These hot boozy drinks will chase away the chills

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Brit­tany Anas

Old Man Winter send­ing shiv­ers down your spine? Fret not: Den­ver bar­tenders are here to warm your spir­its.

From hot tod­dies to mulled wines, these 11 uniquely lo­cal drinks are served warm and are wor­thy sub­sti­tutes for that frosty pint of beer.

Rock & Rye Toddy at Steuben’s Up­town, 523 E. 17th Ave., Den­ver (303830-1001) and Steuben’s Ar­vada, 7355 Ral­ston Road (303-830-0096), steubens.com/ | $9

Not like you need an ex­cuse to im­bibe, but tra­di­tion­ally rock & rye cock­tails were known to be a cure­all for sore throats. The herbal tea with a sooth­ing boozy kick gets a bril­liant ad­di­tion at Steuben’s: rock candy. Over the course of a week, the candy is in­fused into liqueur, along with other in­gre­di­ents, and then strained out. The end re­sult is an herbal hore­hound tinc­ture that’s made with lemon peel, cin­na­mon, clove and the sweet candy.

Ve­gan Hot But­tered Rum at The Nickel, 1100 14th St., Den­ver (720-889-2128), thenick­elden­ver.com/| $12

Af­ter see­ing a show at the Den­ver Per­form­ing Arts Com­plex, si­dle up to the fire­place at The Nickel for a win­tery night­cap. At the bistro in­side Ho­tel Teatro, it’d be tempt­ing to get a flight of warm drinks. The cock­tail menu in­cludes a for­ti­fied cider crafted with house-spiced pear liqueur and a boozy hot chocolate made with ro­tat­ing fla­vors like s’mores-in­fused whiskey or spiced Mex­i­can chocolate. But one cock­tail that’s es­pe­cially note­wor­thy: a hot but­tered rum that even ve­g­ans can en­joy. It’s made with co­conut oil as op-

posed to but­ter, which gives it a smooth tex­ture, ex­plains Joshua Ford, the food and bev­er­age op­er­a­tions man­ager at Ho­tel Teatro and The Nickel. The drink is spiked with Plan­ta­tion Bar­ba­dos Rum, and rounded out with a maple syrup and house-made spiced cherry bark bit­ters.

A Hot Night in Breck­en­ridge at El­way’s down­town, 1881 Cur­tis St., Den­ver (303-312-3107), el­ways.com/down­town | $14

Bar­tenders at El­way’s down­town de­velop their own sig­na­ture drinks to con­trib­ute to the sea­sonal cock­tail menu. Bar­tender Danny Ro­driguez dreamed one up with bour­bon and ap­ple cider in mind. “My idea for a ‘Hot Night in Breck­en­ridge’ comes from try­ing hot ap­ple cider for the first time a few years ago when I moved to Colorado from Florida,” he said. “Around that time, I was also in­tro­duced to Breck­en­ridge bour­bon. Im­me­di­ately, I saw the po­ten­tial for a winter cock­tail.” Adding Tuaca lends some cit­rus and vanilla notes to the cock­tail, which is then topped with whipped cream and gar­nished with a cin­na­mon stick.

Acorn Toddy at Acorn, 3350 Brighton Blvd., Den­ver (720-5423721), den­ver­a­corn.com/ | $11

“The toddy is a pretty straight­for­ward cock­tail al­ready, we just dress it up our way,” said Chris Clewell, bev­er­age man­ager at Acorn, a mod­ern restau­rant housed in an 1880’s-era brick foundry build­ing in the arty River North (RiNo) neigh­bor­hood. Acorn’s ren­di­tion in­cludes Breck­en­ridge bour­bon and yel­low chartreuse, which bol­sters the cock­tail with herbal notes. Clewell de­scribes it as a hot whiskey sour, but el­e­vated with hints of herbs and gin­ger and fin­ished with grated nut­meg.

Kings of New Eng­land at Beatrice & Wood­s­ley, 38 S. Broad­way, Den­ver (303-777-3505), beat­rice­and­wood­s­ley.com/ | $9

Step into this South Broad­way restau­rant and it feels like you’ve been whisked away to a ma­jes­tic for­est. Re­claimed Aspen trees dec­o­rate the in­te­rior. And the light­ing? It’s al­most like the soft and warm, yel­low-tinted Nashville fil­ter on In­sta­gram came to life. The brunch menu that’s avail­able on Satur­day and Sun­day in­cludes the Kings of New Eng­land, which is served warm with rye whiskey, ap­ple pie shrub, cin­na­mon and lemon. The restau­rant’s Ap­ple Pie Pan­cakes, with caramel driz­zle, are an ob­vi­ous pair­ing.

Hot Ap­ple Side­car, Hop­doddy Burger Bar, 1747 Wynkoop St., Den­ver (303-446-2337), hop­doddy.com/ | $8

Toast this toasty drink! Hop­doddy mulls its own ap­ple cider ev­ery day to craft this side­car’s base, and the mulling spices cre­ate an aroma of clove, cit­rus, cin­na­mon and ap­ple in the restau­rant. The warm and smoky sip­per made with Grand Marnier is served with an ap­ple slice and shat­tered cin­na­mon stick.

Jam Juice at FIRE Lounge at The ART Ho­tel, 1201 Broad­way, Den­ver (303-572-8000), theartho­tel.com/den­ver-restau­rants/ fire-fine-din­ing.html | $12

FIRE has a few warm cock­tails on its sea­sonal menu, in­clud­ing the Smash­ing Pump­kin made with an all-spice in­fused bour­bon, pump­kin puree, maple and whipped cream or the Bee’s Knees, a blend of Old Forester, Colorado honey, lemon and mint. But Kyle Wol­len­haupt, mixol­o­gist at FIRE, has a fa­vorite on this year’s menu: Jam Juice, which blends syrah and Grand Marnier with warm fla­vors. “It’s in­spired by clas­sic mulled wine recipes,” he said. “The syrah is a lighter va­ri­etal and com­ple­ments the or­ange, vanilla, cin­na­mon and clove ele­ments of the drink very nicely.”

