There are two ways to make this warming winter drink: One involves smoking your own honey, and the other involves a cheat and buying already smoked honey (a good option is Bee Local white oak smoked honey). Jon Feuersanger, the beverage director of beast + bottle and Coperta in Denver, created this hot tipple that works with or without booze, and it's perfect for drinking as the snow falls during your next civilized holiday get-together.
At the award-winning Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, lead bartender Dave Taha has created the ultimate holiday tipple that tastes good with or without booze. "This one reminds me of Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa's," says Taha. "The fresh ginger gives it a bit of zing, and the tart cherry adds depth and balance, while the allspice and nutmeg lend their holiday spirit." Whether you decide to drink it clean or spiked, it's surely going to get you in the festive spirit.
No matter how much we fight it, as the weather turns cooler, imbibers turn to pumpkin spiced lattes. But instead of heading to the coffee shop for an overly sweet version, use the slow-cooker recipe by bartender Norma Beekman of Lexington, Ky.’s Lockbox at 21c Museum Hotel Lexington, and make your own at home. Since the drink stays hot in the pot, you can serve it morning, noon and night. And for the boozy kick, you can spike it with a variety of spirits, such as dark rum, bourbon or Frangelico—the darker the better.
Though one thinks of limeade and lemonade as summer drinks, bartender Carmen Polcyn at Chicago’s Bar Toma gives this tipple that’s good with or without booze a wintery hint of rosemary and warming, smoky punch. You can spike the drink with tequila or mezcal, the latter adding even more smoky fun to the drink.
It’s hard to deny that spaghetti squash seems like a head-scratcher of a cocktail ingredient, much like tequila feels a little more sand and surf than sweaters and scarves. But in the Comrade, the woodsy depth of spaghetti squash and innate vegetative notes of tequila sally forth in entirely novel ways, shining a light on their versatility.
This Toddy recipe from New York bitters powerhouse Amor y Amargo is named for the butternut squash it’s made with. Substituting sugar pumpkin, though, is just a little bit more fun. The twee-looking pumpkin is typically no bigger than eight inches and lends a velvety texture to the cocktail. Plus it’s downright adorable. (Bonus: Pull double duty and roast the seeds.)
This surprisingly light grog is the crowd-pleasing autumn punch you didn’t even know you were missing. “Squash is amazingly flavorful and adds luscious texture to cocktails,” says Alejandro De La Parra, the bar manager at Teardrop Lounge. “[For this cocktail] we roasted the butternut squash with demerara sugar, mace, clove and allspice.”
This drink doubles as a dessert and cocktail in one. Two different approaches to preparing acorn squash allow the vegetable to flex its muscles in a couple of different directions. For the vegetable-cocktail skittish, though, never fear: Allspice and clove help the drink to retain a more traditional “nog” flavor profile while adding in a welcome dose of crispness.
Booze buzz meets sugar buzz in this decadent dessert cocktail. (Trust us, you need this in your life.)