When it comes to winter, Chicago is on a whole other level. Luckily, bars across the Windy Cindy are keeping their patrons as toasty as they can. No matter what type you’re in the mood for, fend off the frigid air and warm up any frost-bitten fingers with these five hot cocktails.
A chocolate lover’s dream! Beacon Tavern’s popular hot Alipince Cocoa cocktail, by head bartender Alex Schmaling, consists of semi-sweet chocolate and warming spices is steamed and blended with Branca-menta for an herbal, minty lift.
405 N. Wabash Ave. Chicago, beacontavern.com, @beacontavernchi
Sighs of Fire at The Dawson
For the history buff, head to The Dawson and try the Sighs Of Fire made with Rittenhouse Rye, Amaro Averna, spiced syrup and splash of hot cider. Head bartender Paul Walker created this fresh take on the wassail, a medieval English hot cider drink originally made for “wassailing,” a drinking ritual intended to bless an apple harvest. Some wassailing traditions required the youngest boy in the town or a designated queen of the wassail to soak a slice of toast in the cider and hang it from a tree as a gift to the tree spirits, a supposed origin our word for toasting.
730 W. Grand Ave. Chicago, the-dawson.com, @thedawsonchi
Italian Irish Coffee at Coda di Volpe
Coda Di Volpe is known for bringing Southern Italian style to Southport. For the traditionalist with a twist, try their Italian Irish Coffee, a boozier take on the classic blending Buffalo Trace with Amaro Averna, an herbaceous Italian digestif that provides notes of bittersweet spice, coffee syrup, Godiva chocolate, a splash of coffee and mint cream garnish.
3335 N. Southport Ave. Chicago, cdvolpe.com, @cdvolpe_chi
Mulled Wine at The Gwen
The Gwen Hotel on Michigan Ave. has once again transformed for its rooftop this winter. Located on the fifth floor of the landmark McGraw-Hill building, Gwen Terrace hosts Curling & Cocktails, featuring a curling rink where guests can play the Scottish-orgined sport surrounded by fire pits, heat lamps, lounge seats and TVs. To complement the action, the rooftop serves up seasonal hot cocktails including Mulled Wine, a Scottish spin on the cold-weather classic featuring cabernet, merlot, spices, apple cider and honey, serving four to six people.
521 N. Rush St., Chicago, thegwenchicago.com/curling, @thegwenchicago
Hot Buttered Calvados at The Gage
Bundle up and pay a visit to The Gage where you can warm up with a Hot Buttered Calvados. Beverage director Torrence O’Haire combines apple brandy with French spices, a splash of honey and whipped cream garnish for a warming, buttery take on the classic hot toddy.
24 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, thegagechicago.com, @thegagechicago
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