If you were shoveling snow at this moment, you might balk at the notion that it’s cold in Florida. Everything is relative, of course, and the winter months here can be downright chilly at times—not cold enough to go ice-fishing, but brisk enough to rationalize indulging in our favorite winter cocktails. Some classic recipes to warm up your evening:
- 3 oz. whisky of choice
- 2 orange slices
- 1 sugar cube
- 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
Place the sugar cube at the bottom of the Old Fashioned glass, and dissolve it with the bitters; muddle together with one of the orange slices. Fill the glass with ice, add the whisky, stir well, and garnish with a maraschino cherry and a slice of orange.
Tip: Some recipes call for a dash of soda at the end of the muddling process, others suggest topping off the drink with it. Either way, this is optional.
My personal recipe
- 2 oz. Canadian Club 12 Year-Old
- 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth
- Several dashes Angostura bitters
Fill a rocks glass with ice; add the bitters and allow them to seep into the ice cubes. Add the vermouth, then the whisky, and stir gently.
Tip: The choice of vermouth is crucial. Carpano Antica is the best, but pricey; try Dolin’s as an alternative.
- Equal parts brandy, Crème de Cacao and fresh cream
Combine in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice; shake and strain into a cocktail glass; garnish with grated nutmeg.
Tip: If you’re watching your weight, substitute half-and-half for heavy cream; if you’re feeling flush, use Cognac in place of brandy.
- 2 oz. blended Canadian whisky
- juice of ½ lemon
- ½ tsp. simple syrup
Place ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice and shake well; strain into chilled cocktail glass, or pour into rocks glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and orange slice.
Tip: Whatever you do, DO NOT use sour mix. Life is too short not to squeeze your own lemons.
- Equal parts Campari, sweet vermouth and gin
Pour each ingredient, in order, into an Old Fashioned glass filled with ice; garnish with orange slice.
Tip: For a Negroni Sbagliato, substitute Prosecco for the gin.
- Three parts brandy or Cognac, one part white Crème de Menthe
Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice, and stir; serve straight up or on the rocks.
Tip: For a Green Hornet, use green Crème de Menthe in place of white.
Hot Buttered Rum
- 2 oz. dark rum
- 1 small slice butter
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- several dashes vanilla extract
- optional spices to taste (ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, allspice)
- hot water
Place the first five ingredients at the bottom of a mug and muddle together; add hot water and stir.
Tip: For a touch of theatrics, plunge a red-hot poker into the mug to heat the drink after stirring.
Ramos Gin Fizz
- 2 oz. gin (preferably Old Tom)
- 1/2 oz. lime juice
- 1/2 oz. lemon juice
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- 1 oz. cream, three dashes orange flower water
- 1 egg white
- soda water
Shake the first six ingredients with ice vigorously for at least one minute; add more ice and shake for 2 minutes, or until cold and frothy; strain into an Old Fashioned glass, top with soda and stir.
Tip: Proceed very cautiously with the orange flower water, as it can overwhelm the drink.
- 2 parts Irish whiskey
- 4 parts hot coffee
- 1 1/2 parts fresh cream
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
Heat the coffee, whiskey and sugar, but do not boil; pour into glass and top with cream; serve hot.
Tip: Use the back of a bar spoon to float the cream on top.
- 1 sugar cube
- 1 1/2 oz. Sazerac Rye Whiskey or Buffalo Trace Bourbon
- 1/4 oz. Herbsaint
- 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
- lemon peel
Pack an Old Fashioned glass with ice. In a second Old Fashioned glass place the sugar cube and add the Peychaud’s Bitters to it, then crush the sugar cube. Add the Sazerac Rye Whiskey or the Buffalo Trace Bourbon to the glass containing the bitters and sugar. Empty the ice from the first glass and coat the glass with the Herbsaint, then discard the remaining Herbsaint. Empty the whiskey/bitters/sugar mixture from the second glass into the first glass and garnish with lemon peel.
Tip: Since 2007, you’re legally allowed to use Absinthe in place of the Herbsaint.