Edit ModuleShow Tags

Warm Winter Cocktails

Six drinks to combat the cold


Polite Provisions' Hot Buttered Rum | Photo courtesy of Polite Provisions

You don’t often see warm cocktails on San Diego menus—and, if you do, it’s often a limited-edition holiday thing. But thanks to the recent chillier-than-normal weather (with more to come), it wasn’t tough to find several good options should you be looking to wrap your cold hands around a warm glass.

My current favorite—because it’s the bar I’m at most often—is the Whistle Stop’s Hot Toddy. It’s surprisingly easy to screw up this drink. I know because I’d never had a decent one until the Whistle’s. It’s a no-frills version—bourbon, honey, lemon juice and hot water—but it’s done just-right here.

Sycamore Den's Dusty Bottoms | Photo by Lori Sokolowski

There are two spots currently doing a Hot Buttered Rum cocktail. Nine-Ten gives its version a bit of spice by infusing Sailor Jerry rum with cinnamon and ginger, then adding Bols Butterscotch Schnapps and cold-pressed apple juice. Polite Provisions goes for a more traditional version with aged Bacardi rum, allspice syrup and unsalted butter (keep reading for the recipe).

Grant Grill’s Cory Alberto has created perhaps the most intriguing warm cocktail I’ve come across. His Blue Lagoon is an aromatic, perfectly balanced blend of Martin Miller’s gin, Geijer Glogg, cloves, lemon, honey and cocoa chai. It arrives at your table in a French press and serves two.

And, finally, two options that are served on the rocks, but pack enough heat to boost your body temperature a degree or two. Sycamore Den recently brought back the Dusty Bottoms (tequila, fresh lime, muddled cucumber, Cholula sauce, simple syrup and cayenne pepper). And, over at Kindred, green-chili-infused vodka is the star of The Spice Must Flow, a tongue tingler that also includes blanco tequila, lime, orgeat, cinnamon and cold brew coffee.


Hot Buttered Rum
by Erick Castro (Polite Provisions)

1.5 oz. Bacardi 8 Anos rum
.75 oz. allspice syrup (recipe below)
1 tbsp. unsalted butter

Combine all ingredients in a toddy glass, add hot water, stir and garnish with grated cinnamon

Allspice Syrup

1 liter of water
3 1/4 tbsp. black peppercorns
1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp. cardamom
2 tbsp. allspice
10 pieces star anise
3 oz. peeled and sliced ginger

Bring to a roiling boil and let simmer for 20 minutes. Strain into a container and add an equal amount of brown sugar. Whisk well and refrigerate.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Oggi’s Is Still About the Beer

One of San Diego’s oldest brewpub franchises has a long history of keeping craft in the spotlight

Mexican Cuisine Loves Beer

A special six-course menu from Puesto highlights the beauty of pairing simple, fresh ingredients with great craft beer

It’s Wet Hop Season!

The end of summer means local brewers clear their schedules to make the hop-freshest beer of the year
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants

Ten Pet Friendly Palm Springs Restaurants

AquaVie: 10 Reasons It’s Downtown’s Best Kept Secret

The best workout and spa getaway around? It’s actually right underneath your nose.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Best of San Diego Party 2018
  2. Good Night, Cafe Chloe
    San Diego’s beloved French bistro is closing due to California’s unfair labor laws
  3. The Best of San Diego 2018
    We crown 103 winners in food, shopping, fitness, kids’ activities, and more
  4. Javier Plascencia Eyes Barrio Logan
    The award-winning chef is all over Mexico, but looks to make a San Diego comeback
  5. Stop Killing Chloes
    How California is very knowingly killing the mom and pop restaurant
  6. First Look: El Jardin
    Native chef Claudette Wilkins goes from Bracero to Top Chef and, finally, to her own dream
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module