Ultimate Winter Cocktails

Put grandma’s mulled cider recipe on hold and shake up a real-deal cocktail with complex flavors and natural garnishes that make winter something to celebrateWinter cocktails should warm your soul. I’m talking that sit-in-front-of-a-fire-after-a-long-day-of snowboarding-and-pour-a-drink-that-makes-your-insides-burn kind of warm. That come-in-after-a day-of-shoveling-snow-and-light-a-little-fire-inside-you kind of warm. Thankfully, liquors like bourbon, whiskey, rum and dark tequila provide the antidote to bitter temperatures.

In my search for the ultimate winter cocktails, I asked the bar managers at some of my favorite restaurants around the state to weigh in. They provided recipes for cocktails that are the real deal through and through. Don’t shy away from ice just because it’s winter; the ingredients in these new classics will keep you toasty.

Alycia Chrosniak is the founder of CT Eats Out, your guide to the best eats in the state. For more information,visit cteatsout.com.

Drunken Apple Cocktail

Grants Restaurant by Taylor Hyde
Thanks to apples and cinnamon, this cocktail is a great transition drink from fall to winter

Ingredients:

  • 1½ ounce tequila
  • ½ ounce agave
  • ½ ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • ¾ ounce grapefruit juice
  • 1¾ ounce apple juice
  • ½ ounce cinnamon syrup (recipe follows)
  • ½ ounce simple syrup


Cinnamon Syrup: 

  • 20 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cups of water

Instructions:
For cinnamon syrup: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add cinnamon sticks and take off heat. Let steep overnight like tea. Remove cinnamon sticks.
For cocktail: Place all ingredients in a shaker and shake over ice. Pour into a glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick and apple slice.

For information about Grants, in West Hartford, go to www.billygrant.com
At press time, Seasons learned Taylor Hyde is no longer at Grants. We wish to thank her for the recipe. 

Velvet Rose Krust Pizza and Bourbon Bar by Neil Robinson

Perfectly balanced and frothy, this cocktail is perfect after a day on the slopes
Ingredients:

  • 1½ ounce Hennessy cognac
  • 1 ounce sour mix
  • ½ ounce Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • ½ ounce Velvet Falernum liqueur
  • 1 egg white

Instructions:

Pour all ingredients into a shaker and dry shake (no ice in the shaker) for at least 15 seconds until egg whites are incorporated and frothy.Add ice and shake again for at least 15 seconds.Pour over ice and garnish with a cherry.
For information about Krust Pizza Bar, in Middletown, go to www.krustpizzabar.com

Maple Rush Cocktail

River Tavern Restaurant by Wesley De Sousa Costa
The acidity of the Madeira wine and lemon juice perfectly balance the sweetness of the maple syrup
Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce rye whiskey
  • 1 ounce dry Madeira
  • ½ ounce maple syrup
  • ½ ounce lemon juice


Instructions: Place all ingredients in a shaker and shake over ice. Pour over ice and garnish with a lemon peel.
For information about River Tavern Restaurant, in Chester, go to rivertavernrestaurant.com


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