Winter Wonderbar

Cocktails and spirits to heat up your icy heart.
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Cocktails and spirits to heat up your icy heart.
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As soon as autumn’s chill arrived (and we started whining about it), we knew we’d have to fortify ourselves with booze to combat the coming cold. So we asked bartenders Marshall Altier and Jason Littrell of New York speakeasy JBird to create some cocktails that would help us make winter our bitch. They responded with two easy-to-make libations that harness the flavors of the season—apple, cinnamon, drunkenness—and warm the belly. No man needs a blanket when he’s got a stiff drink.

Otoñal Old-Fashioned

A spicy take on an old-fashioned, thanks to aged tequila and potent brandy for an unexpected punch. Knowledge is good: Otoñal is Spanish for the autumn season leading to the holidays.

2 dashes Bar Keep Baked Apple Bitters

1 tsp. cinnamon-infused agave nectar*

½ oz. Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy

1½ oz. Herradura Añejo Tequila

1. Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass.

2. Add ice and stir for 20–30 seconds.

3. Strain over ice in an old-fashioned glass.

*To make cinnamon-infused agave nectar:

Simmer 1 cup of water with 2–3 cinnamon sticks. Strain out cinnamon, then dilute agave nectar with cinnamon water to taste. 

Baked Apple Toddy

Another twist on a traditional potable, this super-simple hot toddy uses the same apple brandy (lest you think this is a sissy spirit, it hails from America’s oldest distillery, straight outta Jersey) for another flavorful kick.

1 Tbs. sugar in the raw

1½ oz. Denizen Oak Aged Caribbean Rum

½ oz. Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy

1 dash Bar Keep Baked Apple Bitters

1. Pour ingredients into a mug.

2. Top with boiling water steeped with 2–3 whole cinnamon sticks and a small pinch of cloves. Strain out the solids before pouring.

3. Stir to dissolve the sugar.

4. Grate cinnamon and nutmeg on top.

Deck the Bar

Stock this Maxim-approved sauce and your guests will be in great spirits.

Don Q Cristal Rum

Super-smooth white rum, aged in American oak barrels, mak­ing it a mellow base for any rum cocktail.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka

From Austin, Texas, Tito Beveridge’s corn-based vodka—hand-distilled in copper pots—is liquid gold at silver prices.

Espolón Reposado Tequila

A spicy, slightly smoky tequila that’s as good for sipping as it is for mixing.

Michter’s American Whiskey

Supposedly the stuff George Washington and his troops guzzled while holed up in the freezing cold at Valley Forge. Good enough for ya?

Tuthilltown Hudson Manhattan Rye

This velvety, sweet potion is the perfect base for the dudely cocktail for which it’s named.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon

Distillers Eddie and Jimmy Russell take this bourbon straight from the barrel to the bottle—no water added. Throat: Prepare to be deliciously burned.