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The José vin brûlé at The Loyal | © Danielle Adams for BeccaPR
The José vin brûlé at The Loyal | © Danielle Adams for BeccaPR

Where to Warm Up With NYC’s Best Hot Drinks

Picture of Kathryn Maier
NYC Food & Drink Editor
Updated: 11 January 2018

The best way to beat New York City’s freezing temperatures is with a warm, boozy drink.

We’re facing a major cold front going into this weekend, with temps dipping down into the single digits. Farenheit. There’s a sure way to warm up, though, and that’s with a hot cocktail to heat you from the inside.

To that end, we’ve rounded up several great options from some of our favorite NYC bars and restaurants. (Note that some of these are super-seasonal specials, so aren’t on the main menus, but just ask and the bars will make them.)

José at The Loyal

New West Village restaurant The Loyal is offering a take on vin brûlé, or mulled wine, that they’re calling José. This delicious variation is made with rosé wine and reposado tequila, and flavored with citrus and winter spices.

289 Bleecker St., New York City

Black Flannel at Fort Defiance

Fort Defiance, a bar and restaurant in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, offers a number of warm drinks during the winter months. Their Black Flannel is a wintery combination of hot gingerbread-spiced stout and demerara rum.

365 Van Brunt St., Brooklyn, New York

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Irish Coffee at The Dead Rabbit

If there’s one drink The Dead Rabbit is famed for, it’s Irish Coffee. The recipe was recently revamped by Dale DeGroff, a bartender known as King Cocktail for essentially resurrecting craft cocktails in the 1980s and kicking off the current craze. His recipe is simple but specific, using Clontarf Irish whiskey, Birch coffee, demerara syrup, whipped heavy cream, and a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg.

30 Water Street, New York City

Honey Buttered Rum at Oiji

Oiji is a Korean restaurant in the East Village best known for its take on South Korea’s enormously popular snack food of honey-butter potato chips, so it’s not much of a stretch to transform that into a tasty variation on the classic hot-buttered rum.

119 First Ave., New York City

Honey Buttered Rum 4

Oiji’s honey-buttered rum | Courtesy of Oiji

Mulled Wine at Au Za’atar

Lebanese food is rightly renowned for its use of spices, and the country’s wines are excellent and underrated. The two come together in Au Za’atar’s mulled wine, a warm Lebanese syrah, flavored with cinnamon, cloves, sage, star anise, vanilla bean, and orange.

188 Avenue A, New York City

Bear Trap at Dutch Kills

You can choose from among several hot drinks at Dutch Kills, located in Long Island City, Queens. Try the apple cider-based Bear Trap, which also includes bourbon, honey, butter, and cinnamon.

27–24 Jackson Ave., Long Island City, New York

Still can’t bring yourself to brave the cold outside, even though a warm drink awaits you? Here’s how to make a couple of these wonderful drinks… in the warm comfort of your own home.

The Dead Rabbit’s Irish Coffee
1.5 oz Clontarf Irish whiskey
4 oz hot Birch Caro De Minas coffee
.5 oz demerara syrup (a one-to-one ratio of demerara sugar and water, heated—but not boiled—on the stove until the sugar has dissolved)
Heavy cream, unsweetened, lightly whipped

Add all ingredients except the cream to a stemmed Irish coffee glass and stir. Top with a layer of whipped cream about the width of your thumb. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

The Loyal’s José
Yields approximately 15 servings

2 bottles of rosé wine
15 oz rosé vermouth
10 oz reposado tequila
220 g / 7 oz (slightly less than 1 cup) demerara sugar
Zest of 2 limes
1 Meyer lemon
1 orange, divided into slices
1 or 2 star anise pods
8 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
Pinch of pink peppercorn

In a medium saucepan, combine the wine, vermouth, tequila, orange slices, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and lime zest. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in sugar until dissolved.

Strain mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and serve in small mugs or glasses. Refrigerate any leftover mixture.