6 Bars With Excellent Winter Cocktails To Warm You Up
Winter is coming—even if our SoCal sunshine suggests otherwise—and to help put you in the mood for the season, we've rounded up some festive cocktails perfect for long winter nights. Whether you're cozying up with a loved one, toasting with friends or just need a break from the holiday shopping frenzy, here are six of our favorite winter cocktails from around L.A. Let us know your picks in the comment section below.
One of our favorite spots for classic cocktails is adding a new twist to a some favorite holiday flavors with their Good Will Hunting-throwback, How Do You Like Them Spiced Apples. Featuring a frothy shake of Clyde May’s Whiskey, cinnamon whisky, cinnamon spiced syrup, lemon, egg white, Jerry Thomas Bitters, mini Calvados apple, and a sprinkling of nutmeg dust, this classy, well-spiced winter tipple will have you dreaming of sleigh rides and stone hearths with a roaring fire—or at least a second round.
Harlowe is located at 7321 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 876-5839
Kafka On The Shore (Photo courtesy of The Raymond 1886)
The Raymond 1886
To help celebrate their fifth anniversary, The Raymond 1886 has launched a new winter cocktail menu featuring several clever concoctions to put you in the holiday mood. For a boozy rendition of the classic milk and cookies Christmas combo, barman Peter Lloyd-Jones created Kafka On The Shore—as a nod to the Murakami novel of the same name—which features Japanese pear-infused Tito’s vodka, almond avocado milk, lime, simple syrup and egg whites. The drink is then paired with a charming gin-gerbread cookie on the side, baked by Pastry Chef Eliot Pardo. And whether you're dashing home for the holidays or just to the bar after work, The Donner’s Dash from Barman Peter Lloyd-Jones offers a festive blend of Cognac, rye, all-spice, homemade honey syrup and coffee infused with cream and cinnamon for a very merry evening.
The Raymond 1886 is located at 1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, (626) 441-3136
Abuelitas Champurrado (Photo courtesy of Gracias Madre)
Jason Eisner, Beverage Director at West Hollywood's Gracias Madre is always scheming up some elaborate and delicious refreshments, and this winter is no exception. His latest effort, Abuelita's Champurrado, is a spin on the classic holiday egg nog, where he blends housemade vanilla bean hazelnut milk, dates, avocado (instead of egg yolks for thickening), coconut milk, sea salt, nutmeg, Mexican canela and house aguardiente (aka firewater). It's served with salted, chocolate drizzled organic popcorn because...why not?. And for another great option, he's also brought back the crowd favorite, "Not Your Madre's Eggnog," which features coconut milk, mezcal espadin, agave, chocolate bitters, house masala chai blend, and a dusting of cocoa powder in the shape of a snowflake. Don't forget to head to the back patio and get cozy with a blanket while you're at it.
Gracias Madre is located at 8905 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, 323-978-2170
The Winter Daiquiri at Terrine (Photo by Jean Trinh/LAist)
While we often go to Terrine to get some seriously delicious French food, it's also a favorite spot of ours to grab a memorable craft cocktail. Barman Ryan Wainwright (formerly of Tasting Kitchen) heads the cozy, dimly lit bar and recently launched Terrine's winter cocktails. Our favorite is the Winter Daiquiri, a cocktail that is crisp and clean, and light and refreshing. It's made of three kinds of rum—Chairman's spiced rum, Appleton's 12-year rum, and Hamilton Guyana Rum—with lime and maple syrup. It's an easy one to go down the hatch, and keep you warm in our "cold" L.A. weather. If one cocktail isn't enough for you, we suggest their Mr. Menottis Hot Buttered Coffee—for those nights you need alcohol but also want to stay up. This baby's got Hamilton Guyana Rum, a scoop of butter batter and San Francisco's Four Barrel Coffee. —Jean Trinh
Terrine is located at 8265 Beverly Blvd. in Beverly Grove, (323) 746-5130
The Closer at The Roger Room (Photo by Eric Shani)
The Roger Room
The vintage vibe of The Roger Room just calls for you to pull up a leather-topped stool, lean into the bar and settle in for a chilly winter evening. And their new selection of winter cocktails gives you even more reason to stop in. One seasonal standout is The Closer by barman Damien Windsor, which features Lairds 100 Proof Apple Jack, Bigallet China China, cranberry juice and apple juice, and is served hot for those chilly L.A. nights. You may also want to consider The Buddha's Hand, which is served on the rocks with Kikori Japanese whiskey, St. Germain, lemon juice, OJ, Stone Delicious IPA, Miracle Mile Yuzu Bitters.
The Roger Room is located at 370 N La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove, (310) 854-1300
The Rummy Hot Chocolate at The Veranda (via Facebook)
The Veranda at The Georgian Hotel
For a classic L.A. holiday experience head to the The Veranda in Santa Monica, where you can sip boozy winter treats with a view of the palm trees and the ocean. There's their signature dark rum-fueled Rummy Hot Chocolate topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle, or the Kioki Coffee with brandy and Kahula, as well as old school favorites like a hot toddy and Irish coffee. As an added seasonal bonus, they'll be spinning holiday hits on vinyl—from Elvis to She & Him—on the hotel's classical trumpet horn phonograph, while you get cozy with your drinks.
The Georgian Hotel and The Veranda Restaurant are located at 1415 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA, (310) 395-9945