Winter cocktails at New York bars: Ten of the best seasonal drinks

Warm up at New York bars with one of our favorite seasonal sippers—winter cocktails featuring flavors like pumpkin and allspice.

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Bars with fireplaces are a great way to warm up this time of year, but new seasonal cocktails provide just as much reason to escape your apartment. Here are the ten best winter cocktails at New York bars, to aid in your winter-drinking pursuits.

RECOMMENDED: Best Winter cocktails and cozy bars in NYC

  • Photograph: Erica Gannett

    Sharon Cuneta at Maharlika

    At this Filipino-food gateway, former Minetta Tavern barkeep Enzo Lim’s lovely rum sipper puts an island spin on that horse-and-buggy staple, milk punch. Hand-pressed coconut milk, spiced with an aromatic, dessert-minded duo of nutmeg and cinnamon, imparts the lush creaminess of yuletide eggnog. A snowing of toasted, shredded coconut bolsters the quaff’s sweet flavors of burnt caramel and vanilla. 111 First Ave between 6th and 7th Sts (646-392-7880, maharlikanyc.com). $11.

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  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Douglas Fir Gimlet at Pegu Club

    With a nose like a fresh-cut Christmas tree, Audrey Saunders’s festive recipe builds on Tanqueray gin’s juniper notes with Clear Creek’s eau-de-vie, infused and distilled with the springtime buds of an Oregon evergreen. To the woodsy base Saunders adds a citrus jolt of bittersweet grapefruit alongside the traditional lime juice. 77 W Houston St between West Broadway and Wooster St (212-473-7348, peguclub.com). $14.

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  • Photograph: Melissa Sinclair

    Is It Good? at Evelyn Drinkery

    Let’s get it out of the way—yes, it is good. Justin Fairweather’s rye-and-rum cocktail heightens the baker’s-rack spice of the Redemption whiskey with clove-heavy Angostura bitters and cardamom-laced pomegranate syrup. A creamy cloud of matcha foam caps the drink, clinging to your top lip like whipped cream from a mug of cocoa and adding a subtle green-tea sweetness. 171 Ave C between 10th and 11th Sts (evelynnyc.com). $12.

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  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Great Pumpkin at PDT

    In this frothy flip, Jim Meehan retools the colonial quaff with unabashedly autumnal flavors. Grated nutmeg greets the nose, with bready Rittenhouse rye and rich Vermont maple syrup amping up the spiced, freshly-baked-pie qualities of apple brandy and Southampton pumpkin ale. A whole egg is shaken in the drink to give the libation a smooth, creamy finish. 113 St. Marks Pl between First Ave and Ave A (212-614-0386, pdtnyc.com). $15.

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  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Vietnamese Coffee Grown-Up Style, at Whiskey Soda Lounge Ny

    A belly-warming slug of Christian Brothers brandy gives the heady java at Andy Ricker’s Thai canteen its boozy edge. Despite the name, the coffee isn’t made Vietnamese-style (brewing grinds through a metal filter). Instead, Stumptown cold-brew concentrate is warmed with boiling water and shaken with condensed and evaporated milks. Finished with a pinch of salt to temper sweetness, the resulting steamy mug brims with an indulgent, sip-by-the-fire creaminess. 115 Columbia St between Baltic and Kane Sts, Columbia Street Waterfront District, Brooklyn (718-797-4120, whiskeysodalounge-ny.com). $12.

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  • Photograph: Melssa Sinclair

    Falling Up at Pouring Ribbons

    This towering red-ombré cocktail is flush with comforting holiday-table flavors. A mellow base of Laird’s apple brandy gets backbone and baking-spice character from Old Grand-Dad bourbon. Bitter Cynar adds a savory layer—enlivened with ginger and lemon—that’s topped with plummy Sandeman port. 225 Ave B between 13th and 14th Sts (917-656-6788, pouringribbons.com). $14.

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  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Roffignac at Tooker Alley

    The recipe for this historic New Orleans cocktail was long forgotten before drinks guru David Wondrich dug it up and introduced it to Tooker Alley owner Del Pedro. Now one of four cocktails on Pedro’s cold-weather bar menu, the jewel-toned elixir is like an upmarket whiskey soda, with a Chambordesque richness coming courtesy of tart raspberry shrub and velvety, spice-cake cognac, and a jolly effervescence from the seltzer. 793 Washington Ave between Lincoln and St. Johns Pls, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (347-955-4743, tookeralley.com). $12.

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  • Photograph: Lauren Spinelli

    Mulled Mystic at Distilled

    Before nonfat chai lattes, mulled mead was winter’s storied warmer, swilled by Aristotle, royalty and Vikings, among others. At Shane Lyons’s Tribeca public house, the OG of fermented drinks is elevated to a hot, sumptuous golden brew. In a brandy snifter, silky, viscous honey wine—imbued with wildflower and orange blossom—comes speckled with fragrant nutmeg, allspice and crushed chamomile buds. A slice of lemon floating on top bolsters the chamomile-laced cup’s soothing tealike essence. 211 West Broadway at Franklin St (212-601-9514, distilledny.com). $10.

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  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Rosemary Society at Estela

    Clean and crisp as a January morning, this pale, perfumed coupe-glass creation from PDT alum Michael Klein elegantly pairs the piney qualities of the muddled namesake herb with botanical gin. Honey-sweet pear brandy—a ripe harbinger of winter—lends richness to the sip, while a splash of grapefruit and lemon juices adds bracing brightness. 47 E Houston St between Mott and Mulberry Sts (212-219-7693, estelanyc.com). $14.

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  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Tapped Out at Donna

    At this seductive Williamsburg lounge, Jeremy Oertel adds Central American spice to cool-weather tippling with this mescal-driven cup. Brambly, black-fruit Graham’s port gets a rush of smoke and pepper from Del Maguey’s bold yet light-bodied Mezcal Vida. A swirl of sweet-and-savory maple-chipotle shrub intensifies the hearth-warmed smokiness, and a spritz of lime creates a fresh finish. 27 Broadway at Dunham Pl, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (646-568-6622, donnabklyn.com). $11.

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Photograph: Erica Gannett

Sharon Cuneta at Maharlika

At this Filipino-food gateway, former Minetta Tavern barkeep Enzo Lim’s lovely rum sipper puts an island spin on that horse-and-buggy staple, milk punch. Hand-pressed coconut milk, spiced with an aromatic, dessert-minded duo of nutmeg and cinnamon, imparts the lush creaminess of yuletide eggnog. A snowing of toasted, shredded coconut bolsters the quaff’s sweet flavors of burnt caramel and vanilla. 111 First Ave between 6th and 7th Sts (646-392-7880, maharlikanyc.com). $11.

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Bron
Bron

Another classic review from Time Out where only downtown and Brooklyn exist. Well done for coming onto Manhattan though.

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