Hey, look outside. Raining, huh? It’s probably dark, too. That smart thermostat on the wall must be fairly dumb, because the house just won’t get warm enough.
We’re in the heart of overcoat season here in the Northwest. Winter has settled onto our region like the dusting of snow on those trees covering the foothills. It’s cold, dark and wet — which means it’s the perfect time to make a nice cocktail that will warm you from the inside out.
A few great winter cocktails are actually served warm (hot toddy, anyone?), while others are just made with the perfect amount of love (i.e. whiskey) that do the warming. Other great base spirits for a good winter cocktail include bourbon, gin, flavored liqueurs and, of course, moonshine. Careful with that last one.
Here’s some drink recipes courtesy local distillers to enjoy on a cold winter’s night:
Temple Gin Fizz
Creamy, citrusy and smooth, all while hiding 2 ounces of Navy Strength gin beneath its winter coat, according to Temple Distilling owner AJ Temple. “I have a feeling this will be a family gathering/holiday party game changer!” Temple writes.
2 ounces Chapter One Navy Strength Gin
1 ounce egg nog
½ egg white
½ ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce (1:1) simple syrup, double if (2:1)
Dash of Orange Blossom Water
Combine all in a shaker with ice and shake VIGOROUSLY for as long as you can feel your hand, then a few minutes longer. This is critical to emulsify the egg and cream and marry all these ingredients together into a smooth, silky cocktail. For best presentation and ice chip-free foam, use a strainer and strain into a highball glass once you regain feeling in your arm and serve with a slice of citrus.
— Recipe courtesy AJ Temple, Temple Distilling
The Misty Chai
Skip Rock’s Ryan Hembree recently asked bartender Misty Little at Fred’s Rivertown Alehouse to make a set of drinks using some of his best spirits, including his award-winning vodka. One of the drinks she came up with was this White Russian mixed with a chai tea latte drink, with notes of cardamom and cinnamon.
1½ ounces Skip Rock Vodka
¾ ounces Kahlua
1½ ounces Chai Mix
1 ounce cream
Combine vodka, Kahlua, chai mix (use a little more for more chai flavor) and ice cubes into a glass and stir. Top with cream and enjoy.
— Recipe courtesy Misty Little, Fred’s Rivertown Alehouse
Apple Pie Toddy
The simplicity of Bad Dog Distilling’s Apple Pie Moonshine is what makes this drink so good. The lemon and the cinnamon marry well with the honey and the slight apple flavor from the Arlington distillery’s moonshine.
2 ounces Bad Dog Distillery Moonshine Apple Pie
2 teaspoon honey
2 ounces lemon juice
4 ounces hot water
Heat water, lemon juice and honey. Pour over Moonshine Apple Pie. Garnish with whip cream, lemon slices and dust with cinnamon.
— Recipe courtesy Dave and Shelly McGlothern, Bad Dog Distilling
Bluewater Distilling bartender Amy Vernette said handcrafted sodas are one of their favorite ways to capture seasonal flavors at the cocktail bar. This drink captures the holiday season with an allspice cranberry soda, fresh juices and Bluewater Vodka.
1½ ounces Bluewater Vodka
6 drops both Black Pepper + Allspice Tinctures
¼ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice
3 ounces spiced cranberry soda
Shake vodka, tinctures and juice. Strain over fresh ice and top with cranberry soda.
— Recipe courtesy Amy Vernette, Bluewater Distilling
Here’s one of my favorite new winter warmer recipes:
Moscow (Idaho) Mule
Skip Rock’s Spiced Apple Liqueur has become a staple on our cocktail cart, especially during the winter season. With its subtle apple flavor mingling with spices, this liqueur is as far away as you can get from the bright green schnapps you stole from the liquor cabinet of your friend’s parents back in high school.
3 ounces Skip Rock Spiced Apple Liqueur
1½ ounces ginger beer
½ ounce Woodinville Whiskey’s Barrel-aged Maple Syrup
2-3 dashes of aromatic bitters (we use Peychaud’s)
½ ounce fresh Meyer lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh sage
Muddle sage with maple syrup into a coarse paste. Add lemon, bitters and apple liqueur. Add generous portion of ice and shake enthusiastically. Pour over ice. This should halfway fill a standard Moscow Mule copper mug. Then finish with ginger beer. If the ginger beer is potentially potent, add less.