Warm Flavored Cocktails Served Cold

Flawless Victory
Flawless Victory

It’s a common perception that winter cocktails have to be served piping hot. I love a toddy or a Tom and Jerry or Irish Coffee as much as anyone, but once I’ve defrosted, I don’t want my next round to be served in a mug. It’s time for refreshment!

People consider summertime to be the best season for seasonal ingredients, but let’s not overlook the bounty winter has to offer. It’s the best time of year for citrus, after all, (especially blood oranges!), as well as apples, pears, pomegranates, pineapples, figs and persimmons.

At Bonnie Vee in New York City’s Lower East Side, owner Nino Cirabisi offers one of the coolest winter cocktail menus I’ve ponied up to recently. On it you’ll find a delicious offering of drinks showcasing flavors that warm the soul without the need for steam.

I’m especially fond of the Flawless Victory, with just the right balance of dark booze, winter fruits and a touch of jammy Port.

Sooth Sayer
Sooth Sayer

Shake all ingredients with ice until well chilled. Strain into Old Fashioned glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.

The Sooth Sayer features mildly smoky mezcal with a comforting mix of pear and cocoa - flavors that are a goody for the senses without tasting too much like liquid pie.

Clara Barton
Clara Barton

Shake all ingredients until well chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass with a salted rim.

The Clara Barton is the bar’s variation on the classic vodka cranberry. They infuse vodka with mission figs and mix it with housemade spiced syrup, unsweetened instead of cocktail juice, punctuated with a drop of tingly absinthe. It’s a sophisticated treat for your inner club kid.

  • 2 oz/60 ml Mission Fig Infused Vodka (recipe follows)
  • .75 oz/22 ml Lemon juice
  • .5 oz/30 ml House Winter Syrup (recipe follows)
  • .5 oz/30 ml Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
  • Scant dash Absinthe

Shake all ingredients with ice until well chilled. Strain into an ice filled Collins Glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Mission Fig Infused Vodka

  • 16 Dried Mission Figs, halved
  • 1 750ml Bottle Unflavored Vodka

Combine in a glass jar with a tight seal and let steep for at least 24 hours. Strain.

Winter Syrup

  • 1 cup/237 grams Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup/237 grams Water
  • 1 tsp Whole Allspice
  • 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 5-6 Cloves
  • 1 TB Orange Zest
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks

Bring water and sugar to a boil. Add remaining ingredients, remove from heat and let steep for 30 mins. Strain and add a few drops of vodka to fortify.

Stay warm, folks! Cheers!