When it’s cold and dark out­side, there’s noth­ing nicer than tak­ing refuge in­doors with a warm­ing drink or two. Beatrice Yeat­man-Biggs keeps the chill at bay in some of the cap­i­tal’s hot spots.

Where London - - Contents -

It’s that time of the year! Heat your­self up with a warm­ing win­ter cock­tail.

The weather may be cold, but there are plenty of ways to keep warm that don’t just in­volve hot choco­late. In fact, London is hot with ideas for sea­sonal tipples.

Just a stone’s throw away from busy Ox­ford Street, The Arch London ho­tel bar is in a prime po­si­tion for when you are shopped out. For a novel way to re-en­er­gise, try a drink that will warm your hands and cock­les: the Joie de Vivre is made with flamed Dram­buie liqueur, fresh win­ter berries and hot ap­ple juice.

His­tor­i­cally noted for its medic­i­nal qual­i­ties, the clas­sic hot toddy is more than just a popular tip­ple. Typ­i­cally, it’s made with whisky, sugar and spices – and served hot. For a fresh take on the tra­di­tional toddy, visit Pitt Cue Co. bar near Ox­ford Cir­cus. The drink is made with bour­bon, its in-house ginger syrup and orange bit­ters. As there are a limited num­ber of seats, book in ad­vance.

Spe­cial­is­ing in con­coct­ing its own in­fu­sions, the newly opened Bar­smith in Far­ring­don boasts a de­li­ciously un­usual drinks menu. For a cock­tail with a dif­fer­ence, try the zingy Hot Stuff Baby, which is a mix of cit­rus-in­fused vodka, car­rot juice, egg white, stem ginger and red chilli.

Those with a pen­chant for cider should try a hot brew at The Green Man pub in Fitzrovia. Known for its wide se­lec­tion of ciders, the pub of­fers a sea­sonal favourite, which in­cludes mulled, spiced cider.

Another crowd-pleaser dur­ing the win­ter pe­riod is mulled wine, made with cin­na­mon, cloves and sugar and in­fused with or­anges. The Spa­niards Inn – which boasts be­ing in Dick­ens’ ThePick­wick­Papers and was the place where Keats wrote

OdeToANightin­gale – is the per­fect place to go for a mulled wine. The pub in­cludes plenty of nooks and cran­nies and a fire­place, and is just a short walk from Hamp­stead Heath.

For a truly hot cock­tail, try the Royal China restau­rant’s aptly named Fire­cracker, which is made from rum, co­rian­der, fresh red chillies and mango juice, then rounded off with Cham­pagne. It’s sure to put fire in your belly.

"A crowd-pleaser dur­ing the win­ter pe­riod

is mulled wine"

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