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Capo mulled wine
Photograph: Courtesy Capo

These are the best hot cocktails to keep you warm in Boston this winter

Fight off those freezing temps with boozy hot chocolates, spiked ciders, mulled wines and more.

Olivia Vanni
Written by
Olivia Vanni
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Winters in Boston can be totally brutal, and, as we face another few months of plummeting temperatures and impending blizzards, we could all use a stiff—and hot—drink. Serving heated cocktails is a longstanding tradition in cold weather climates, and New England is no exception. We’ve scoured the city for the best spiked libations that will keep everyone toasty and tipsy, making the frightful weather out there at least somewhat bearable. Whether it’s after a day of shoveling snow or just following the brisk walk from your place to the bar, be sure to scout out these spiked, hot drinks to beat the bitter cold and just chill out. 

And if you have the chance, also check out Time Out Market Boston’s outdoor Après Skate Bar, which will be selling piping cups of alcohol  on weekends this winter. 

The best hot cocktails for winter

  • Restaurants
  • Global
  • South Boston
  • price 2 of 4

Snuggle up at this South Boston spot, as it once again transforms its courtyard into The Lodge. The cozy space, which is decked out in flannel and faux snow for the season, serves an entire menu of hot cocktails to stick to its apres-ski ambiance. In addition to a classic hot toddy, you can sip on some salted caramel hot chocolate spiked with Stoli vanilla vodka and Kahlua salted caramel liqueur, or a cup of its Peppermint Patty cocoa laced with Dr. McGillicuddy and crème de cacao. Folks going in groups can go all in and split a large thermos of hot chocolate mixed with Kahlua, Baileys Irish Cream and marshmallows.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • South Boston
  • price 2 of 4

Wine is a beautiful thing to begin with, but it’s even better when it’s hot and infused with spices. Capo is giving guests all of the warm and fuzzy feels with mugs of its mulled wine, which is much needed for anyone who’s had to stand in line outside waiting to get in. Want the mulled wine warmup without having to leave your couch cocoon? The popular Southie haunt also offers bottles of this libation to-go—you just need to reheat it at home.

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  • Restaurants
  • Dorchester

This Dorchester joint has just the thing to keep us safe and warm through our city’s infamously harsh winters. Stop by this bar and order up The Blizzard of ‘78, a blend of Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur and hot cocoa, topped with toasted marshmallows. Cuddle up with this beverage—which is named after the historically horrendous nor’easter that once hit New England—in one of Bowery Bar’s outdoor yurts for an even cozier cocktail experience.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Seaport District

City Tap House is putting the power of hot cocktails in guests’ hands, letting them create their own custom adult beverages. Folks get to start off by selecting their base—hot chocolate, coffee or apple cider—before picking their poison. They can add up to three types of booze to their drink, including Stoli vanilla vodka, Captain Morgan spiced rum, Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Baileys, Frangelico and Dr. McGillicuddy’s. To take it over the top, they can also opt for toppings, like whipped cream, mini marshmallows, holiday sprinkles, Heath bars, crushed candy canes or chocolate curls.

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  • Restaurants
  • Leather District

Want a hot toddy with an herbal twist? Well, then go snag a steaming Stillwater Toddy. The Leather District restaurant makes this classic wintertime cocktail using chamomile-infused Basil Hayden Toast bourbon. It’ll be as soothing as your Sleepytime tea—but will pack a bigger punch, thanks to the whiskey.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • South End
  • price 3 of 4

SRV is having a Harry Potter moment with its cozy cocktail. For the winter, the South End eatery is brewing up some Burrabirra (that’s Italian for Butterbeer). The drink is a blend of bourbon, Cardamaro, warming spices, apples, brown sugar and butter—which is all topped off with a vanilla and apple whipped cream. After one sip, you’ll basically be spellbound. 

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  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Seaport District
  • price 4 of 4

If you ever have to cross the Fort Point Channel and endure that stinging winter windchill, just keep on walking right down Seaport Boulevard until you get to Woods Hill Pier 4. The Seaport restaurant boasts a seasonal cocktail aptly named the Hot & Boozy that’ll make you instantly forget those freezing temps and that biting breeze. The drink is a mulled cider that’s spiked with a splash of either Four Roses Bourbon or Flor de Caña seven-year rum—it’s up to you. Increase the hygge factor and sip this beverage in one of the eatery’s outdoor igloos.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • South End
  • price 3 of 4

Weary folks wandering the Back Bay can escape the cold by ducking inside The Salty Pig and snuggling up with a glass of Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Cranberry. Despite its name, this warm cocktail does in fact contain both orange and cranberry. A blend of Koval Cranberry Gin, Amaro Nonino, orange clove shrub and a splash of hot water, this beverage embodies all of the warm flavors of winter. Down one of those drinks and a plate of charcuterie, and for a second, you might just feel like you’re in an Alpine chalet.

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  • Restaurants
  • North End

This little North End nook is known for its craft cocktails, which changes to suit each season. And this wintertime, Parla’s menu of masterfully mixed drinks includes the O-Town Warmer. A mashup of spiced rum, Xtabentún, apple liqueur, chamomile, lemon and honey, this heated concoction will warm you to your core and let you stroll down the rest of Hanover Street without even noticing the frigid air around you. 

  • Bars
  • East Cambridge

Located inside the lobby bar of the Kimpton Marlowe Hotel, this Christmas pop-up slings a selection of winter cocktails. While all of the beverages poured at this festive spot will warm your soul, the Bad Santa will definitely kickstart defrost mode. The cocktail is a hot buttered rum with a slightly Caribbean twist, featuring aged Jamaican rum, Velvet Falernum liqueur, mixed spiced butter, oat milk and nutmeg. This holiday bar is only open through Christmas Eve, so if you want to get a taste of this steamy drink, be sure to head over before it’s too late.

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