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.
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"