegant recipe: Combine 1.25 ounces Hendrick’s or Ford’s Gin with hot black tea—he likes a combination of English Breakfast and Earl Grey, "oversteeped and then left overnight," sweetened with 1 part simple syrup to 3 parts tea ("to the point where it’s a little oversweet, since you’re going to be cutting it with the gin")—then serve in a coffee glass with a float of cold, frothy cream. "It has a hot-cold thing [thanks to the cream] that’s very soothing," Giuseppe says. He believes in open-source mixology and shares all of his recipes online: Download directions for the Duke of Suffolk and any other drinks that catch your eye from the "Twin Lions" cocktail book, here.
Pair It With: Overlook Throw
This chunky, hand-knit wool wonder recalls the texture of a well-loved fisherman’s sweater—and at 48"x76", it’s considerably easier to share with a friend. Its creamy texture is the perfect topper for a reading nook.
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The Drink: Irish Coffee (Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston, Texas)
Houston’s first bar devoted to classic cocktails takes its high-quality spirits very seriously: It features a "Break-Even Bottle" series of top-shelf rare sips offered at cost (think 40-year-old single-malt scotch). Its refined Irish Coffee features Redbreast 12 Year Irish whiskey, coffee, brown sugar, and cream with turbinado syrup and benedictine. Anvil Bar & Refuge’s Alex Negranza on making a home version at home: "Use brown sugar. And don’t overdo it with the whiskey. It should be a very pleasant, warming drink. No need to [use] six ounces of Irish whiskey and a splash of coffee! And mess around with the cream. A little splash of your favorite liqueur could make it really tasty."
Pair It With: Plaid Lambswool Throw
Williams Sonoma puts a modern spin on a traditional pattern by using yarn-dyed lambswool on a grand scale. This ultrasoft twill weave is luxuriously warm now, and will look (and feel) just as good when the super-special bottle of whiskey you squirrel away now has some serious age on it.
Shop for this throw at Williams Sonoma>>
The Drink: “Hot Butt” Rum (Elixir, San Francisco, California)
San Francisco’s venerated Elixr—a neighborhood bar that’s been welcoming locals in one form or another since 1858—offers a "cheeky" take on hot buttered rum. It’s popular at the holidays, of course, but it’s a brunch mainstay all year long (after all, who knows when it’s going to be foggy?). The drink’s backbone is its batter, which can be stowed in the freezer indefinitely: With a blender or whisk, combine 2 pounds dark brown sugar, 1 pound softened, unsalted butter, 4 teaspoons each of ground cinnamon and nutmeg, 1 teaspoon each of allspice, cardamom, and vanilla extract, and 1 quart of melted vanilla ice cream. Pre-heat a mug with hot water, then combine 2 heaping teaspoons of batter with 2 teaspoons of aged rum and top with 4-6 ounces of hot water.
Pair It With: Faux Chinchilla Throw
Like the hot buttered rum mix you can pull together at the first sign of fall and serve all the way through spring, a well-made faux-fur throw is a sidekick for all seasons. Backed with velvety poly-suede, it’s ready for a Netflix marathon and perfect for draping across an accent chair that needs a bit of oomph. Animal-friendly glam: We (and chinchillas) approve.
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The Drink: Nürnberger Glühwein (Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten, Asbury Park, New Jersey)
Garden State tipplers in search of cold-weather cheer belly up to the benches at Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten, where Bavarian gluhwein ("glow wine"—that is, hot wine with mulling spices) is served by the cup and in teapots. Far, far to the northeast, Odd Strandbakken of Oslo’s HIMKOK puts a sophisticated spin on the drink (known to Scandinavians as glogg) by simmering 1 ounce of Cocchi Torino with 1 ounce of aquavit (HIMKOK makes their own, naturally), half an ounce of Cherry Heering, half an ounce of Pedro Ximénez sherry, and an ounce and a half of water. Pour in a heat-resistant glass, then zest with a lemon peel. "It’s rich and flavorsome with the taste of raisins, cherries, and spices," he says.
Pair It With: Northern Lights Blanket
Pendleton celebrates the chilly north with a graphic take on the Aurora Borealis, the bands of light that dance through the cold, clear air for folks who take their gluhwein and glogg outdoors.
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The Drink: Castle Hot Toddy (The Rieger, Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City’s Rieger Hotel opened its doors in 1915, and much of what greeted traveling salesmen and railroad workers in those days is still behind them (including the tile floor and bathroom fixtures). Its original owner's father founded J. Rieger & Co. Whiskey in Kansas City’s West Bottoms neighborhood—which was known as "The Wettest Block in the World" until Prohibition. The Rieger’s Joann Spiegel puts a new spin on a classic hot whiskey drink with her Castle Hot Toddy: 1 ounce Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey, 1 ounce Celtic Honey Liqueur, and a gently muddled, clove-studded lemon wheel, topped with a cup of hot water.
Pair It With: Cozy Throw
This "ode to warmth and witticisms" is made of domestically-sourced Merino wool and emblazoned with a playful motto. Just right for a drink that also has...a little something extra.
Shop for this throw at UncommonGoods>>