Food & Drink

Get Into the Winter Spirit With NYC's Best Seasonal Cocktails

Published On 12/28/2015 Published On 12/28/2015
Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Courtesy of Wallflower

Dolce Vita


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West Village

Life is sweet at Wallflower, where owner/cocktail guru Xavier Herit is celebrating the season à la Dolce Vita: a hot beverage blending Pierre Ferrand cognac 1840 with red wine, dry orange curaçao, sweet sherry, cinnamon syrup, lemon and orange juices, clove, and shaved nutmeg with a cinnamon stick ornament.

Courtesy of Gotham Bar & Grill

Gotham Fizz

Gotham Bar and Grill

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Union Square

New head bartender Jason Hedges (previously at Aldea, L’Ecole) brings his cocktail prowess and creative drink game to Gotham Bar and Grill. Case in point: the Gotham Fizz, a house rosemary-infused gin shaken with lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white -- topped with a dash of Fee Brothers cranberry bitters.

Megan Murphy/Thrillist

Spiced Irish coffee

White Oak Tavern

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Greenwich Village

At this inviting Waverly Place tavern, a super-festive interior and delicious spiced Irish coffee (Jameson, freshly brewed Illy coffee, dash of cayenne pepper, and chocolate-infused heavy cream) deliver the ultimate dose of winter cheer.

Megan Murphy/Thrillist

Frontier Toddy

Clover Club

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Cobble Hill

The cozy space (with a fireplace!) and killer drinks from mixtress Julie Reiner make this Brooklyn cocktail den an ideal cold weather hideaway. A menu of new winter warmers includes this soothe-your-soul riff on a hot toddy with High West Double rye, Angostura amaro, Smith & Cross rum, cinnamon syrup, lemon juice, and hot water.

Courtesy of Mr. Jones

Reindeer Smash

Mr. Jones

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Pretend it's still Christmas at this new Trump Soho lounge, where beverage director Benjamin Wood is offering a holiday-inspired version of a classic whiskey smash using Elijah Craig 12-year small-batch bourbon, yellow chartreuse, fresh mint, lemon, and simple syrup spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice. 

Megan Murphy/Thrillist



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West Village

Head bartender Shinya Yamao, of the Michelin-starred Piora, shakes up tradition with his frothy and festive Sakegg-nog. He adds a Japanese twist to America’s go-to holiday drink by mixing nigori (unfiltered) sake with soy milk, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla beans. This sake-kissed sipper -- full of nog flavor, but lighter in texture -- can be ordered hot or cold.

Courtesy of Park Avenue Winter

Yule Mule

Park Avenue Winter

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Each December, NYC’s seasonally changing restaurant totally transforms its dĂ©cor and menu to create the ultimate winter wonderland -- complete with cold-weather cocktails like this updated mule (dark rum, amaro, ginger syrup, raspberry syrup, lime juice, and soda water) garnished with mint, raspberry, and powdered sugar “snow” dusting.

Courtesy of CafĂ© Clover

Maple Leaf Cleanse

Café Clover

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West Village

Overdid it with the holiday treats? Head over to this health-conscious West Village cafĂ© for a detoxifying Maple Leaf Cleanse -- one of the seasonal specialties on rotation from bartender Johnny Swet -- made with vodka, honey, lemon, and cayenne. Because doing something good for your body while getting your buzz on is always a win-win.

Courtesy of Maharlika



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East Village

Take a laid-back winter getaway -- without ever leaving the East Village -- at this chill mod-Filipino hangout, where you’ll find authentic eats and drinks like this rich tsokolate (Filipino hot chocolate) made with SelvaRey cacao rum, milk, coconut milk, dark chocolate, and whipped cream topper. Bonus: a side of SkyFlakes s’mores.

Courtesy of Anfora

White mulled wine


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West Village

At this West Village hotspot, beverage director/co-owner Joe Campanale focuses on natural and biodynamic wines, along with creative hand-crafted cocktails. ’Tis the season for a new crop of libations like a Brooklyn-inspired hot toddy and a warming white mulled wine made with Rainwater Madeira, house-made ginger syrup, and Cocchi Americano.

Courtesy of Evelyn Drinkery

After Dinner Delight

Evelyn Drinkery

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Alphabet City

There’s never a shortage of spirited concoctions to try at this quirky Alphabet City drinkery -- one of our favorite hideouts in the neighborhood. This spice-up-the-season delight is made by combining Portobello Road gin with St. George spiced pear liqueur, Cardamaro amaro, Oloroso sherry, and Bittermens Tiki bitters.

Cole Saladino/Thrillist

The Griswold

Cedar Local

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Financial District

The Griswold features High West Double rye blended with Disaronno amaretto, allspice dram, Cherry Heering, Peychaud's and Angostura bitters, cinnamon syrup with star anise, and lemon zest garnish. Sure beats that subscription to the Jelly of the Month club your boss got you.

Michael Tulipan

Ponche Navideño

Hecho en Dumbo

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East Village

Beverage director/co-owner Ethan Smith is whipping up a warm punch served during the holidays in Mexico using traditional tejocotes (seasonal fruit similar to crab apples) simmered with other fresh and dried fruits, cinnamon, cloves, tamarind, and piloncillo (unrefined sugar), mixed with artisanal California brandy -- all adorned with fruit and sugar cane.

Ethan Covey

Hot cider

Spritzenhaus 33

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Brooklyn’s behemoth beer hall serves up craft brews, homemade brats, and Bavarian pretzels a plenty. When the cold weather (finally) creeps in, cozy up next to the brick fireplace with this seasonal sipper, fusing crisp and refreshing Rekorderlig spiced apple hard cider with Mount Gay rum, cinnamon stick, and lemon.