Okay, so it’s January. The holidays are over, the temperatures are plummeting, and everywhere you look, people are struggling to stick to their oh-so-virtuous New Year’s resolutions. Some of this writer’s most ambitious friends are even trying for “Dry January,” eschewing alcohol altogether in an effort to atone for December’s eggnog and prosecco binges. Which … you know … good for them. But as for the rest of us, we need a little somethin’ to get us through the darkest and coldest stretches of winter. Luckily, we Brokelynites have plenty of winter cocktail options in the borough to keep us warm, tipsy and happy! Here are a few fabulous examples, all of which can be acquired on a 2-for-1 basis with the purchase of Brokelyn’s Cocktail Book!
Adirondack Life at The Adirondack
1241 Prospect Ave., Windsor Terrace
— The Adirondack (@The_Adirondack) June 3, 2014
If you’re a city-dweller who yearns for a mountain getaway, The Adirondack in Windsor Terrace should be your home-away-from-home. It’s got wood paneling, a mountainside mural, rustic seating … and, of course, a perfect namesake cocktail to drink while watching the snow fall through the big picture windows. The Adirondack Life ($12) starts with a base of Rittenhouse Rye, which then gets mixed with Angostura bitters, Alaskan birch syrup (think maple syrup, but more subtle and complex), and an orange twist. It’s a cold-weather win!
Maple Rum Toddy at Battery Harris
64 Frost St., Williamsburg
An island-themed oasis in the shadow of the BQE, Battery Harris is the ideal spot to hide away and pretend it’s still summer. If you want to really commit to the seasonal denial, there’s plenty of yummy Caribbean grub and sweet frozen drinks to go around. But if you’re embracing the Big Chill, Battery Harris has still got you covered with hot drinks like the Maple Rum Toddy ($9). This soothing beverage combines Earl Grey tea, Gosling’s rum, lemon, maple syrup and a wintry spice blend, all designed to warm you right to your bones.
Ginger Grant at Butter & Scotch
818 Franklin Avenue, Crown Heights
A fool proof cure for a gloomy Sunday: a slice of pumpkin pie and our new Ginger Grant Toddy featuring @barrowsintense! A photo posted by Butter & Scotch (@drunkbakers) on
Equal parts dessert den and cocktail lounge, Butter & Scotch can (and should!) be your one-stop-shop for midwinter gluttony. They’ve got a great selection of warm drinks, but this writer’s personal favorite has to be the Ginger Grant ($10). The star ingredient here is Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, a Brooklyn-made concoction with bold flavor and plenty of sinus-clearing spice. Butter & Scotch adds lime and honey to balance out the ginger, making for a super-comforting, boozy treat!
The Remedio at The Castello Plan
1213 Cortelyou Rd., Ditmas Park
Rich, smoky and potent, mezcal is a natural drink choice for a frigid evening. The Castello Plan, a classy wine and cocktail bar in Ditmas Park, knows how to put the stuff to good use, as evidenced by The Remedio ($12). This powerhouse of a cocktail includes mezcal, maple syrup, fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of cayenne. That’ll cure what ails ya!
Nation of Swine at Iron Station BK
683 Fifth Ave., South Slope
#gamesinbars we’ve got an assortment of games on the shelf now, connect 4, candyland, chess #ironstationbk #southslope #brooklynbars and a nice shoutout http://www.warrenlewis.com/living-in-brooklyn/2015/11/south-park-slope-real-estate-5-great-places-to-eat-and-drink/
A photo posted by Alex Haskell (@ironstationbk) on
Okay, let’s get one thing straight first: there is never a WRONG time to gorge oneself on bacon. However, this ultimate comfort food might be most useful in the dead of winter, when all you want to do is snuggle in a sweater with a snack in one hand and a stiff drink in the other. At South Slope’s Iron Station BK, the snack and the booze come in one sinfully delicious package: the Nation of Swine cocktail ($12). Bacon-infused vodka blends with mezcal, Cappelletti and Cocchi Torino (Italian apertifs similar to Campari), and Iron Station tops it all off with candied bacon. It doesn’t get much more indulgent than that! And it’s got a selection of board games too to help pass the time.
Clarified Milk Punch at Esme
999 Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint
Tucked away in the northern reaches of Greenpoint, relative newcomer Esme strikes a perfect balance of elegance and comfort. Their cocktail list ($12 across the board) fits that description as well; they’ve got plenty of clever twists on classic drinks, along with a few signature selections that are all their own. Recently, Esme launched a draft cocktail program, including the winter-wonderful Clarified Milk Punch. Like its close relative eggnog, milk punch was originally intended for the holidays, but Esme’s version, with hints of hibiscus, applejack, and ginger, is a great choice for the whole winter. (BTW milk punch looks like this.)
Log Cabin at The Vanderbilt
570 Vanderbilt Ave., Prospect Heights
A photo posted by Daisy (@daisy_thompson) on
While we don’t like to play favorites with our liquors, it’s hard to deny that whiskey is the prime libation for sub-zero temperatures. Prospect Heights classic The Vanderbilt seems to agree with us; their Log Cabin cocktail ($11) is packed with enough brown liquor to put the roses back in your cheeks. Jim Beam bourbon, peaty Ardbeg scotch, Pedro Ximenez sherry, allspice dram and a twist of lemon: what more does a wind-chapped, weary urban traveler need?