Come in from the cold.
Warm up with Tröegs Mad Elf Ale, a bracing, wintertime brew made with honey and cherries. This high-octane production delivers spices, complexity and a ruby-red hue. It's terrific stuff. A 22-ounce bottle is about $7.50; a six-pack, about $17.
Coriander, cumin and clove are among the flavors in Ommegang Adoration Ale, a strong winter ale that comes in at 10 percent alcohol by volume. The Belgian-style ale from the upstate brewer is nutty, spicy and right for a snowy night. Try it with a roast. A 750-ml bottle is about $15.
This time of year also calls for Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale, a sweeter production from the Samuel Smith Old Brewery in Tadcaster, England. The brewer also shines with nut-brown ale, stouts and Taddy porter. The Winter Welcome is about $11 for a four-pack.
And if you prefer yours minus the spices, look for Southern Tier Old Man Winter, another fine, fullflavored ale from the upstate producer. There are snowflakes on the label. You'll be ready for a roaring hearth. A six-pack is about $10.
LI Wine of the Week
This early in the year comes the 2009 Macari Vineyards Early Wine ($17). It's all chardonnay, citrusy, refreshing and off-dry. The grapes were harvested in September, the wine bottled in November. And some instant gratification is a good thing.