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Winter drinks: How to make cold-weather cocktails from six Long Island restaurants

When it’s cold outside, warm up inside.

Winter cocktails raise the thermostat, either with the addition of a hot beverage or with the amount of alcohol. The styles vary widely, as do the ingredients.

Here are six drinks made on Long Island, some traditional and some not, that definitely suit the season and the weather.

You also may come up with your own renditions at home with apropos substitutions.

Irish Coffee from The Irish Coffee Pub

What else would be the specialty at this
Credit: Daniel Brennan

What else would be the specialty at this local landmark? Owner Niall Kelly uses Jameson Irish Whiskey to make the popular beverage. Don't whip the cream and don't stir it into the coffee. Aerate the heavy cream to a soft, velvety consistency with a whisk or in a blender. Kelly advises that you drink the coffee through the cream.

Where to get it: The Irish Coffee Pub, East Islip (Price: $9)

How to make it:

7 ounces hot coffee
1 heaping teaspoon granulated brown sugar
2 ounces Jameson Irish whiskey

1. Place coffee in glass.

2. Add the brown sugar and whiskey.

3. Stir gently to dissolve the sugar.

4. Layer the aerated cream on top.

Smoke and Honey from City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill

The robust, smoky, full-bodied Islay single-malt, Lagavulin Aged
Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

The robust, smoky, full-bodied Islay single-malt, Lagavulin Aged 16 Years, contributes to the warming personality of this aptly named cocktail, which is balanced by the dark fruit qualities of Johnnie Walker Black Label blended Scotch whisky.

City Cellar's honey-ginger syrup is made with equal parts honey to water, with fresh ginger folded in later. Similar syrups also are available commercially.

Where to get it: City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill, Westbury (Price: $13)

How to make it:

1 ounce Lagavulin Aged 16 Years Scotch
1 ½ ounce Johnnie Walker Black Label blended Scotch
¼ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce honey-ginger syrup
Lemon twist (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients except lemon twist and stir.

2. Serve in a martini glass with a lemon twist for garnish.

Izzy's Fizz from Left Coast Kitchen and Cocktails

Left Coast bartender William Carlo named this floral,
Credit: Bruce Gilbert

Left Coast bartender William Carlo named this floral, elegant, sweet cocktail for his niece, Isabelle Demaio. Although it's a chilled drink, the impact can be warming courtesy of the herbaceous, 110-proof Green Chartreuse liqueur. Carlo uses comparatively light, cucumber-accented Hendrick's Gin.

Where to get it: Left Coast Kitchen and Cocktails, Merrick (Price: $12)

How to make it:

1 egg
2 ounces Hendrick's Gin
3⁄4 ounce Green Chartreuse
3⁄4 ounce fresh lime juice
1⁄4 ounce cane sugar syrup
2 teaspoons persimmon-lemongrass jam (recipe below)
1 egg white
1 slice cactus pear (optional garnish)
Dash of The Bitter End
Thai Bitters
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Separate the yolk from the egg white.

2. Add other ingredients to the egg white and dry shake to emulsify it.

3. Add ice and shake to chill.

4. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a slice of cactus pear.

5. Finish with a quick grind of fresh black pepper.

To make the persimmon-lemongrass jam, use four hachiya persimmons, four fuyu persimmons, five stalks of lemon grass, three-quarters cup cane sugar, one-half cup water, and three ounces of apple cider vinegar. Chop the persimmons and lemon grass, toss them with the sugar, and keep in refrigerator for about a week. Add the water and vinegar to emulsify the jam. If you're in a hurry, you also can substitute a sweet, aromatic jam of your choice.

Spicy Pepper Margarita at Verde Kitchen & Cocktails

Verde Kitchen & Cocktails in Bay Shore is
Credit: Daniel Brennan

Verde Kitchen & Cocktails in Bay Shore is one of Long Island's top Mexican restaurants. Owner Anthony Tartaglia said it grows its own peppers to control the heat. Verde uses Espelon Blanco Tequila that has been infused with habanero, jalapeño, poblano and serrano peppers for three days.

Where to get it: Verde Kitchen & Cocktails, Bay Shore (Price: $10)

How to make it:

1.5 ounces pepper-infused tequila
¾ ounce triple sec or orange liqueur
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
¾ ounce organic agave nectar
Salt (optional)

1. Add all ingredients to a shaker.

2. Shake over ice and pour into an 11-ounce glass, with or without salted rim.

Mulled Wine at Castello di Borghese

Castello di Borghese, the heir to the original
Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Castello di Borghese, the heir to the original Hargrave Vineyard that started in 1973, is among the East End wineries that make this European winter mainstay.

It can be served either warm or hot. Castello di Borghese uses its own merlot, honey and spices, but any fruity red wine will work. The spice packet, available at the winery, includes cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, cloves and dried orange peel.

Where to get it: Castello di Borghese, Cutchogue (Price: $5)

How to make it:

2 (750 ml) bottles Borghese merlot
2 ounces brandy
4 ounces triple sec
8 ounces pomegranate juice
2⁄3 cup Borghese or other honey
1 package mulled wine spices
1 orange, cut into quarters

1. In a crock pot or Dutch oven, combine the ingredients.

2. Cover the pot and let the wine simmer six hours.

3. Let the wine cool.

4. The next day, remove the package of spices and the orange quarters.

5. Serve in wineglasses. Makes about 20 servings.

Apple-Spiced Hot Toddy from Honu Kitchen & Cocktails

The hot toddy, or totty, can be made
Credit: Daniel Brennan

The hot toddy, or totty, can be made with brandy, whiskey, bourbon or other spirit, mixed with herbs, spices and hot water. It's the elemental cold-weather cocktail, like a blanket working from the inside out. The version created at Honu Kitchen & Cocktails has a hint of vanilla from the bourbon.

Where to get it: Honu Kitchen & Cocktails, Huntington (Price: $12)

How to make it:

4 ounces hot apple cider
1 1⁄2 ounce bourbon
1 ounce spiced hot toddy simple syrup (recipe below)
1 slice lemon
1 cinnamon stick (optional garnish)

1. Heat cider and combine with bourbon, simple syrup and lemon slice.

2. Serve in a cup and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

To make the spiced hot toddy simple syrup, co-owner Mark Zecher said, combine two cinnamon sticks, one teaspoon allspice, one whole nutmeg cut in half, 1 1⁄2 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar. Bring mixture to a boil for two minutes. Cool and strain.

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