Winter Cocktails: Apple Malt Toddy, Spiced Cider Bomb and More

From the Apple Malt Toddy to the Spiced Cider Bomb, six great winter cocktails.

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Hot Cocktails for Winter

One of winter's finer pleasures is a perfectly spiced steaming cocktail to lull the mind. From the Apple Malt Toddy to the Spiced Cider Bomb, here are six of our favorites.

St. Bernards used to patrol the Swiss Alps looking for mountaineers in peril, with a small barrel of brandy affixed to their collars to warm the person up. Of course, the alcohol actually depressed the stranded victim's body temperature even further, but the notion of a warming cocktail on a chilly day has transfixed us ever since. Forget about scaling a peak and cozy up at home with these best wintry drinks instead. If you've got a big, furry dog to snuggle with, all the better.

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Hanny’s Hot Apple Toddy: Fort Defiance–Brooklyn

The idea for Fort Defiance’s Hot Apple Toddy was born when a customer named Hanny asked owner St. John Frizell to make a drink similar to one Hanny used to get at a bar near the University of Pennsylvania. At first, Frizell thought it sounded terrible, but he agreed to make his own version of the drink. Hanny’s Hot Apple Toddy is made by mixing 1.5 oz. of Amaretto and 1 cup of very hot apple cider. The concoction is topped with slightly shaken cream (not whipped) and then covered with grated cinnamon.

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Apple Malt Toddy: Please Don’t Tell–New York

If you can snag a reservation at this East Village hotspot—and make it through the phone booth that conceals the entrance—be sure to try the Apple Malt Toddy at Please Don't Tell this winter. This “warmer,” created by Jim Meehan, PDT’s owner, is made with Chivas Regal 12-year-old Blended Scotch Whisky, Drouhin Pommeau, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Deep Mountain Grade B Maple Syrup, and Red Jacket Apple Cider—all topped with a cinnamon stick and served in a pre-warmed mug.

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Spiced Cider Bomb: Paris on the Platte–Denver

Faye Maguire created Paris on the Platte’s Spiced Cider Bomb by mixing spiced cider with bourbon and Grand Marnier. The warm drink is finished with orange and lemon slices. Maguire recently decided to call the drink, which they had been serving without a name, the “Spiced Cider Bomb.” Though she admits the name initially gave her pause, “We also have Car Bomb Milkshakes. We don’t want to start sounding like a terrorist organization,” she told The Daily Beast.

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Vow of Silence: 116 Crown–New Haven, Conn.

This drink isn't known for causing such a wild night that drinkers can never speak of it again. 116 Crown’s John Ginnetti created the drink by mixing flowering tea—which expands to look like a flower as it warms—with Chartreuse, an alcohol made by monks who have taken a vow of silence. The drink itself sounds much more appropriate for a cold, quiet night than a wild, winter binge.

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Fall Leaves: Pure Food and Wine–New York

Joey Repice created this soothing winter cocktail for Pure Food and Wine’s Irving Park location. Repice brews two cups of Darjeeling tea and mixes in a tablespoon of lavender petals, a tablespoon of cloves, a tablespoon of orange rind, and a teaspoon of dried rose flowers. Once the concoction has been stirred, he pours the contents into teapots that serve about two people each. For every pot, he adds a tablespoon of agave and two ounces of white port, fills the pot with hot water, and lets steep for a minute before serving this delicious drink.

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Butter My Nuts: Spints–Portland, Ore.

The cocktail menu at Spints Alehouse in Portland, Ore., is filled with unique concoctions containing complex and unfamiliar ingredients. But drinkers looking to warm up with a hot fall drink should scan past the Fickle Pickle, the Haut Tamale, and the Deadwater Wreck and go straight for the Butter My Nuts. Spints owner Alyssa Gregg came up with this indulgent treat that’s made with one and a half ounces of brandy, a half ounce of hazelnut liquor, a half ounce of butternut squash gastrique, all topped with hot water and served warm.