Winter’s unforgiving wrath is still upon us. Those frozen margaritas and sangrias you’re throwing back in hopes to feel closer to summer just don’t taste the same in February. It’s high time to take advantage of some warm seasonal beverages (alcohol infused, of course) brought to you by our beloved Brooklyn watering holes! Join some of your friendly neighborhood barstool-warming-peers this week and swill a selection of wintertime favorites. Sure, any bar can do a Hot Toddy or a Spiked Something-or-Other—but these are the ones who do it best (I should know—I tried out all of them and got pretty inebriated in the process).
—264 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211—
I was a bit weary of the idea of Mexican Hot Chocolate because I just couldn’t fathom tequila possibly tasting good in hot chocolate. To my surprise, it was good. Very good. But if it still doesn’t sound like your jam, Clem’s offers your classic Hot Toddy and Spiked Apple Cider as well.
—588 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211—
The Hot Toddy at Huckleberry Bar comes with your poison of choice (I went with classic whiskey because I’m a simple gal)—and boy do they have a heavy pour! I was knocked on my ass by this drink. Oh, they’ll also do a Spiked Hot Chocolate with your choice of liquor.
—105 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222—
I was drawn to this place first and foremost because their menu proved them to be the Grand Poobah of hot alcoholic drinks (a whopping 4 unique selections to choose from!) Because I’ve never in my life heard of Glögg—and I was feeling pretty saucy from the last two beverages consumed—I went with it. To my surprise, Glögg turned out to be mulled wine with brandy and spices. Damn, it was good. Probably my favorite drink on this list to be quite honest. Broken Land can also offer you their special versions of a Hot Toddy, Hot Buttered Rum, or Hot Rum Cider.
—33 Nassau Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222—
I wasn’t expecting my local beerhall to specialize in a kickass Hot Toddy, but they sure know how to concoct one. Not to mention, the spacious yet cozy-as-hell atmosphere (fireplaces and all!) serve as a nice compliment to the classic winter beverage.
—125 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249—
Between the Bourbon Cider and Hot Buttered Rum, Fat Goose knows how to do a hot cocktail. I went with the Hot Buttered Rum because I’d never actually had one before—and I must say it was a proper introduction. I was originally a bit repulsed by the name because “buttered” and “alcohol” are two things that shouldn’t be in the vicinity of one another in my humble opinion (sounds like both a stomach ache and hangover for the ages) but it was actually quite delicious. It tasted like one of those holiday lattes from Starbucks if anything. I’d definitely recommend getting your hands on one of these.
—64 Frost St, Brooklyn, NY 11211—
Battery Harris may be known for their summer-friendly frozen beverages, but they secured a spot for themselves on our list with their ‘3 Apples A Day” Toddy. The drink consists of apple brandy, Apfel, honey, lemon, and apple cinnamon tea. This delicious spin on a classic Hot Toddy proves Battery Harris has us Brooklynites covered during any season that’s thrown at us.
—161 Montrose Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11206—
duckduck is arguably one of the best bars in Williamsburg. Not only do they have a great selection of beers (starting as low as $2) and cocktails, but the place is lined with stuffed ducks for godsake—can it get any better? Hell yeah, it can. Their Spiked Apple Cider is addicting. This was the first place of the evening I actually got two of ’em at (but can you blame me? I’d been drinking sugary hot drinks all night and was blitzed out of my mind). They can also do a Hot Toddy for you if that’s more your style.
—108 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249—
Day 2 of my search for the best hot alcoholic drinks in Brooklyn started with The Gibson. Their selection included the Mexican Hot Chocolate I’d fallen in love with at Clem’s and the Hot Toddies and Spiked Ciders I had way too many of the night before. What caught my eye on The Gibson’s menu was a drink called “The Velvet Glove”. This concoction consists of hot chocolate, Chambord, and chocolate Liqueur. It sounded a bit heavy, and it was, but it was delicious as all hell (definitely more of a dessert cocktail).
—1264 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11221—
Irish Coffee is definitely God’s gift to humanity, as it combines two of the most important and basic food groups: caffeine and alcohol. But Juno’s Irish Coffee elevates the drink to whole new level with a refreshing minty flavor that proves it to be the end-all-be-all of Irish Coffees.
George and Jacks
—103 Berry St, Brooklyn, NY 11211—
I proudly and drunkenly sauntered (less of a saunter, more of a stumble) through the doors of George and Jacks with the comforting feeling that the finish line was near. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a gal who enjoys a few drinks—but when it comes to mixing all different kinds of sugary alcoholic shit in one to two nights nonstop, it starts to feel like more of a chore and less of a relaxing night out. Plus, I’m more of a beer person myself. Anyway, I finished off the night with a Spiked Apple Cider at the cozy little bar. The hot cider, a concoction all their own which the bartender ladled out of a big heated pot, was the perfect balance of spice and bourbon. It wasn’t too sweet and it wasn’t too heavy.
As I sat in the dim bar with my cider reminiscing on my two-night bender, I had to admit that regardless of the stomach aches from mixing too much, it was overall pretty fun. Make sure you make it out to at least one of these bars before Winter comes to and end—hot cocktails in the spring just ain’t the same.