Hot Drinks by the Pitcher

Just as the holiday-party season kicks into high gear, most of the country is unfortunately plunged into a deep freeze. (Well, that is, unless you reside in sunny Southern California, in which case, we’re officially jealous.) So to help you warm up a houseful of guests, we turned to bartenders in frosty locales for hot drink recipes that serve a crowd.

Living in Minneapolis, Nick Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz are no strangers to sub-zero temperatures. Luckily, they’re also no strangers to mixology: They’re the co-creators of Bittercube Bitters and consult on menus across the Midwest. Their Queen Scheherazade, developed for Milwaukee watering hole The Hamilton, uses a base of rich, sweet chai, along with aged brandy, complex Bénédictine and a big dose of their own Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters.

The London Toddy (pictured above) from Kevin Martin, bar manager at Boston’s beloved Eastern Standard, is a simple concoction, elevated by the addition of a cardamom- and vanilla-spiced syrup. It features gin as well, whose herbal flavors are intensified when it’s heated, making it an excellent choice for a toasty libation.

You can fix either of these delicious cocktails in a pitcher and dole out steaming mugs as needed. And then let the thawing commence. Cheers!

London Toddy

Contributed by Kevin Martin

  • 6 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 4.5 oz Lemon Juice
  • 4.5 oz Cardamom Rock Candy Syrup*
  • 20 oz Hot water
  • 6 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 6 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Garnish: Star anise and lemon wheels
  • Glass: Pitcher

Combine all the ingredients in a pitcher and stir to combine. Garnish with whole star anise pods and thinly sliced lemon wheels. (This recipe makes 4 servings.)

*Cardamom Rock Candy Syrup
  • 8 oz Water
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, let cool and strain.

Queen Scheherazade

Contributed by Nick Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz

  • 12 oz Paul Masson Brandy
  • 2 oz Bénédictine
  • 32 oz Chai,* hot
  • .25 oz (about 8 eyedroppersful) Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters
  • Glass: Mug
  • Garnish: Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters

Add all the ingredients to a pitcher and stir to combine. Serve in warmed mugs, topping each drink with 5 drops of Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters. (This recipe makes 8 servings.)

  • .66 cup Loose chai tea blend (or about 10 chai teabags)
  • .5 cup Loose Earl Grey tea (or about 8 Earl Grey teabags)
  • 32 oz Hot water
  • .75 cup Sugar
  • 16 oz Half-and-half

Add both teas to the water and let steep for 10 minutes. Whisk in the sugar and half-and-half until the sugar dissolves. Strain, and use immediately or store in the refrigerator.

Dust off your party equipment. Start stocking the bar. Call—or text—your pals: It’s Party Season, the perfect time of year to show off your well-honed hosting skills and bring all your favorite people together.

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