While it wasn’t very long ago that New Yorkers were plagued by steamy summer days and rooftop nights, late fall has officially arrived, and winter is coming. There is nothing sweeter than cozying up to a date or toasting with a group of friends over the holiday classic that is mulled wine. We profile establishments that offer this delicious drink. So go forth and watch the scenery outside bar windows transition from fall leaves to December snowflakes.
The Upper East Side enclave of Yorkville may now be recognized for its trendy bars and international restaurants, but the area had a remarkably different identity several decades ago. Known as a close-knit community for 19th- and 20th-century German immigrants, this compact neighborhood boasted butcher shops (notably the extant Schaller & Weber storefront), German watering holes and an overall feeling of gemütlichkeit. Sadly, few examples of Yorkville’s past stand today. Heidelberg remains the steadfast stronghold and attracts local residents and tourists for its traditional German beers (Augustiner, Spaten and Franziskaner are present) and generous portions of hearty weisswurst, knackwurst, schnitzel, and the showstopper entrée of pork knuckle. Heidelberg conveys a traditional Bavarian experience, complete with pastoral murals, but it truly shines when it serves its deeply flavorful gluhwein, a mulled wine that will inspire you to take the next flight to Munich to sample more of the seasonal favorite at one of Germany’s fairy-tale Christmas markets.