Warming Winter Cocktails

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Baby, it’s cold outside and you want a great drink to help you warm up!

Story by Dave Eckert

I have to admit, this is my least favorite time of the year. The days are cold and short, the nights colder and longer, and there’s not a whole lot to look forward to with the holidays well in the rear view mirror. So, what better to warm both body and spirits than some cold weather cocktails?

For inspiration, I reached out to West Plaza neighbors Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar and the Monarch Cocktail Bar and Lounge. I’ll let Jax lead bartender Sam Lage start things off with some thoughts about warm cocktails for cold weather.

“When trying to create a selection of seasonally inspired drinks the best strategy is to work backwards. Find that flavor, memory, or experience you want to re-create. Then use your knowledge, friends, and different techniques to achieve the desired result,” Lage shared. Lage points to Jax’s new “WingBack” cocktail as an example. “The WingBack is meant to give you that warming sensation of in a wooden cabin in front of a fire. You feel the gentle heat from the wood, smell the smoke, and taste the oak. No matter how bad the weather is outside the wooden walls surrounding you, you’re engulfed in your senses,” Luge said.

Next door at the fabulously chic Monarch Cocktail Bar and Lounge, the dream team of mixologists has crafted winter cocktail creations that both amaze and delight. Like Lage, Monarch’s Bar Manager Brock Schulte takes his cocktail creations, winter or otherwise, seriously. “My first thought is that cold weather cocktails are not always hot, though when they are, and as we have done on the winter menu, you have to use quality products. When you warm an ingredient, especially liquor, it gets all the aromatics moving around faster and closer to their vaporization points. So, all the ingredients must be of the highest quality especially the distilled ones,” Schulte stated.

Schulte says Monarch’s most popular winter cocktail is the “Brocksop Cider,” a drink featuring Earl Grey-infused J. Rieger & Co. Vodka, Big O ginger liqueur from St. Louis, Louisburg Apple Cider, and Becherovka, an anise liqueur from the Czech Republic. “What this does is nicely blend all of the flavors together,” Schulte commented.

Stay warm everyone!



AUTUMN HARVEST

Monarch Cocktail Bar and Lounge
  • Laird’s Straight Applejack Brandy
  • Pierre Ferrand Pineau des Charentes
  • Persimmon Mace
  • Grapefruit Oleo-Saccharum
  • Egg white
  • Lemon Agrumato

Crisp, veluetx and smooth. 



THE WING BACK (pictured left)

Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar
  • .75oz Four Roses Yellow Label
  • .75oz Laphroaig 10 year Scotch
  • .5oz Carpano Antica Formula
  • .25oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
  • .25oz The Bid O Ginger Liquer
  • 3 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Bourbon Barrel Aged Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a Mixing glass, add high ice and stir for 20 seconds, or until desired dilution and temperature are achived. Strain into a double old fashioned glass over a large ice cube. Garnish with a Carved and expressed Orange peel.



BROCKSOP CIDER

Monarch Cocktail Bar and Lounge
  • J. Rieger & Co. Vodka
  • Becherovka
  • Big O Ginger Liqueur
  • Earl Grey Tea
  • Louisburg Cider Mill Apple Cider

Crisp apples spiked with vodka, accented with sharp ginger. 


THE ROYAL GOAT

Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar
  • 2oz Tom’s Town Pendergast Royal Gold Bourbon
  • .5oz Sfumato Rhubarb Amaro
  • .5oz Cinnamon Syrup
  • 3 dashes Fee Brother Cherry Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a Mixing glass, add high ice and stir for 20 seconds, or until desired dilution and temperature are achived. Strain cocktail into a chilled martini shell and garnish with freshly shaved cinnamon over the top.


WHISKEY & WINE

Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar
  • 1.5oz J. Rieger Whiskey
  • .75oz Lemon Juice
  • .75oz Simple Syrup
  • 1 Egg White

Combine all ingerdients in a mixing tin, add ice and shake vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Break the seal on the mixing tin and strain the cocktail into the empty top of the mixing tin, discard the ice. Re-seal the tin and perform a “Dry” shake. This technique is use to activate the egg white and give a beautiful light airy body to the cocktail. strain the cocktail over fresh ice in a double old fashioned glass, float .5oz of Malbec over the top and garnish with a cherry.


THE CIDER ROSE

Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar
  • 1.5oz Four Roses Yellow Label Whiskey
  • .25oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
  • .75oz Lemon Juice
  • 5 oz Louisberg Apple Cider
  • 2 dashes of Cardamom Bitters
  • 2 dashes of Cherry Bitters
  • NOTE – This recipe is for a single serving

Combine all ingredients in a small pot on the stove top and heat to preferred warmth. Or heat all ingredients in an electric kettle for quicker preparation. Serve in a decorative martini shell or your favorite holiday mug. Garnish with a dehydrated apple chip and freshly grated cinnamon over the top.


SMOKE & SPICE

Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar
  • 1.5oz Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal
  • .25oz Art InThe Age Giner Snap Liquer
  • 1 bar spoon of cinnamon syrup
  • 3oz of Brute chocolate mixture
  • NOTE – This recipe is for a single serving

BRUTE CHOCOLATE

Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar
  • 1 cup of sweet condensed milk
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4tbs Dutch Brute Chocolate powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne powder ( optional)
  • 1tbs creamy peanut butter

Heat both milks over low heat in a small pot until the condensed milk is incorporated. Add cocoa powder while thoroughly whiskey mixture together over low heat. Add cayenne if desired. add peanut butter last making sure to let mixture simmer for around 8 minutes to fully incorporate the peanut butter into the final product.

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