Nothing beats a hot cocktail to keep you warm in the winter. Continue reading to learn about the history and locations of the world's best winter cocktails.
Hot Toddy in India
This sweet and soothing brew hails from India
The hot toddy is not only delicious; it is also thought to be a cure for the common cold. The original Hot Toddy is said to have been inspired by a local drink in British-controlled India, and it has gone through many iterations since then.
This drink is made from fermented palm sap— called tārī in Hindi—and used to be a sweet and spicy concoction served cold. Word spread quickly, and the drink's popularity spread to North America and the UK, eventually ending up as the Hot Toddy we know today: a blend of whiskey, rum, or brandy mixed with honey, lemon, and spices. Whether a little sick or in great health, Bookers can treat themselves to a signature Spiced Toddy at Grandmama’s Café in Mumbai. From there, the luxurious St. Regis Mumbai is just a short rickshaw ride away.
Irish Coffee in Ireland
Irish Coffee is every sweet tooth's favorite
Like many of the world’s best recipes, Irish coffee was an accident. When trying to warm up a group of stranded North American Pan Am passengers in County Limerick, chef Joe Sheridan added a splash of whiskey to some sweetened coffee with fresh cream. The passengers asked if they’d been served Brazilian coffee. Sheridan called it “Irish coffee,” and a legend was born. For the best Irish coffee around, head straight to Dublin. Vice Coffee, Inc. is as famous for its take on this warm cocktail as it is for its Guinness cake. For a mean Irish coffee in a more traditional pub setting, stop by O’Donoghue’s and O’Sullivans. Then Bookers should check in to the boutique Morgan Hotel, right across the river from Vice Coffee, Inc. and other popular bars.
Glühwein in Germany
Sip on a Glühwein with some festive gingerbread
Like so much of European culture, spiced wine started with the Romans. The recipe spread throughout medieval Europe and soon became a winter tradition with near-identical variations popping up in England, France and Germany (known as mulled wine, vin chaud and Glühwein, respectively). In fact, the German version is served at traditional Christmas markets, often with gingerbread, and made with red wine, citrus fruits, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. A mug costs about 5 Euros (usually including a deposit for the mug), so Bookers can explore all the Christmas stalls and never stop sipping. The Savoy Hotel has a central location, great for checking out the city’s best Christmas markets.
Hot Buttered Rum in Jamaica
Warm your spirit with a Jamaican Hot Buttered Rum
Although hot rum under a scorching sun on a Caribbean island might sound strange, Jamaican rum is well worth it. After the British Royal Navy invaded Jamaica in 1655 and sailors’ daily ration of brandy got replaced by rum, this delicious liquor spread fast. Soon it was being imported in bulk to distilleries across Europe and the USA. It started working its way into winter drinks, getting mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and—most importantly—butter. Stay at Kingston’s amazing Tranquility Estate where Bookers can warm up with a hot buttered rum for a nightcap on the terrace overlooking the Kingston hills.
Tom & Jerry in USA
New Orleans’ French Quarter is the best place for a Tom & Jerry. Photo credit: Brian Huff
The Tom & Jerry is rich and creamy—like a cross between a Hot Toddy and Eggnog—making it the perfect cocktail for the holiday season. Although it’s known as an American classic, it was actually invented by British writer Pierce Egan in the 1820s. Enjoy this sweet, syrupy concoction with its brandy-laced, nutmeg-dusted froth in a generously-sized mug or bowl. Bookers should try it on Christmas Eve in New Orleans, when one of the city’s most iconic bars, Arnaud's French 75, serves the drink to-go for people to take as they explore the lively French Quarter. Stay at Hotel Royal New Orleans, a traditional New Orleans house with a beautiful courtyard in the French Quarter.
Hot Chocolate with Tequila in Mexico
This Mexican hot chocolate puts the rest to shame
For the best hot chocolate (and tequila) of all time, Bookers should head to where they’ve been brewed together for centuries – Mexico. Here, hot chocolate—or “chocolate caliente”—is simply made of chocolate and milk, spiced with cinnamon, cayenne, and chile. It’s best served with a side of churros and, of course, a splash of liquor. Following Mayan tradition, organic dark chocolate and high-quality tequila are used for the thickest, creamiest, and strongest winter cocktails. Visit El Moro in Mexico City, a chocolate Caliente institution, for a non-alcoholic version. Then spend the night right around the corner at Hotel Marlowe.
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