Hot Ap­ple Toddy at Dun­bar Kitchen & Tap­house, 2844 Wel­ton St., Den­ver (720-630-7641), dun­bark­itchenand­tap­house.com/ | $9

Be­gin­ning on Jan. 1, this neigh­bor­hood bar will ac­tu­ally have a “hot toddy bar” with choosey­our-own spices and house­made syrups. Un­til then, you’re in the ca­pa­ble hands of the eatery’s bar­tenders, who are stir­ring up Hot Ap­ple Tod­dies with ap­ple brandy, all­spice-fla­vored liqueur, fresh lemon juice and a cin­na­mon sim­ple syrup that’s made in-house.

Ir­ish Cof­fee, Mer­can­tile Din­ing & Pro­vi­sion, 1701 Wynkoop St., No. 155, Den­ver (720-460-3733), mer­can­tile­den­ver.com/ | $14

First or­der of busi­ness: Take in the sights of the grandiose Christmas tree (show-off !) that’s set up in Union Sta­tion. The re­de­vel­oped train sta­tion is just bustling with hol­i­day cheer this time of year. Then, drop in at Mer­can­tile Din­ing & Pro­vi­sion for some el­e­vated com­fort food and a one-of-a-kind Ir­ish Cof­fee. It’s made with lo­cal Com­mon­wealth Cof­fee and Tyr­con­nell Ir­ish Whiskey. The pièce de ré­sis­tance: a house-made Ir­ish cream. The af­ter-din­ner drink is served on a small bam­boo tray so guests can mix in ac­cou­ter­ments like chocolate pearls. “It’s a re­ally fun, deconstructed ap­proach to a clas­sic cof­fee cock­tail, which al­lows the guest a sort of ‘choose your own ad­ven­ture’ ap­proach,” said Nick Lowe, the bar di­rec­tor.

Glüh­wein at Rhein Haus, 1415 Market St., Den­ver (303-8002652), rhein­haus­den­ver.com/ | $5

Trans­lated, Glüh­wein means “glow wine,” a nod to the hot irons that were used to make the mulled wine that was then served at Christkindl mar­kets through­out Ger­many and Aus­tria. At Rhein Haus, this cold­weather drink is made with red wine, As­bach Ger­man brandy, lemon and or­ange peels, fresh or­ange juice, sugar and mulling spices, like cin­na­mon, nut­meg, cloves and star anise. Ryan Minch, Rhein Haus’ bar man­ager, sug­gests pair­ing a warm glass of Glüh­wein with the Sch­wein­shaxe, a crispy braised pork shank served with spät­zle, corn, tomato, green onion, topped with a pick­led apri­cot mus­tard and a side of pork jus. “The spice, sweet­ness and acid­ity of the cock­tail com­ple­ments the richer as­pects of the braised pork,” he said. Rhein Haus is brew­ing its spe­cialty Glüh­wein un­til Jan. 1. Winter Spiced Wine at Peaks Lounge in The Hy­att Den­ver, 650 15th St., Den­ver, (303-436-1234), den­ver.re­gency.hy­att.com/en/ho­tel/din­ing/Peak­sLounge.html| $11

Head up to the 27th floor for a panoramic view of the Mile High City. Once there, you’ll get a great light show with sights that span from the his­toric clock tower that’s il­lu­mi­nated to the red and green glow at Union Sta­tion. A MVP on the sea­sonal drink menu is the Rus­sian Rein­deer, made with Tito’s Vodka and Oskar Blues gin­ger beer, with fresh lime and cran­berry. If you’re look­ing to warm up, though, go for the Winter Spiced Wine, a blend of warm reds and hol­i­day spices.

Bonus recipe: The bar­tenders at Bo­re­alis Restau­rant at the Hy­att Re­gency Aurora-Den­ver Con­fer­ence Cen­ter & Ho­tel, 13200 E. 14th Place in Aurora, shared their best recipe for keep­ing guests warm dur­ing the winter. Here’s how to make the Mint Snug­gler: ¾ ounce Pep­per­mint Schnapps ¾ ounce of Kahlua ½ ounce Bai­ley’s Hot co­coa In an Ir­ish cof­fee mug, com­bine the Pep­per­mint Schnapps, Kahlua and Bai­ley’s. Fill the re­main­der with hot co­coa and stir. Gar­nish with whipped cream and crushed pep­per­mint.

Bar­ba­dos rum makes for a de­li­cious Ve­gan Hot But­tered Rum at The Nickel in­side the Ho­tel Teatro. He­len H. Richard­son, The Den­ver Post

A merry and warm Hot Ap­ple Side­car is a fea­tured hot drink for the hol­i­day sea­son at Hop­doddy Burger Bar in LoDo. The drink is made with house-made mulled ap­ple cider and Grand Marnier, with an ap­ple slice and a cin­na­mon stick. Pho­tos by He­len H. Richard­son, The Den­ver Post

Mer­can­tile Din­ing & Pro­vi­sion Ir­ish Cof­fee is made with house­made Ir­ish cream. Pro­vided by Mer­can­tile Din­ing & Pro­vi­sion

No Ger­man Christmas is com­plete with­out Glüh­wein, a hot, spiced mulled wine at Rhein Haus.

The Hot Night in Breck­en­ridge from El­way’s in the RitzCarl­ton. Pro­vided by the Ritz-Carl­ton

Pro­vided by FIRE

The Jam Juice at FIRE in­side the ART Ho­tel.

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